I am truly a novice in PCB design, so I am new to all aspects of it. What I am having the most trouble with is actually picking suitable components. The trouble I am having is that I am not really able to use most of the components I find from Google or elsewhere.
To use a component on a board, I want to be able to stick it in some PCB design software and be able to use it in a schematic, place it on the PCB and simulate its behavior. However, this seems to be endlessly difficult. The problems I run in to are:
- I can't find the part in any component library anywhere
- I can't find a simulation (SPICE/IBIS) model for the part
- I find a SPICE model, but it is for some different version of SPICE and doesn't work
- I find the component in a library, and a simulation model, but it is an outdated component and not recommended for new designs
- Everything else is fine, but I can't find the SMD version of the component
The end result is that when going over Farnell component listings, I am forced to pick components based on what I can simulate and find in some library, instead of picking the component that is most suitable for the design. This seems like it should not be so.
Is there any way to actually have a large library of components for which all of these things exist? The best I have come across so far Eagle with component libraries for every manufacturer separately from Farnell community site. But even that is severely lacking as I don't usually find the components I want from the manufacturer in the library - and obviously there are no simulation models for these. Eagle also has the nice DesignLink feature, but that doesn't seem to help me any in this case.
As an example: I am looking for a generic opto-coupler with transistor output, 4 pin SMD package and 100% or more CTR. I'd like to be able to compare a few options and not pick the one option that might be available for both my simulation software and my PCB design software.
Commercial solutions are okay.