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Doctek
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LT Spice Tutorial
Doctek   9/5/2013 8:35:11 PM
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Google for some excellent and free tutorial material on LTSpice. 

I'm sure the Wurth book is great, but $50 is a lot for the hobbyist or student when there are many excellent treatments available free.

Kenneth Wyatt
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Re: LT Spice Tutorial
Kenneth Wyatt   9/6/2013 11:44:39 AM
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You're right, of course. But some will find it handy to have everything needed in one place.

Here are a few links to tutorials and other LTspice references:

The Yahoo LTspice group has nearly 45,000 members and is very active - http:tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LTspice. You'll need a Yahoo email address and will have to go through the "joining" process.

A good reference and tutorial site is the LTwiki site - http://ltwiki.org

Linear Technology applications engineer, Steve Knudtsen, has a very nice tutorial slide set given to the Denver Power Electronics chapter of the IEEE in 2009 - http://www.denverpels.org/Downloads/Denver_PELS_20090519_Knudtsen_LTSpice_Intro.pdf

Dr. Tony Richardson, of the University of Evansville, has a collection of tutorials for LTspice - http://csserver.evansville.edu/~richardson/courses/Tutorials/LTspiceIV/index.html

 

zeeglen
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Re: LT Spice Tutorial
zeeglen   9/6/2013 11:57:02 AM
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Good info, can use good sources of LTspice tutorials. A word of caution on the yahoo group, while most are helpful, one of the members is known to be very aggressively disparaging towards newbies.

analogspiceman
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Re: LTspice Tutorial
analogspiceman   9/7/2013 9:21:46 PM
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zeeglenn wrote:
A word of caution on the yahoo group, while most are helpful, one of the members is known to be very aggressively disparaging towards newbies.

Hey, I resemble that remark!  (Which I will address shortly.)

But first, to Ken Wyatt and anyone else reading this, the correct spelling of LTspice is as a single word with the "LT" part in upper case and the "spice" part in lower case.

As far as the Yahoo LTspice group goes, the rule of thumb is no question, no matter how simple or basic, will be mocked as long as it has been prepared with at least as much effort in the asking as is expected in the answering.  If there is an exception, it would be students trying to trick experienced group members into directly answering homework problems. Such behavior is cheating (whereas just getting help with basic understanding or where specifically "stuck" is perfectly fine).

Asking questions that are clearly and directly answered in LTspice Help or in yesterday's messages is sure way to bring on a public shaming for being too lazy to do any research and for inconsiderately cluttering the group with needless drivel.  Also, you wouldn't believe how some people can ask vague questions with little or no background information and either don't upload a simulation file at all or fail to include all the necessary parts to make it run: "LTspice couldn't simulate my 5 volt buck converter.  It just stops with an error message.  How can I get LTspice to work right?"

What are these people thinking?

 

Raymond.Rogers_#1
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Re: LT Spice Tutorial
Raymond.Rogers_#1   9/7/2013 11:17:18 AM
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Doctek:  Your not wrong but how much is it worth to have information in an organized familiar form; readily available?

If your retired, student, or short of money $50 is not worth it because you have no way to get a ROI.

But if you are being paid $50/hour then it doesn't take long to recover a $50 investment either as a contractor or employe.

You have to remember that details fade if you don't use them.  I have had very experienced and high paid engineers ask me technical questions about particular spice models.  No shame in that since all memory is fallable; either due to time, distraction, or (when you are older) displacement in the memory space :)

How much is the saved time worth?

Robotics Developer
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Re: LT Spice Tutorial
Robotics Developer   9/23/2013 4:55:11 PM
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Having used LTspice in a previous employment I can say that it was quick to learn and easy to use.  The LTspice tutorial is a great idea and would be a good reference for anyone in a company that needs to get up to speed quickly.  If you are a casual user or hobbyest then feell free to load up LTspice and learn by playing.  On line helps are available and can get you over some of the hurdles should you encounter any.  Thanks for the nice article!

Sanjib.A
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Knowing more on how to get "true" FFT
Sanjib.A   9/7/2013 3:35:34 AM
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I have an unexplored area in LTSpice, I have seen a significant different between the FFT responses (for the waveforms generated for the same circuit parameters) for different settings of "Stop Time" and "Minimum Time step" in the "Edit Simulation Command" window. I just briefly went through the table of contents of the book (thanks for the link) and see that there is a chapter10 and sections 10.11.1, 2, 3 describes this. But rest of the book is not that interesting to me as it looks more like a manual to me. Does anyone have any article explaining what should be the optimum settings to get a more real FFT picture? Also, is there not an e-book version released? 

Kenneth Wyatt
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Re: Knowing more on how to get "true" FFT
Kenneth Wyatt   9/7/2013 2:17:34 PM
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Stop Time (T) is the duration of the transient simulation. For a fixed Maximum Time Step of, say, 0.01 ms, the value of T has a significant influence on the appearance of the FFT spectrum as well as on the precision of the harmonics minimum amplitude.

The Time Step parameter (delta T) is the interval between two transient measurements. If the value Stop Time remains fixed and equal to T =10 sec and if the number of samples is decreased by not being as demanding with the maximum value of Time Step, the frequency resolution is reduced and provides fewer details in the low frequencies.

Therefore, you have to consider both parameters for the FFT analysis to be close to reality. Finally, there are 12 models of sampling window within LTspice. For example, the Flat Top window will provide very precise harmonic amplitudes, but very bad frequency resolution, while the Hamming window will provide acceptable amplitude accuracy and very good frequency resolution. The Kaiser-Bessel window will provide more precise amplitudes and resolution, but is still limited for both. The others have similar kinds of tradeoffs. No window is perfect.

