help finding software
October 8, 2007 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Looking for electronics simulation software.

Don't need advanced engineering features. Just want to learn on my own. Up to $1,000 would be in my budget.
posted by larry_darrell to Technology (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Spice or pspice were the standards we used in undergrad electrical engineering for analog models. This page offers some free versions.

Matlab can do some electrical simulations as well as a ton of other things.

The xilinx provided webpack is a free digital design and simulation tool. It may also be possible to get a demo version of Modelsim.
posted by garlic at 3:00 PM on October 8, 2007

What exactly do you want to simulate?

From just "electronics," you probably want SPICE. There's about 8 million versions of it, some free, some expensive - we had HSPICE & I think PSPICE in school.

The thing is SPICE by itself takes in an annoying-to-create text file and spits out an unreadable text file. If you're connecting more than a few transistors together you'll want a GUI to make the "netlist" input file and you'll want another GUI to show you graphs and results.

Try searching "SPICE GUI," some free stuff seems to come up.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:19 PM on October 8, 2007
posted by neuron at 3:30 PM on October 8, 2007

Do you have an OS requirement (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Solaris, etc.)? Do you want to simulate digital circuits, analog circuits, or both? Do you also need RF simulation?

In any case, this older AskMe has some information about circuit simulators, including SPICE, etc.
posted by RichardP at 3:36 PM on October 8, 2007

For learning purposes the free versions of pspice will suffice. Even more fun is building the circuits.
posted by caddis at 5:12 PM on October 8, 2007

I highly recommend SwitcherCAD. It is incredible.
posted by fake at 5:33 PM on October 8, 2007

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