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Mike_Z
November 11th, 2014, 01:29 PM
I've been using a copy of OrCad 3.2 for DOS for many many years. I have a number of schematics and layouts using this program. The program is used on an old 486 machine and it works fine. I like it because I know how it works and can make new libraries, parts, etc. BUT..... I'd like to be able to print my drawings to my Laser Jet printer instead of the Epson dot matrix printer. First print is slow and the clarity is poor. I've been looking at TinyCAD and it looks pretty good, but I think I'd have to redraw all the schematics. Can't find any converters. What other CAD programs are out there that are good for computer type drawings? Are there any file converters that I could use. I've been searching the internut, but seems that most stuff cost big money, which doesn't fit into my retired budget. Appreciate any help. Mike

Agent Orange
November 11th, 2014, 02:37 PM
I've been using a copy of OrCad 3.2 for DOS for many many years. I have a number of schematics and layouts using this program. The program is used on an old 486 machine and it works fine. I like it because I know how it works and can make new libraries, parts, etc. BUT..... I'd like to be able to print my drawings to my Laser Jet printer instead of the Epson dot matrix printer. First print is slow and the clarity is poor. I've been looking at TinyCAD and it looks pretty good, but I think I'd have to redraw all the schematics. Can't find any converters. What other CAD programs are out there that are good for computer type drawings? Are there any file converters that I could use. I've been searching the internut, but seems that most stuff cost big money, which doesn't fit into my retired budget. Appreciate any help. Mike

Auto CAD is out there but it's like buying a new car. Might be able to find a used package somewhere. I had a copy back in the 90's and it ran great under DOS.

natcha
November 11th, 2014, 03:10 PM
I'm not familiar with OrCad. but...

Is the Epson the only printer it will print to? Can you select a Plotter? If so, you could print to a plotter file and then use a plotter emulation program to print to a deskjet or hp laser printer. Can you select Postscript? If so, then print to postscript file and then use a postscript program such as ghost script to print to other printers. I did this a long time ago with an old dos graphics program Graftalk. Worked great.

If it won't print to a file, then you can use a capture program that will capture the Plotter or Printer output to a file. At present, I can't remember the capture program I used, but I'm sure I could locate it if you need it.

Bill
Smithville, NJ

KC9UDX
November 11th, 2014, 03:50 PM
Auto CAD is out there but it's like buying a new car. Might be able to find a used package somewhere. I had a copy back in the 90's and it ran great under DOS.

Draftsight is almost identical and it's free. Won't run on a '486 though, probably.

Will OrCad plot to an image file? I have used older CAD software that would do that, with incredible resolution. It would take an eternity to plot, and use a lot of system resources, but it meant being able to print in higher quality.

I've never used OrCad, but I've used plenty of old CAD software over the years. A lot of it was much better than AutoCAD. But then AutoCAD became a "standard" and everything started to work like it. Nowadays, I much prefer working with 3D solids if possible.

Fleetingthought
November 11th, 2014, 04:06 PM
I spent a 10+ years designing fire sprinkler systems, with most of it on 486 and early pentium machines running autocad in msdos then windows 95/98. We experimented with several versions of cad during that time including intellicad(ran in win98), generic cad (ran in msdos), both being similar to autocad. Most of our plotting was done on large format HP plotters using HPGL drivers. Right now I'm using Draftsight, a free autocad run a like, but it will need a realitively new machine running Xp or 7. Will Orcad export .dxf files? That would allow you to migrate to any that support .dxf (most that I've tried).

Tom

Chuck(G)
November 11th, 2014, 04:54 PM
There's an "OldDosOrcad" group in Google groups. Check the files section; there are a number of useful programs, including Orcad SDT386 setup. There are also a bunch of driver files for DOS Orcad as well as an export program to KiCAD.

eeguru
November 11th, 2014, 05:28 PM
Is there any reason other than "accustomed to the work-flow" why you use OrCad 3.2? eg. Want to stayed tied into the retro-angle, etc?

If you want to get things done in the most efficient way possible, I highly suggest you update to a modern tool. I'm not a size queen, but after using dual 30" LCD monitors to do eCAD nearly every single day.. I'll never go back. I'm not going to start (and please no one else do either) a eCAD flame war. However in terms of popularity on the Internet (so you can ask questions), KiCAD and Eagle are the most popular. I suggest trying out both. If what Chuck mentions above about an export program holds true, I would lean heavily towards KiCAD as that will dramatically reduce your head-aches migrating forward.

