PCB123 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

PCB123

CNET Editors' review

Whatever kind of circuit board you re building, PCB123 takes you all the way from designing to ordering. A start-up wizard offers several choices for your board, including number of layers, use of plane layers, and solder mask and silk screen. Next, PCB123 presents a CAD design window, and it s time to go to town. PCB123 has an extensive library of parts, devices, and layouts, and can import net lists from CAD vendors. We found the component search efficient and easy, and editing component properties took only a few clicks. New libraries can be downloaded from the developer s site. There s even a 3D display. Pricing is constantly updated based on the current design, and you can order boards from PCB123. Online tutorials make the program relatively user-friendly, but this is not a program for beginners. You have to know what you re doing. However, dedicated hobbyists and sometime professionals should find that PCB123 supplies everything they need.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.9 stars

    out of 17 votes

    • 5 star: 3
    • 4 star: 9
    • 3 star: 5
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • Current version:

    3.9 stars

    out of 8 votes

    • 5 star: 1
    • 4 star: 5
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-8 of 8

  • 5.0 stars

    "Best free PCB desing software on the market."

    August 19, 2009  |   By islanderscafe

    Version: PCB123 2.1.0.7

    Pros

    Live BOM and instant online pricing for both assembly, parts and fab as I design

    Cons

    Great functionality- much more capabilities than other free software.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Hangs on Vista"

    April 21, 2009  |   By 2crazy4u

    Version: PCB123 2.1.0.7

    Pros

    Lots of IC libraries from various manufacturers would really be helpful.

    Cons

    1. Hangs when launched using windows Vista
    2. Very steep learnnig curve

    Summary

    Try it. See if you can get it to run on windows Vista. I couldn't.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Works well (better than i thought)"

    March 18, 2009  |   By SFX Group

    Version: PCB123 2.1.0.7

    Pros

    Able to design a board (both sides) and silkscreen parts, will do connections as well and able to move them. Also has a design are so you can import that to the 3D design layout.

    Cons

    The only thing is, its design to ORDER from them only, so really isnt any good for anything else, you can take pics though and print so might be ok for Microsoft writers to save the file.

    Summary

    Works well, however you cant export your designs for your own use, that said it does work well to learn how to design boards and circuits...

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Easy to use but wont generate gerber files"

    February 19, 2008  |   By apchar

    Version: PCB123 2.1.0.7

    Pros

    It's easy to use. Much easier than Pads. Customer service is very good.

    Cons

    The biggest drawback is that it will not produce Gerber files. The file format is proprietary so you can only submit your designs to PCB123 (that's the catch.)

    It's not immediately obvious where to put your own footprint library so you have to be careful not to wipe it out when you uninstall.

    You don't have enough independent control over each pad. For instance, you can not selectively set the spacing around each pad and you can't pick and choose which pads will use thermal reliefs.

    I wouldn't put it on par with freePCB but the integration with the company does make it easy to get your board done.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Good program, not bad"

    December 23, 2007  |   By gep59

    Version: PCB123 2.1.0.7

    Pros

    Well put together, a few bugs.

    Cons

    Takes a while to learn.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "appropriet as per my requirement"

    November 22, 2007  |   By monoranjan khatoniar

    Version: PCB123 2.1.0.7

    Pros

    vary easy, user friendly

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  • 4.0 stars

    "I am just a bigginer trying to learn the use of this softwhare"

    November 16, 2007  |   By ahmed tanyel

    Version: PCB123 2.1.0.7

    Pros

    as I say I'm learning. But comparing to Boaredmaker I used to know it is more difficuld.

    Cons

    When I become familiar with it I think it will be OK

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Very useful, but some concerns..."

    May 12, 2007  |   By Jeffin90620

    Version: PCB123 2.1.0.7

    Pros

    I have (cheaply) made short runs of PCBs for test jigs and production units (so cheap, it justified the use of PCBs over perf board and wirewrap). (Fairly) easy to create new parts for the library and it has a good search ability for existing parts. I can quickly position parts by entering the Device Label (it places the part under the cursor). Copper fill automatically provides clearances for components & traces and thermals for connected pins. Toll-free (& competent) tech support during business hours. Easily and quickly zoom out then in on the cursor location to move around the board. 3rd party netlists are supported (not a lot, but every package I have seen outputs at least one of the supported formats).

    Cons

    Auto-routing is very limited (one trace width only) and I have seen better implementations. Steep learning curve for people who haven't laid out PCBs before, mediocre documentation and haphazard User's Forum at their website, but I produced a good PCB after a day's effort.

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Results 1-8 of 8

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PCB123