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iCircuit is a simulator of electronic circuits. Thus, it allows users to design and experiment with any circuit without the danger of damaging components or getting an electrical shock. Since this app may have a steep learning curve, it is good there is a well-detailed guide.
iCircuit’s graphic user interface is quite friendly. In this respect, there is the big canvas-like space you can draw circuit components on. There are also dropdown menus that organize components into four main types: Sources, Analog, Silicon, Digital and Circuit. Likewise, you can connect them using wires. Likewise, you can change the properties of a given component to meet your needs.
Fortunately, the circuit is always on, so you can get real-time measurements at any moment, even if the circuit is still unfinished. For this purpose, you can use various types of meters, such as multimeter to read voltage and current. Likewise, there is an oscilloscope that shows the behavior of a given value over time. In fact, measuring various values simultaneously is also supported.
The application allows building simulations with over 30 different elements, both analogical and digital. The list is quite long with elements such as voltage sources, resistors, capacitors, inductors, switches, relays, diodes, transistors, speakers, microphones, motors, LEDs, radio antennas and digital parts, to mention but a few. In my view, it possibly contains more components than any other similar tool. Still, this does not mean that every type of integrated circuits is there; actually, some of them are missing.
iCircuit is perfect for hobbyists and engineers, who can use the tool as the starting point for creating real circuits. However, I consider it most useful for educational purposes. The app is very engaging for students, who can have a good time building, testing and rebuilding circuits. I see it gives them a good chance to learn by trial and error; yet, with the limitation that they do not get enough instructions, hints or feedback to support their learning. It also would be good if the components were organized according to their level of difficulty.
All in all, with lots of components available, iCircuit is a great simulation tool for those interested in trying their own electrical circuits. The product is available from the Mac Store, there is no trial version, though.
- Lots of different circuit parts
- Realtime value measurement
- Built-in multimeter and oscilloscope
- Detailed user guide
- Not enough instructions, hints or feedback for students
- Components are not organized by their difficulty level