Fritzing Reviews

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Fritzing has a big database of electronic parts. Not only that, you can create your own parts and that is a very good option. Besides a standard PCB creation tool, it also has a practical Breadboard view for assembling and connecting electronic elements and a Schematic view for making an electric schematic. In other words, a complete software for electronic projects.

Fritzing lacks stability. It can be buggy. Sometimes you cannot make an electric connection or they pop out of nowhere. Unfortunately the project seems to be discontinued. Although rather unpolished and unfinished, it has a great potential to become a first-class software for electronic engineering.

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This software is great for designing circuits. It has a great number of parts and you can even introduce new parts. But it doesn't have any simulator / error checking system.

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first off, it is NOT discontinued, it is in a LIVE...

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the development of this application is NOT discontinued,
it is in an active stage, again...

Fritzing is a very good looking application,
it has a fancy looking modern UI, you know, that toy-like environment...
I downloaded it a few days ago, and I was very happy with it...
cause it all looked promising...

in the end, however, I realized that actually creating a layout is NOT easy at all,
unless you make one of those pricy and fashionable layouts which have expensive components...
I mean, this is rather an illustration toy for kids with rich parents, than for DIY circuit builders...

why I had downloaded was because I wanted to use it....
and I made several attempts, in rounds, so to speak... like 4-5 of them... and each time I'd get stuck...


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what does "stuck" mean?
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you want to do something and it doesn't work...
say: you want to put a transistor into the circuit...
or, as it happened to me, I wanted to insert a generic switch...

in no time, I would find myself extensively googling how it could be achieved...

as with the simple 2P2T switch, I realized that I'd have to design one, and incorporate it into my Fritzing environment...
which is a great deal of work, they said at the forum...
I was still ready to do that...

after 2-3 attempts with this VERY simple, small circuit... counting but a few resistors, like 5, one capacitor, an IC socket and 2 generic 2P2T switches...
I got ultimately stuck...
cause I couldn't find a generic 6 pin IC socket... (DIP-6)
that is, I was facing having to work on a component's graphic and linking...

I left that layout, thinking that I could draw it even in "photoshop" (GIMP, the free and modern day version of the expensive Adobe app), in 10 minutes...

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another attempt
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then I made another attempt, at another layout... a small guitar (bass guitar) pre-amp circuit..., 17x9 holes in a veroboard :) pretty tiny...
it uses JFET transistors...
a special type... pretty popular, actually...
but there was no JFET in the default set of devices...
in fact there's no JFET anywhere in the application....
the developers' advice at the forum was to use a MOSFET instead... which has 3 pins, too (my note) :)

I would have used the MOSFET, although I would have hated the conceptual corruption...
BUT I couldn't because the transistor is just WAAAAY TOOO BIG...
it occupied much more space in the circuit than normal...
the normal would be 3 pins... and that's it... (cause this is how it is in reality, too)
but in Fritzing, the transistor would occupy 4x3 pins on the veroboard... which is unacceptable...

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why i s it unacceptable?
::::::::::::::
cause developers do their best and trickiest to make the board AsAP -- "as small as possible" -- so it'll nicely fit in a stomp box or a guitar's body...
every 1/10 inch matters...
also, the space on the veroboard is for you to use... not for the illustration sotfware to occupy it with LARGE parts...

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conclusion:
::::::::::::::
so, in the end, I managed to install DIYLC (DIY Layout Creator), an open source application, and within 2 minutes I was already drawing, without compromise!
and yes, I uninstalled Fritzing quickly...
not because I wouldn't trust, even support a nice project...
including waiting for them for long months...
BUT because I took a look at their offered components list...
and I figured that the entire Fritzing project seems pretty "commercial",
okay, it is free, it is open source, but its entire design is based on the idea to sell stuff...
that is, pricy components from BIG manufacturers...
including making it difficult for kids to place generic components into their layouts...

see the list:
(beyond these there is only one “self” of parts, "common", which doesn't have a generic 6 pin IC socket, or a JFET)

Arduino,
SparkFun,
SeedStudio,
Intel,
Analog Devices,
Atlas Scientific,
Shootlab,
Parallax,
Picaxe,
Lilypad,
SpakFun-AnalogIC,
SparkFun connectors,
SparkFun DigitalIC,
SparkFun discret semi
SparkFun electromechanical,
SparkFun etc,
SparkFun power IC,
SparkFun RF,
SparkFun sensors,

PS:
I uninstalled it, and I use DIYLC ever since, very effectively...

[Edited by jepe, August 17]

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