[volt-nuts] volt-nuts Digest, Vol 64, Issue 4

Dan Kemppainen dan at irtelemetrics.com
Thu Dec 4 16:00:33 EST 2014


We have the professional Eagle at work. I also own a pro copy at home. 
The learning curve is a bit steep, but we have done some pretty neat 
stuff with it. It's more than paid for itself at home and at work. It's 
not really a cheap cad package, but it's also not the high end cad. Sort 
of a middle of the road. Same sort of issues with CAD/CAM packages for 
CNC also.

As for auto routers, none of them really work all that well IMO. Even 
the high end cad packages struggle with it. It's really hard to do in an 
autorouter what a good RF or analog engineer does in his mind, so that's 
to be expected I guess.

As for upgrading, we also experienced upgrade issue going from Ver5 to 
Ver7. And from Ver3.5 to Ver4.16, and from 2 to...
This last upgrade from Ver5 to Ver7 we had trouble with 126 of about 
1000 schematic/board sets. About half of those were things guys had done 
stupid. However the XML format allowed editing of most of the files, and 
after about 2 days everything was upgraded successfully to ver7. So, 
yeah, pretty painful.

The one thing I will say about Eagle, is the few questions I've had were 
answered with a quick phone call. Not sure if KiCAD has phone support or 
not. In a business environment, that can be worth a lot.

When you do the new board with KiCAD, be sure to post some results to 
your induction list. I'd like to hear how it works out...


> We have the Professional licenses.  As you say, the learning curve is
> steep but once learned, I find myself surprisingly productive.  But the
> autorouter is junk.  We bought one license but I never could get it
> configured to do anything useful.
> We have a LOT of IP tied up in Eagle's proprietary version 5 format.  We
> upgraded to 6 and 7 but the conversion to the new XML splattered every
> layout we threw at it so we demanded a refund and are still using V5.
> The real catalyst for our move to KiCad was that after they'd collected
> a bunch of upgrade fees, they announced that the new version would come
> with copy protection.  The user base revolted and they backed down in a
> little less than 6 weeks.  But lesson learned.
> I'll keep a current unlicensed version installed so I can view what
> others are doing but our involvement with Eagle is over.
> I'm starting a new induction heater design next week using KiCAD.  I'll
> occasionally report on how it's going.
> John

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