Forums

LT Spice flaws?

Started by Terry Pinnell July 31, 2020
I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the
overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro,
of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.)

But LT's UI is not so good. Have there been any hacked versions that
attempt improvements? For example, using the more modern rectangular
resistors rather than zigzags? And I was surprised to find the wires of
my first schematic printout seemed about a single pixel in width, barely
readable.
On 31/07/2020 09:58, Terry Pinnell wrote:
> I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the > overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro, > of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.) > > But LT's UI is not so good. Have there been any hacked versions that > attempt improvements? For example, using the more modern rectangular > resistors rather than zigzags? And I was surprised to find the wires of > my first schematic printout seemed about a single pixel in width, barely > readable. >
You'll find a rectangular 'European Resistor' in Misc. I only use them when I want to indicate a load, or significant dissipation. 'Pen thickness' under control panel/drafting options can make the lines thicker, and 'Hot Keys' can configure the keyboard option. I use R for rotate, W for wire ctrl-C for copy, M for move D for drag etc. But yes, the UI isn't its strong point. -- Cheers Clive
Clive Arthur <cliveta@nowaytoday.co.uk> wrote:

>On 31/07/2020 09:58, Terry Pinnell wrote: >> I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the >> overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro, >> of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.) >> >> But LT's UI is not so good. Have there been any hacked versions that >> attempt improvements? For example, using the more modern rectangular >> resistors rather than zigzags? And I was surprised to find the wires of >> my first schematic printout seemed about a single pixel in width, barely >> readable. >> > >You'll find a rectangular 'European Resistor' in Misc. I only use them >when I want to indicate a load, or significant dissipation. > >'Pen thickness' under control panel/drafting options can make the lines >thicker, and 'Hot Keys' can configure the keyboard option. I use R for >rotate, W for wire ctrl-C for copy, M for move D for drag etc. > >But yes, the UI isn't its strong point.
Great, thanks Clive. I had scanned the settings but clearly not thoroughly enough! Terry
On Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:40:08 +0100, Terry Pinnell
<me@somewhere.invalid> wrote:

>Clive Arthur <cliveta@nowaytoday.co.uk> wrote: > >>On 31/07/2020 09:58, Terry Pinnell wrote: >>> I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the >>> overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro, >>> of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.) >>> >>> But LT's UI is not so good. Have there been any hacked versions that >>> attempt improvements? For example, using the more modern rectangular >>> resistors rather than zigzags? And I was surprised to find the wires of >>> my first schematic printout seemed about a single pixel in width, barely >>> readable. >>> >> >>You'll find a rectangular 'European Resistor' in Misc. I only use them >>when I want to indicate a load, or significant dissipation. >> >>'Pen thickness' under control panel/drafting options can make the lines >>thicker, and 'Hot Keys' can configure the keyboard option. I use R for >>rotate, W for wire ctrl-C for copy, M for move D for drag etc. >> >>But yes, the UI isn't its strong point. > >Great, thanks Clive. I had scanned the settings but clearly not >thoroughly enough! > >Terry
The HELP isn't very good. Some important things aren't mentioned at all. Google often provides better help, and there are some good tutorial/manuals online. I use it sometimes just to create graphs for manuals, not necessarily actual electronics, but you have to play with settings to get a good image. -- John Larkin Highland Technology, Inc Science teaches us to doubt. Claude Bernard
On Friday, July 31, 2020 at 1:58:44 AM UTC-7, Terry Pinnell wrote:
> I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the > overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro, > of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.) > > But LT's UI is not so good. Have there been any hacked versions that > attempt improvements? For example, using the more modern rectangular > resistors rather than zigzags? And I was surprised to find the wires of > my first schematic printout seemed about a single pixel in width, barely > readable.
Other than what has been mentioned, you can make your own symbol. For example, inside: .\Documents\LTspiceXVII\lib\sym is the file res.asy, the resistor symbol. You can make your own and name it res1.asy, or whatever. Then you place that instead. The only issue is sharing the schematics--you'd need to manage the extra symbol. You can simply replace res.asy with your own, but again, compatibility is nice and you'd need to pay attention to pin locations if you wish to maintain compatibility (sharing). (If the pin locations are held, you wouldn't need symbol sharing.) Also, the automatic update is convenient but it replaces all the standard lib items. That means you'd need to do your own "updates" after the update to get your symbol back.
On 7/31/2020 10:20 AM, jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com wrote:
> On Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:40:08 +0100, Terry Pinnell > <me@somewhere.invalid> wrote: > >> Clive Arthur <cliveta@nowaytoday.co.uk> wrote: >> >>> On 31/07/2020 09:58, Terry Pinnell wrote: >>>> I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the >>>> overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro, >>>> of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.) >>>> >>>> But LT's UI is not so good. Have there been any hacked versions that >>>> attempt improvements? For example, using the more modern rectangular >>>> resistors rather than zigzags? And I was surprised to find the wires of >>>> my first schematic printout seemed about a single pixel in width, barely >>>> readable. >>>> >>> >>> You'll find a rectangular 'European Resistor' in Misc. I only use them >>> when I want to indicate a load, or significant dissipation. >>> >>> 'Pen thickness' under control panel/drafting options can make the lines >>> thicker, and 'Hot Keys' can configure the keyboard option. I use R for >>> rotate, W for wire ctrl-C for copy, M for move D for drag etc. >>> >>> But yes, the UI isn't its strong point. >> >> Great, thanks Clive. I had scanned the settings but clearly not >> thoroughly enough! >> >> Terry > > The HELP isn't very good. Some important things aren't mentioned at > all. Google often provides better help, and there are some good > tutorial/manuals online. > > I use it sometimes just to create graphs for manuals, not necessarily > actual electronics, but you have to play with settings to get a good > image. > >
It pushes the boundaries of what one software dev should really take on as an individual project and suffers for it in some areas due to the extreme not-designed-here mentality it was done with.
On 7/31/2020 10:20 AM, jlarkin@highlandsniptechnology.com wrote:
> On Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:40:08 +0100, Terry Pinnell > <me@somewhere.invalid> wrote: > >> Clive Arthur <cliveta@nowaytoday.co.uk> wrote: >> >>> On 31/07/2020 09:58, Terry Pinnell wrote: >>>> I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the >>>> overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro, >>>> of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.) >>>> >>>> But LT's UI is not so good. Have there been any hacked versions that >>>> attempt improvements? For example, using the more modern rectangular >>>> resistors rather than zigzags? And I was surprised to find the wires of >>>> my first schematic printout seemed about a single pixel in width, barely >>>> readable. >>>> >>> >>> You'll find a rectangular 'European Resistor' in Misc. I only use them >>> when I want to indicate a load, or significant dissipation. >>> >>> 'Pen thickness' under control panel/drafting options can make the lines >>> thicker, and 'Hot Keys' can configure the keyboard option. I use R for >>> rotate, W for wire ctrl-C for copy, M for move D for drag etc. >>> >>> But yes, the UI isn't its strong point. >> >> Great, thanks Clive. I had scanned the settings but clearly not >> thoroughly enough! >> >> Terry > > The HELP isn't very good. Some important things aren't mentioned at > all. Google often provides better help, and there are some good > tutorial/manuals online. > > I use it sometimes just to create graphs for manuals, not necessarily > actual electronics, but you have to play with settings to get a good > image. > > >
That is to say they could have kept the engine closed source and used an off-the-shelf UI system like Qt to make it intrinsically cross-platform and a nicer interface but didn't do that for whatever reason. It runs OK on linux under Wine but some things don't work quite right e.g. copy and pasting across schematics is borked under Wine on every Linux variant I've tried it on.
Thanks for those further posts.