Of course some of the more traditional "PRO" eCAD tools are available if you are willing to pay the per-seat or qualify for an EDU license. Note Eagle is also commercial but they do have a $125 pro-sumer license option. KiCAD is entirely free and open-source and rapidly catching up with many other tools.

A little learning frustration over the next short few months will pay-off exponentially in more capable modern software with plenty of on-line community support.

CanadaPhil
November 11th, 2014, 05:39 PM
Im not sure if this is going to help you, but the ORIGINAL DOS version of Imsi TurboCAD from 1990 or 91 is a great DOS CAD package that was extremely powerful for its $99 retail then. It would even run on XT PC's with a minimum 512k and any small hard drive. Video cards could be CGA, Hercules, EGA or VGA and HP Laserjet was supported.

And the following year, they brought out the first Windows version that ran under 3.1, simply called TurboCad for Windows. That required 286 and higher CPU's

I had BOTH back in the day. Excellent software.

EDIT... Wow... And here is a mint boxed original with manuals from a US Ebay seller for .99 cents plus shipping!? That sounds too good to be true, but here you go...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/191344096298

eeguru
November 11th, 2014, 05:49 PM
wrt. the TurboCAD and AutoCAD suggestions, I believe the OP is looking for an EDA tool and not a traditional mechanical CAD program. eCAD != CAD.

KC9UDX
November 11th, 2014, 05:51 PM
wrt. the TurboCAD and AutoCAD suggestions, I believe the OP is looking for an EDA tool and not a traditional mechanical CAD program. eCAD != CAD.

He said CAD. :)

'xplains why I never heard of OrCad.

JDallas
November 11th, 2014, 06:41 PM
OrCad has been a schematic CAD since at least the 80s. I saw it at Tandy in the late 80s and it was obtuse. It was the choice of hobbyists for ages, at least until Eagle came along.

I still use TurboCAD 6 Professional; bought it back *before* they charged AutoCAD prices. It does everything I need in regard to mechanical drafting and 3D models. I've got a newer version, non-Pro, that I use for some enhanced imaging because V6P was slow rendering shadings. Luckily that's seldom required.

I still use PADs for schematics/PCB layout; I bought all the features so it does everything I can possibly need. I just send the gerber files to the PCB fab shops.

Chuck(G)
November 11th, 2014, 06:53 PM
I have DOS and 386 OrCAD, they're not bad for their time. My favorite was Schema SDT at the time, I used it on a 5160 with a Hercules card--even then, I didn't have the printer driver I needed (I think it was for a Mannesman Tally pinter), but you could always produce output in a "raster mode" file and then convert it to agree with your printer. That was then, but I don't think I could stand it now. given the tools that are around now. I remember printing sheets of fanfold paper then taping them together to get a "D" sized drawing--I am far less patient today.

I don't know what Schema became. Then there's Protel, which I think became Altrium. How about those guys who cut their teeth on Daisy Systems hardware?

KiCAD is worth a try--you many actually get to like it.

But if you want to stay with OrCAD, take a look at these tools (http://www.pcengines.ch/orcad.htm).

Mike_Z
November 12th, 2014, 10:58 AM
Holy Smokes, lots of response. I'll try and answer in the order it came.
Natcha, I have tried the post script angle and was slowly driving myself nuts. Sometimes it would work to a point and then something else didn't work. Too many pieces to that pie.
KC9.. The program doesn't have to work on a 486. I would prefer it worked with my new machines so that I don't have to mess with drivers etal. There is no image file option.
Chuck, I joined the OldDosOrcad forum, but have had no success find what I need. Am continuing to look.
eeguru, OrCad 3.2 is what I have and have used for many years. Then I got out of the business and have just started up again and found that this OrCad is now a little awkward. Actually I'd like a new program that is more compatible with the real world. I'll look into KiCad. It would be nice to have a file converter, but if I have to redraw all these prints, I will.
Canada... I'd like to move away from the old stuff, I think I would be just trading headaches. Thanks for the eBay tip.

I'm not adverse to spending some money, I'm retired now and on a fixed income, but I also want to eliminate this headache. Thanks for the advice, I'll be looking into the KiCad, Auto Cad and TurboCad. I have been playing around with a free copy of TinyCad and have made a couple of small prints. Any comments on this program verse the one's you have mentioned.

Thanks for the help Mike.

