"If you would like to have a head start on Orcad schematic capture and PCB layout and don't have time or budget to take a 2-3 day training class which normally cost about at least $2000 dollars, this course will do. This course helped me tremendously with my real life project - I really appreciate the course - I'm glad I found it at the time when I need it the most. I strongly recommend this course!"
-- CD Dao
"Its good to learn the pspice simulation along with the pcb designing... Thank you"
-- Puneet Mugal
In this course you will learn how to use OrCAD v17.2 (a.k.a. Allegro or PSPICE) software. OrCAD / Allegro is the industry standard in professional used to design all kinds of printed circuit boards, from the boards inside your smartphone to motherboards and electric vehicles. It is one of the top 3 most used software for electronic design by the biggest companies. If you are seeking greater opportunities at larger corporations, then Allegro / OrCAD is the smartest choice in North America.
Just to discuss something that might be on your mind - what about Altium? Altium is also a smart choice in North America and other parts of the world as it is gaining popularity. Altium is also generally easier to learn on your own, so really it is up to you and what your company needs.
However, OrCAD Standard and Professional are lower in cost compared to Altium and Cadence occasionally sells a Standard perpetual license at under $800, maybe 3 times a year. That's right, the full Standard, with PSPICE now. For a professional industry giant PCB software, that's really hard to beat.
OrCAD in Industry
I work with older electronics design engineers who are still using OrCAD 16.5 and 16.6 and trust me, they aren't learning any other new PCB design software any time soon (one already knows Altium 15, but doesn't have time to re-learn the latest versions, so he uses OrCAD).
Since I use OrCAD 17.2, it makes it much easier to work with them. However, I think if I was at a different company, like a startup or mid-sized company, there would be more flexibility for other software.
Of course other options are there as well, so PADS if you're in the China region, or Zuken and EAGLE in the Japan region. Lastly, Cadence Design Systems (the makers of OrCAD software) is growing its footprint. You're better off learning OrCAD and another PCB design tool as well, but definitely pick up OrCAD at some point along the way. It will increase your job opportunities tremendously like it did for me. So that's just my two cents.
The Circuits You Will Be Designing
This introductory course shows you how to create 3 very simple printed circuit boards:
1. A 2-layer LED + Resistor circuit with 2 connectors
2. A 2-layer asynchronous multivibrator circuit with 2 transistors, 4 resistors, 2 capacitors, 2 LEDs, connectors, and test points
3. A 4-layer re-mixed version of the asynchronous multivibrator circuit that also includes a 555 timer chip and 3D modeling.
The above circuits have just the right amount of simplicity for you to focus on the electronics engineering design process. At the same time, the above circuit projects have enough variety to demonstrate the skills you need to create through-hole and surface-mount footprints and finish a simple PCB.
This course focuses on the simple and on principles and the process. I also reveal my general blueprint for PCB design that you can always keep with you to help you remember the phases to build a PCB in OrCAD, EAGLE, Altium, etc.
Who this course IS for
College / University Electrical Engineering Junior Students: If you're in ECE getting your bachelor's degree and have taken circuits 1, Electronics 1 and 2 then you can take this course, you have access to academic licensing for a year. Take advantage of it, because the older design engineers are most likely using Allegro and OrCAD. This software will give you the best advantage at looking attractive for a PCB design role. You will also be able to get started with some designs and practically perform with your team.
Junior / Senior electrical hardware design engineers with a Bachelor's degree or experience with circuits: I can't tell you how much easier it would be if our PCB designer would work in OrCAD / Allegro instead of PADS. Of course, where you work matters though. If your company is using EAGLE then don't expect any movement if you know OrCAD. However, you can expect to get interviews from other companies that are looking to get big or already-big companies. With your skills plus this software, you will be insanely attractive to employers.
Beginners, Hobbyists with an understanding of resistors, capacitors, dc current and voltage, Ohm's law and Kirchhoff's current and voltage laws: Those who are looking to get into a professional or commercial PCB design software but don't know which one to start with. Honestly, you can start with OrCAD or Altium. If you already know Altium, then learn OrCAD next. With those two under your portfolio and some projects completed you will be highly attractive for freelance design work or if you decide to get into the industry.
Who this course is NOT for
Those who do not have an understanding of how passive electronics work. I recommend learning the theory first, because this course does not focus on theory.
People only looking for a complex PCB with blind and buried vias, 6+ layer stack-ups, high speed design and EMI design. While this course does take advantage of some EMI design principles (I've designed <1% ripple and low-noise regulators before, so a couple habits get into project 3), its focus is on systematizing the process for beginners to the software or the PCB design process or both, so I keep the circuits simple.
Why should you start becoming familiar with OrCAD?
Once you learn OrCAD, you can learn any other PCB design software, quickly and easily. OrCAD and Allegro are the industry standard PCB design software for printed circuit board designs. Every serious electronics design engineer should know OrCAD to be more competitive in the hardware design engineering field and the computer tech industry.