To my knowledge, there is no electronic copy available for this book.

Sanjib.A
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Re: Knowing more on how to get "true" FFT
Sanjib.A   9/8/2013 4:34:30 AM
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Ken, Thanks a lot for the information regarding the importance of selecting the proper sampling window in the FFT view menu. Are those algorithms elaborated in the book from WE?

Also, selecting a delta T (simulation step size) as minimum as possible would give results closer to reality, right? (though it would take more simulation time with reducing delta T keeing stop time the same). 

Kenneth Wyatt
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Re: Knowing more on how to get "true" FFT
Kenneth Wyatt   9/8/2013 9:42:57 AM
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analogspiceman, thanks for the proper spelling. The book title is in all caps and I've always seen "spice" always in caps (aside form the "LT" version). Thanks, also, for further explaining the proper etiquette in using the yahoo group.

Sanjib, the book has several figures illustrating the concept, but otherwise, doesn't go into much more detail in that regard. However, there's a lot more general info and tips on using FFT in the other sections you noted.

Yes, using smaller delta T's will give more accurate results, but at the expense of longer simulation times.

Sanjib.A
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Re: Knowing more on how to get "true" FFT
Sanjib.A   9/9/2013 11:15:47 PM
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Thanks Ken!

Tim W
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Re: Knowing more on how to get "true" FFT
Tim W   9/9/2013 2:29:24 PM
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Sounds a lot like selecting tighter RBW's on a spectrum analyzer.  Slower sweeps, higher accuracy.

Kenneth Wyatt
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LTspice and Mac OSX!
Kenneth Wyatt   9/8/2013 9:58:20 AM
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Wow - I just now noticed there is a version of LTspice for the Mac! Happy days!

See the link here: http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/#LTspice

It does require OSX 10.7, or higher.

Patk0317
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
Patk0317   9/9/2013 4:51:45 PM
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Ken, Is there an ebook version of this? It seem that would be less expensive and easier to have as a handy reference. Thanks, Patrick

Kenneth Wyatt
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
Kenneth Wyatt   9/9/2013 5:26:04 PM
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There's an excerpt available on the link I provided, but no ebook, as far as I know.

Also, the Mac version I downloaded doesn't seem to have the schematic editor module - only the analysis module. Maybe I'm missing something? I'll contact Würth...

Kenneth Wyatt
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
Kenneth Wyatt   9/9/2013 11:03:37 PM
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...make that, "I'm contacting Linear Tech." My LT rep is looking into it and will get back to me shortly.

Kenneth Wyatt
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
Kenneth Wyatt   11/7/2013 9:05:40 AM
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LTspice for the Mac OSX was available in late September and formally announced this last week. The layout is different than for the PC, which confused me at first. The menus to create schematics will appear when you right-click.

Matt Tuley
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
Matt Tuley   11/8/2013 10:29:56 AM
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As a long time Mac user, I was excited to see a Mac-native version of LTspice released. Having used it, I'll be sticking with running the Windows version via Parallels. Hiding the majority of the functionality in a context menu requiring a right-click to access everything is a pain. I greatly prefer the Windows version's menus and toolbars where everything is plainly visible.

Kenneth Wyatt
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
Kenneth Wyatt   11/8/2013 10:42:43 AM
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Yeah, you and me both, buddy! I hope Linear Tech continues to improve the UI to the point where the PC version is at right now.

Matt Tuley
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
Matt Tuley   11/12/2013 1:47:45 PM
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I emailed ltspice@linear.com to inquire about that--basically sent them the content of my comment here. I received an almost immediate response from LTspice developer Mike Engelhardt. Here, quoted with his permission, is his reply:

On the PC version, I added many features over the course of 15 years but never changed the software in the interest of not confusing established users.  In hindsight, this might have been a mistake.

On the Mac Version, I removed the parts of the GUI which I never use. I removed the toolbar from the Mac version because all it did on the Windows version is teach people the wrong way to use the software. Use the right click menus instead so you don't have to move your mouse so much.

So it looks like we Mac users will need to adapt. I see his point, and I'm willing to give it a try, but it will take some getting used to. I still feel a bit stuck in the mental model that basically casts the old toolbar as me seeing my tools all spread out before me within easy reach, versus knowing they're in the toolbox but I need to dig one out each time I need to use it.

 

MeasurementBlues
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
MeasurementBlues   11/8/2013 5:07:01 PM
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I just wrote about that.

LTspice Goes OS X: Somebody Uses a Mac

Matt Tuley
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
Matt Tuley   11/12/2013 1:36:40 PM
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It was actually your article, Martin, that brought the existence of Mac LTspice to my attention. So thanks for that!

MeasurementBlues
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
MeasurementBlues   11/12/2013 2:21:18 PM
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@Matt,

Please contact me at martin.rowe@ubm.com. I'd like to learn more about how you use your Mac for engineering work.

jgruszynski2
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Re: LTspice and Mac OSX!
jgruszynski2   12/9/2013 6:21:03 PM
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As another Mac-using engineer I have to strongly agree.  The UI is Epic Fail at the moment - extremely non-Mac-like.  A better choice would have been:

* Have an inspector window to allow any element's values to be inspected by simply clicking on them - make the UI far less modal (modal == pure evil in UI design)

* Make the UI grammar selection-based as in SELECTION-VERB (a la photoshop, etc.) rather than the Windows LTSpice method which is basically VERB-OBJECT and very modal

* Use a floating palette for stuff that simply MUST be modal (e.g. drawing wires or lines) so you can visual feedback about what mode you are in - the LTSpice UI has always been Epic Fail about this



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