Software

FreePCB is a free, open-source PCB editor, released under the GNU General Public License. It was designed to be easy to learn and easy to use, yet capable of professional-quality work.

FreePCB – PCB editor

Some of its features are:

  • 1 to 8 copper layers
  • Board size up to 60 inches by 60 inches
  • Uses English or metric units (i.e. mils or mm) for most functions.
  • Footprint libraries courtesy of Ivex Design International Inc.
  • Footprint Wizard and Footprint Editor for creating or modifying footprints
  • Imports and exports PADS-PCB netlists
  • Exports extended Gerber files (RS274X) and Excellon drill files

Example – Logic Analyzer: This is an open-source logic analyzer called MiniLA contributed by Bob Grieb of the User Forum. The image on right is the Logic Analyzer PCB.

FreePCB - PCB editor

Some Features:

  • Up to 32 channels
  • 128 Kb of memory for each channel
  • Sampling rate up to 100 MHz (timebase in 1-2-5 sequence)
  • Input levels compatible with 3.3V and 5V logic
  • Selectable pretrigger/posttrigger buffer size in 8K step

The Soundcard Oscilloscope receives its data from the Soundcard with 44.1kHz and 16 Bit resolution. The data source can be selected in the Windows mixer (Microphone, Line-In or Wave). The frequency range depends on the sound card, but 20-20000Hz should be possible with all modern cards.

Soundcard Oscilloscope by Christian Zeitnitz

The oscilloscope contains in addition a signal generator for 2 channels for Sine, Square, Triangular and Sawtooth wave forms in the
frequency range from 0 to 20kHz. These signals are available at the speaker output of the sound card. These can be fed back to the
oscillocope in order to generate Lissajous figures in the x-y mode.

These is another good tool for students to learn measurement on the PC.  – delabs

“Fritzing is an EDA – Electronic Design Automation software with a low entry barrier, suited for the needs of designers and artists. It uses the metaphor of the breadboard..”

Fritzing is Product Design or EDA in Simplicity

“in the spirit of Processing and Arduino, developing a tool that allows users to document their Arduino and other electronic-based prototypes, and to create a PCB layout for manufacturing.”

Fritzing Starter Kit to start learning Arduino

What do you get? The ultimate beginners book teaches you everything you need to know through a series of practical–yet playful–exercises. And that playfulness is the key! There is a paper robot who can turn his head; a fortune teller who is (of course) never wrong (no guarantee on that); a dinosaur who relays the news on your Twitter stream and a pong game on a big LED matrix display.

Fritzing Starter Kit to start learning Arduino

Fritzing’s goal is to provide easy tools for documenting and sharing physical computing projects, producing layouts for Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) and teaching electronics.

Zelscope is a Windows software that converts your PC into a dual-trace storage oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer. It uses your computer’s sound card as analog-to-digital converter, presenting a real-time waveform or spectrum of the signal – which can be music, speech, or output from an electronic circuit.

Zelscope Sound card oscilloscope

Zelscope features the interface of a traditional oscilloscope, with conventional gain, offset, timebase, and trigger controls. As a real-time spectrum analyzer, Zelscope can display the amplitude and phase components of the spectrum.

Zelscope Sound card oscilloscope

The typical input voltage should be about 1 volt AC at the line-in jack of the sound card, so a voltage divider or a buffer amplifier is highly recommended.

xoscope for Linux –  Similar Ptoject

Zelscope also allows for an easy measurement of short time intervals in mechanics experiments. Zelscope has proven useful in debugging music and sound processing software.