| Created: 29/09/08 | Last update: 18:02 29/09/08
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Drawing PCB's - circuits


by Protel

Abandonware - a rare example of a commercial software package formally abandoned as user-supported freeware. The company has apparently had changes of ownership and moved on to very up-marked PCB layout packages.

A most significant tool, EasyTrax has its own page

Klunky Schematic Editor

by Jim Osburn, WD9EYB

“Klunky” is very apt because it does have a certain Mah-Jong flavour about it, and it's ... well ... somewhat quaint.

This is based on a profoundly different idea to all other CAD packages, in fact it is so simple-minded, it's brilliant, and could be an effective answer to the crying need for a graphic Espiranto for mud-map and circuit fragments in electronics blogs and forums.

This browser-based system uses Java and JPG tiles in two frames to allow component pick-and-place, a bit like Scrabble tiles.

While this system has some major limitation such as the size of the plotting field and how many components can be fitted, and the need to apply any text labels using other software, it also has some unexpected strengths.

One is that it is quite reasonable to provide it as a functional page from a website, and the author has it available here.

It only takes a couple of minutes to figure out, then only a few more to produce a very nice looking circuit.

Being browser based means there are some dynamite wrinkles, such as refreshing the page will, presto, erase your drawing. Drawings can be saved as cookies (of all things) but normally you would do screen capture then paste that into Irfanview, or somesuch, to frame and save.

The symbol set currently consists of 200+ 0.5-inch square (37 x 37pixel) images, the vast majority under 1k, all under 2k, and interestingly these can be JPG images of anything.

There are no instructions on the site how to get this to run on your local machine (and when I figure it out I'll write it up here), so that aspect needs some work.

The real potential of this system is not fully explored either, which is a shame because it does have real potential to be a way of quickly and easily being able to exchange “mud map” circuits and PCB layouts.

Being written in Java this is therefore totally open source and I can only share the authors hope that others will pick up on what is basically a nice simple and effective idea, and develop it.


Free version, but with limited board size.

I've seen the drawings others have produced, so I have to accept that it works and is workable. It also seems to be very popular, or at least widely used.

But after installing v2.02 on my machine and trying to knock out some simple sketches I find it so obscure I'll have to admit defeat until I get around to reading a tutorial I found and downloaded.

All software has a learning curve, but so far I'm finding Eagle a bit too steep to get started.

Windoze, Linux, Mac - download version 5.2.0. - to be reviewed

User projects (also at);


by: RT's Friendly Software - 1992

This is another pretty basic effort. There are a couple of features I like about this package; the cursor is a pair of full-screen cross lines, and the start and end of a draw are marked by the top banner changing from blue to orange.

But there are a number of things I don't like;

Home: none

Schematic Filer 2.1 09/24/89

by Jeffrey L. Cutcher

Seriously tragic. According to the author he wrote this programme specifically for circuit drafting “at school”. I can only guess that he failed, dropped out, and is now selling use cars.

It's so basic it makes MS Paint look up-market. Then on the first mouse right-click it crashes big time with a General Protection Error.

And he thinks it's worth $US25. Tell 'im 'ees dreamin'.

Home: none


CAD/CAM software for PCB schematic and layout. Free Light version available. (demo)

to be reviewed

SCORE - Schematic Capture for Windows

by Alex Bettarini

Free schematic software. Version Alpha 0.12.09 1 Mar 2008 OrCAD SDT and OrCAD Release IV compatable.

Reviewing this programme is made ever so slightly more difficult as the files in the distribution archive are password protected.


Requires the downloading of components from MicroSoft.

Splan v6.0 (demo)

Another review brought to an abrupt halt when first startup reported a missing required DLL file.

Home: ?


Free PCB layout and schematic software.

to be reviewed

WinDraft v1.26 1282k Schematic capture/Windows V1.26 (new) - Disk 1/2 845k Schematic capture/Windows V1.26 (new) - Disk 2/2

The shareware version is good up to 100 pins.

System Requirements

Home: and


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