Mike_Z
November 17th, 2014, 06:55 AM
Well..... I downloaded KiCAD and have been playing with it for a while. It seems easy to use. I'm not an expert on it but I have secussfully made a small print. My purpose for doing this is update all my 8080 computer prints to a modern drawing program. I have noticed that there are not many vintage chips in the libraries. Can't find an 8080 or 8255. I looked around on the internet for a source of premade libraries and found a bunch of stuff, but again it is mostly modern stuff. No surprise in that most people are using that stuff. I did find a site that let me look for parts that were not listed and it did make reference to some library that had my part, but when I clicked on it I ended up in a web domain search page, sort of a dead end. I see that there is a way to make my own parts in a library, I know how to do that in my old OrCad program, it's not hard but takes time. I'm sure that I can quickly learn how to do it KiCAD, but does anyone know of an Intel KiCAD library with 1980's computer chips in it? Thanks Mike

Chuck(G)
November 17th, 2014, 07:51 AM
Mike, put this link (http://per.launay.free.fr/kicad/kicad_php/composant.php) in your bookmarks. You'll find pretty much what you need.

Mike_Z
November 17th, 2014, 12:39 PM
Chuck, I believe that is the site that I found and when I did a search for 8080a I got the domain selecter site, www.cjb.net which leads me to the dead end. Am I doing something wrong? Mike

Chuck(G)
November 17th, 2014, 12:53 PM
Looks like the domain registration for cjb.net has expired. Time to start looking for a mirror of these things, I guess.

Mike_Z
November 19th, 2014, 03:27 PM
Well..... I successfully made my first usable schematic. After stumbling around for a while, I figured out how the program works, for the most part. There are still a number items that are giving me trouble. For example, I can print to my Laser Jet 2100 printer, but the entire schematic is compressed down to 8 1/2 x 11. I tried to plot, but nothing happened. I got a message saying it was OK, maybe because I don't have a plotter. I then plotted to a PDF and this produced a PDF file, but there were no library items in the file. Neither the Ki cad library or my library items. I've been looking for help on the internet, but so far I have not found much about printing. I don't mind even if I have to paste sheets together to get a full size print. Any help? Thanks Mike.

Mike_Z
November 20th, 2014, 06:26 AM
This morning I figured out why the library items didn't show up on the PDF plots. When I was working on making the schematic, the items were displayed in red and I had a hard time seeing them against the black background. So, I changed the items to white. Well..... white on white looks like it's not there. So I'll have to experiment with different colors for the items and/or the background. I haven't seen a spot for changing the background color yet. I was expecting a general page somewhere with all the default settings, but haven't come across it yet. I was hoping for something to change the menus and tool bars. Personally, I like menus and not tool bars. I can read, but my imagination for some pictures is not so good. Still attempting to figure it out, but I think this is the program I want. Thanks Mike

Mike_Z
November 20th, 2014, 09:58 AM
Found the background color changer. It was staring me right in the face and I missed it. This part works great now. I'm looking for a Ki CAD forum to help out with my printing problem. Thanks Mike

Mike_Z
November 20th, 2014, 11:14 AM
Here's what I found will work for me as far as printing large drawings on a 8 1/2 by 11 printer. I plot to PDF. This saves the drawing as a PDF. Then using the ADOBE program I print as a poster. You have to horse around with the size a little but it does the printing and I'm happy with taping them together, cheaper than a plotter and I don't have to have room for more hardware. Mike

Mike_Z
November 24th, 2014, 07:07 AM
Well, I've got to say, KiCad is a really nice program. I had thought that making a 1970's Intel library and redrawing a couple dozen schematic's would be a long and arduous task, but I only have two prints left to redraw and then I want to work on the layout drawings. Thanks for suggesting this program. It has solved many of my drawing problems. Mike

archeocomp
April 4th, 2015, 11:37 PM
This thread reminds me of two programs. I liked OrCAD SDT a lot. I worked with it for schematic capture at Siemens on a IBM PC with color CGA, 10mb HDD and 512kB RAM. It was excellent package, but did not have PCB part. I guess it was some cheaper version. At home on my PC/XT clone with green CGA, 20mB HDD and 640kB I tried Smartworks from Wintek for PCB design but did not have much success.

Chuck(G)
April 5th, 2015, 09:07 AM
This thread reminds me of two programs. I liked OrCAD SDT a lot. I worked with it for schematic capture at Siemens on a IBM PC with color CGA, 10mb HDD and 512kB RAM. It was excellent package, but did not have PCB part. I guess it was some cheaper version. At home on my PC/XT clone with green CGA, 20mB HDD and 640kB I tried Smartworks from Wintek for PCB design but did not have much success.

You may want to check out the OldDOSOrcad Yahoo group--I think you may be able to find the schematic layout software there.