I used Visio to draw my schematic (24 B-sized pages and counting).
However, I was to do it again, I'd use a bona-fide schematic capture program.
There are some great programs out there (Altium, Eagle, OrCad, Pads), which I used at work in the past, but no longer have available, and I didn't want to spring for the three or four figure price tags.
There are some good free ones, though: KiCad, TinyCAD, EasyEDA, and others.
- Does a great job keeping track of all the wiring, including maintaining netlists between all components.
- Easy search of connections by user net name
- Forces you to include all connectors and other misc components
- Generates a bill of materials (often directly exportable to Mouser, Digikey, etc)
- You can build virtual cable bundles by combining individual wires into busses, helping fuselage wiring layout.
- Have to learn a new SW tool, and these tools are not easily "self discoverable"
- Have to make individual "components" for all the non-generic stuff like avionics, special relays, fuse holders, etc. This is a big job if you're going glass.
- Are constrained to their grid system and schematic presentation styles (ie, your schematic may look a bit uglier and be more confusing that you'd like)
In the end, though, the benefits outweigh the initial investment to set up the components in the system. It make tweaking and schematic management much easier in the end. YMMV.
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