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How to start? Asking some hints about first schematic, laptop, CAD...

claudiostazzone , 04-16-2019, 03:23 PM
Hi Robert! Hi to you all! My name is Claudio (39 years old) and I live in Italy. I am an EMC engineer since 2008 and I work in an EMC lab in Turin, my city.

I really like your videos! I see you really love what you do!
As an EMC engineer I am developing (the path is very long though..) the ability to troubleshoot PCB board, because I see that this is what our customers are asking every day.

I graduated in Telecommunications and I have never practiced Electronics design... except during Technical schools using an unknown Orcad version running under DOS!!
But now, I would like to join my experience in EMC together with Electronics design. So, for this I have a few questions for you...

1) Am I late to learn Electronics Design?
2) How can I begin? To start, could be useful to replicate at home a (opensource) project by somebody else? Other strategies?
3) What software can I use? Is it worthy to begin with free ones (like KiCad?), or let's go with PRO packages like Altium (they cost a lot of money...)?
4) Then, after point 3), Altium vs Orcad? Which if the two?
5) What kind of PC do you use? Ram, CPU, video card?

I think that's all... I really thank you for your time, and of course, I have subscribed to your channel..


robertferanec , 04-18-2019, 07:04 AM
1) no
2) You can start with simple stuff. For example Arduino - play with the board, and then start building peripherals around it.
3) For hobby or professional? For hobby I would go with KiCAD, for professional OrCAD or Altium (but you can also try the other software - this really depends if you will be looking for a job or you just need it for yourself).
4) You can have OrCAD Lite for free (it has limitations) or you can start with OrCAD standard for a good price (they keep changing it, find a deal, you can buy it sometimes from 200USD). Altium is expensive 7 to 10000USD, but it is more intuitive and it is used in many small and middle size companies. OrCAD (Allegro) is more complicated to learn and usually used for complex boards (like boards with Intel chips). Many reference boards used to be in OrCAD and Allegro, now you can find also some reference board in Altium.
5) For simple and middle complexity boards you can use almost any PC - I often work on my laptop (Lenovo i7). My office PC is i7, 16GB RAM (but only 9GB of RAM is usually used), no special graphics.

Thank you for subscribing
mohanskin , 04-24-2019, 01:18 AM
For hobby KiCAD, for professional OrCAD
claudiostazzone , 04-29-2019, 05:54 AM
Hi Robert! Thanks for your useful tips! Thanks a lot Robert!
popest , 01-23-2020, 02:29 PM
Hi Robert

some tips where to buy OrCAD standard for 200 USD? The cheapest what I have ever seen was 90.000 CZK. Thank you.
robertferanec , 01-23-2020, 11:45 PM
Google for "orcad deal" ... they keep changing it, Currently it is for 750 ( https://pages.ema-eda.com/Get-OrCAD-PCB-Design-Software ), but I have seen it also for 300USD: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eda/al...12/#msg1854012
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