Protel Autotrax

    Alternatives to Protel Autotrax

    Autotrax is a freeware PCB CAD package written by Protel in the early 1990's (See image, right). It is free, it is supported in various ways, but it is also not the be-all-and-end-all PCB CAD package for every person. So if you were to search for an alternative or replacement for Protel Autotrax, where would you look?

    Lists of PCB Design software

    Other Autotrax designers have migrated to:

    John Samperi of Ampertronics in Sydney says: Rimu PCB

    For the past couple of years I have been using the RIMU pcb package
    from NZ, not sure if you are familiar with it. It can import Autotrax
    boards and effortlessly generate Gerbers. The schematic package can
    also import Schedit files but the result is not very nice.
    
    Unfortunately the guy who wrote and sells the stuff doesn't seem too
    interested in providing bug fixes or newer versions.
    
    Used as it should be it does a great job but it gets very grumpy if
    the user does something silly.
    
    Autotrax and Schedit have now been put to pasture but 20+ year of PCBs
    are still usable with RIMU, having used RIMU I have come to appreciate
    all the stuff I could do with Autotrax but never knew how to use it.

    Sam Reaves US, says: Abbacom's SprintPCB

    Currently I have been doing some boards with Abbacom's SprintPCB.
    I do not know if you have seen it but for 39.90 euro's (actually
    take 19% off of that price for a download since it has 19% VAT in
    Europe.  it is quite a nice tool for up to 4 layer PCB's.
    The software  has a built in 274X gerber viewer (which seems to
    work with my old Tango and P-CAD files). It also has a really neat
    BMP import/scale to a background layer which is really handy for
    scanned or magazine artwork. It also has a ground plane feature.
    
    They have a companion schematic capture program also for 39.90
    that is not too shabby.
    
    The program has a small footprint and runs on modern PC's (XP,Win7,
    probably Win8, 32 or 64 bit.
    
    I find it very easy to use. It does have a 12 inch square board
    limitation but what do you want for $40.82 AUD?
    
    You can download and install the demo which has everything but
    file save.  Worth a look
    
    On the PCB I have had good luck with Seeed Studios Fusion PCB
    service for boards that I do not need in a rush. It is hard to
    beat 32.00 for 10 pcbs (100 square mm DS SS SM).


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