EMRFD Message Archive 2936

Message Date From Subject
2936 2009-04-18 18:19:23 Gary Johnson Review: Multisim, Analog Devices Ed. (Free)
Analog Devices offers a free, though limited, version of National Instruments' high-end Multisim simulator. Login is required to do the download (189 MB), but there are no restrictions. Installation was simple and flawless. Also look for the example circuits.


Multisim is perhaps the easiest to use interface ever applied to a SPICE engine. It is a descendent of Electronics Workbench, and is based on having a set of virtual instruments that serve as simulated test equipment for both sources and measurements. This is in addition to traditional SPICE sources and graphs. The help system is extensive, and there are online resources as well at <http://www.ni.com/multisim/>

Instruments include: multimeter, function gen, wattmeter, multi-channel oscilloscope, bode plotter (for transfer function display), freq counter, logic analyzer and pattern generator, I-V analyzer for semiconductor characterization, distortion analyzer, spectrum analyzer, and one for us RF folks: a network analyzer with S params and a Smith Chart, among other things. You can even choose emulated Agilent an Tek instruments where the panels actually look and behave like the real things.

You create your schematic by selecting from thousands of library parts, and wire them together by dragging wires between terminals. This interface works much better than that of LTSpice, which feels a little too much like DOS for my taste. Parts allow extensive customization through their Properties dialogs. Import and export of SPICE netlists and commands is fully supported. Once the circuit is drawn, you drop instruments on the diagram and connect their input or output terminals, just like hooking up the real thing. Click the Run button, and double-click an instrument to display its interactive front panel. Many components are configurable with real-time adjustments. For instance, a potentiometer features a slider so that you can vary its setting while viewing the circuit's behavior. Again, just like the real thing.

The limitation to this free AD version is 25 parts. But for a filter or basic amplifier, it's fine. You will really appreciate the elegant user interface and test equipment. Highly recommended.

-Gary, WB9JPS
2937 2009-04-19 08:22:59 Alex Re: Review: Multisim, Analog Devices Ed. (Free)
Hallo Gary,
many thanks indeed for your interesting post.

Several years ago I just used an old DOS based Version of Multisim but now it's obsolete and your new is very intriguing. I'll doing download and use it..

Best 73 and all the best in your home constructi
2939 2009-04-19 10:58:43 Nick Kennedy Re: Review: Multisim, Analog Devices Ed. (Free)
Sounds interesting.

I'm liking LTSpice quite a bit. I wonder how the AD version is on the
parts library. That is, are they mostly AD parts? LTSpice has mostly
LT parts, as expected, but has a limited number of what I'd consider
generic parts.

Of course, you can extend the library if you know how.

73--Nick, WA5BDU
2945 2009-04-21 07:39:34 Harold Smith Re: Review: Multisim, Analog Devices Ed. (Free)
Another excellent free SPICE package is the demo from Simetrix. It will
accommodate much more than 25 parts, and has what I consider the easiest,
most intuitive user interface I have ever used, and I have tried most of
them, free and otherwise.

I have no connection to the company, but I have used their free version
professionally as well as at home. (I worked for a company that paid more
for the annual maintenance of the 'big name' simulator than it would have
cost them to buy Simetrix, but it was too complex to use without
instruction, and the company would not pay for that. So most of us used the
Simetrix demo, and did not tell management.)

The link to the download is here:

de KE6TI, Harold