Anyone know if it&rsquo;s possible to set a hotkey for a component not on the list? For example, I&rsquo;d like &lsquo;R&rsquo; to place a &lsquo;European resistor&rsquo; rather than the zigzag version.
On 7/31/2020 2:28 PM, Terry Pinnell wrote:
> I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the > overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro, > of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.) >
Not quite. I've often felt like that too. Now there are two of us. :-) Mine's not Pro though. Does the Pro version have 3D?
> But LT's UI is not so good.
It looks like an afterthought. The default settings are particularly ugly, although one can get used to most things with time.
On Friday, July 31, 2020 at 4:58:44 AM UTC-4, Terry Pinnell wrote:
> I've recently started using LT Spice. A great free tool, with the > overriding advantage of widespread use. (Unlike CircuitMaker 2000 Pro, > of which I seem to be the only current user on the planet.) > > But LT's UI is not so good. Have there been any hacked versions that > attempt improvements? For example, using the more modern rectangular > resistors rather than zigzags? And I was surprised to find the wires of > my first schematic printout seemed about a single pixel in width, barely > readable.
Changing the symbol for a resistor is actually not a big deal. In fact, I thought they had symbols for the more European looking components, but maybe I'm thinking of something else. Many of the initial issues are not a big deal once you get used to them. My complain with LTspice is the difficulty with managing new device models. While there is info available on adding components to a given design, they nearly all talk about either adding the component to the master library or adding them to the local design library rather than a personal common library not part of any design. Then there is the fact that while there are multiple ways to do many tasks, none of them are simple and/or obvious. The tool is highly cranky about tiny details with little rhyme or reason. There is a support group that has a handful of "experts" who often start off with telling you to read the help file even though the help file is very hard to search, hard to read and in some cases contains incorrect or misleading info. There is also a "wiki" which by definition allows user input, but this wiki has all input disabled other than by the owner. Trying to get errors in that site fixed takes an act of god. On the upside, once you get over the various "humps" it can be a very useful tool for free. Just learn to love the humps. -- Rick C. - Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging - Tesla referral code - https://ts.la/richard11209