Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my messages to the group not appear?

What is the best schematic drawing program?

A good many time this will be because you are posting via the web interface and you are replying to a previous message. In all likelihood, your reply will have gone only to the original sender rather than the group.
This is the default setting and unless you study the whole web page it isn't that clear when you use the web interface to reply that you can over ride this and reply to group.
The answer is either to take care to change to "reply to group" or don't use the interface at all and use an email client.

If you use an email client then "Reply" will go to the originator only.
"Reply all" replies to everyone in the group. This is about as logical as it can be.

The group default has thus since 1998, it was chosen by the group membership and has worked for the vast majority.


Best schematic drawing software

Mike G8NXD
There are a few, a really good free one that is well worth the effort in learning but it is a long uphill struggle and easily forgotten after not using it for a while is EAGLE from CadSoft, also supported by Farnell / Element14 and IIRC RadioSpares UK the other is ExpressPCB and ExpressSCH, personally I hate it but its easier to use after an hour or so. I wont give a URL 'cos I don't want to encourage its use :-)
Slim G4IPZ
I still find Expresspcb a very useable program . It has two parts. ExpressSCH for drawing schematics and ExpressPCB for board layouts. The download can be found at It will do standard transistor/ic diagrams although if you need specialist devices you may have to make them up yourself although there is a yahoo group with downloads at
Try Designspark from RS - its free!
Bob F Burns G3OOU
I use Visio version 4 (circa 1995) for circuit and mechanical drawing for my technical web site. This is very old software and was purchased in a sealed package on the well known auction site for about £5 some while ago. It is extremely easy to use, has libraries that can be extendedand drawings can be copied to the clipboard and pasted into wordprocessor or webfiles. The installation routine would not run under Windows 7 64 bit but it can be manually installed and the executables run with no problems under WinXP and Win7. Later versions of Visio are very expensive. Diagram Designer, TinyCAD and KiCad are free circuit packages that have versions for Windows.
John G3UGY
Circuitmaker 2000 is pretty good. It has the advantage that once you've drawn your circuit you can (if you want to) use the built in analogue and digital circuit simulator to test your circuits and probe it. Bundled with it is Traxmaker for designing / laying out printed circuit boards. It was once an expensive software package used commercially but the developers no longer support it preferring instead to continue development of an alternative package. It is very easy to learn and use. It seems to work ok on Windows 7 x64 (not tried 8) Search for it. There is also a Yahoo group for it The files section of the group may contain a copy.
Robin G7VKQ
For what it's worth I've found DipTrace ( a pretty good and relatively easy to use package. They have a free version that has some limitations on size of project / number of layers - but probably suitable for most smaller projects, and it's not tied to one particular PCB house either. They have versions available for WIndows, OSX and Linux as well.
Steve N6QBQ
I have used Visio not only for schematics, but also making full sized templates for drilling and planning component layout. Visio lacks proper vacuum tube (sorry, VALVE) symbols, but you can make up your own as I have, and any other schematic bits and pieces you desire. I found Visio intuitive and very easy to use

Useful Links:
Video Tutorial for Eagle Software (on Youtube)
and files on Github - and Author's website.