Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
Up until five or six years ago, I was using Visio to draw schematics. This is a terrific program that allows you to place pre-made symbols on the page and connect them with lines. You can then move the components around the page to suit, and the lines remain connected. Symbols included with the "Technical" version of the program include vacuum tubes, transformers, capacitors, etc., as well as every conceivable type of semiconductor and integrated circuit.
The reason I stopped using this excellent program is that my hard drive crashed, and I didn't have a good image of the drive. I had to manually reinstall all my programs. At the time, my copy of Visio was nowhere to be found, so I decided to use LTSPICE as a temporary solution. That became more permanent than I had anticipated, but now I've finally decided to go back.
Unlike SPICE, Visio creates schematics that look like commercial drawings. All the components can be individually sized for correct proportionality, and they look the way you would expect. Visio also has many more pre-made symbols than LTSPICE, and the last version of Visio Technical before Microsoft bought them is cross-compatible with AutoCAD. You can import a custom-made symbol from AutoCAD for addition to the program, or export a symbol, modify it in AutoCAD, then bring it back.
The reason I'm posting this is that I've discovered that Visio 5 - the latest version before Microsoft bought it - is available free online. It's compressed in the 7-zip format, something I hadn't heard of previously. 7-zip is also available free. The link below goes to the WinWorld site where I found Visio. Google "7-zip" to find the unzip program. Visio comes with the usual autorun.inf file, so I wrote the files to a CD and installed from that. Visio and 7-zip both run under Windows, but maybe not the latest OS. I use Win XP. Visio initially complained about this with a pop-up warning box, but everything appears to function normally.
Visio is/was apparently used by a large number of educational institutions and government agencies. Because of this, manuals and primers are available online. I downloaded the full PDF of "Visio 2007 for Dummies" just this morning.
Visio is the only means I know of to share and archive electrical schematics in a professional format without spending an arm and a leg. I was astounded to find it for free. Have fun!
Buy Chinese. Bury freedom.
Edits: 06/12/17Follow Ups:
Thanks! As I still have an XP machine, I'll have to try it. Later versions of Visio didn't come with electronic symbols - may have been an extra-cost add-on. I created a few schematic symbols, but mostly used Visio for block diagrams and sketches for prototype parts (until my recent retirement).
"To use Visio 5.0, you must be running one of the following 32-bit Windows operating systems:
· Microsoft Windows 95
· Microsoft Windows 98
· Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 2 or later is required)"
Maybe I'll put a Windows 98 system together so I can run this program.
Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"
Because you run NT it must allow 16 bit programs to run inside it. I tried to open it inside windows 10 but got an error on the install telling me to look for an updated 64 bit version. I'll try later on my old PC as it runs Vista. It is 64 bit but it may allow legacy 16 bit versions to run because of it's time in space.
I have LTSpice that I use more for work than playing audio. I was hopeful that I could try out Visio as well.
One thing I did learn is that I got rusty trying to figure this out, it's been awhile.
I've corrected the original post to show that I'm using this under Windows XP. No idea why I said NT, must have been reading about other versions while I was writing and slipped up.
Man, I know what you mean about being rusty. I didn't realize how much I'd forgotten about using Visio until now. :(
Here's a first attempt to create a simple block diagram of my upcoming preamp project. Schematics to follow...
Buy Chinese. Bury freedom.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: