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Free DIY tools for EEs

Posted: 05 May 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Calculatoredge  Logic Simulator  calculator  DIY project  electrical engineer 

While there are a number of online tools available to electrical engineers who do DIY projects, many can attest to the fact that a large portion of these tools turn out to be, well, not so useful at all. But before you lose hope and succumb to the offers and features touted by paid tools, here is a list of free online tools that will surely come in handy.

Calculatoredge: When one calculator isn't enough

Calculatoredge

Calculatoredge

One of the more useful tools in an engineer's toolbox is a physical calculator. Why does it seem to get lost when it's truly needed? Workstations usually save the day. Those included in your OS of choice (Windows, iOS, Linux, etc.) are good for simple tasks but not so great for other things, even in scientific mode.

Searching for the right one online will net you roughly 131 million choices. Which one are you to choose when there are so many? Why not choose them all?

Almost all calculator versions known to humankind are located in one convenient site, Calculatoredge. It boasts no fewer than a few hundred calculators for just about every field imaginable (and perhaps some that are unimaginable), including electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical and even math. There's no need to search aimlessly for that obscure number cruncher ever again. Some of the more complex calculators even come with some rudimentary instructions.

SourceForge's Cedar Logic Simulator

SourceForge's Cedar Logic Simulator

When it's time to test simple digital logic gates and registers or even some high-level components, you can turn to SourceForge for some free online simulations with its Cedar Logic Simulator (still in beta edition). Designing circuits is great and all, but will they function correctly and perform when it counts? The Cedar Logic Simulator allows users to perform test simulations at the transistor, register/transfer, gate, and other levels.

The software also can be used as an introductory tool for teaching logic design and an entry platform for circuit design by allowing users to drag and drop gates, inversions, and connections. There are also options for undo/redo and copy/paste functions. Projects can even be exported to monochrome or colour bitmap files for project integration. SourceForge's main application window allows users to move back and forth through 10 different pages for multiple projects, making it one of the better free applications on the web.

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