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Why I Prefer to Create My Own PCB Symbols

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krisi
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Re: why create a schematic
krisi   6/10/2014 12:32:09 PM
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I agree @tb100...it is my pet peeve too...I hate connections by nets...make it graphically clear what you are doing!

xjordanx_#1
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Re: Paper models?
xjordanx_#1   6/9/2014 9:45:56 PM
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There is no way to get the PCAD orientation in Altium for either the pin name or the pin number.


Actually this is also not a true statement. Pin and component text can easily be controlled to suit personal taste.

xjordanx_#1
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Re: Paper models?
xjordanx_#1   6/9/2014 9:39:15 PM
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Altium has a serious weakness in its "free-form" component attribute system: I have accumulated component definitions from several sources; fields "MFRPN," "MfrPN," "Mfr_PN," "Mfr#," etc., and "W," "Rating," "Power," "Altitude" (?????!), and many others appear. It's a mess, and would not have been if a canonical set of basic attributes had been defined from the outset.

 

I like this comment. There were older versions of Altium's software (like Protel 98) which had much more rigid parameter field names. However this imposed harsh limitations on what could be done with components. Overall, it's better to have the flexibility, but that also means someone (ie. a librarian) has to take responsibility for naming convenstions and parameter management. 

Luckily the list based tools for parameter management, or if using the Vault, the CMPLIB editor make this a spreadsheet style approach so it's hard to mix things up.

The problem does remain when you bring in different libraries from different places where no-one has adhered to a standard nomenclature. It would probably benefit all of us if we were to work with JEDEC or IPC to formalize a naming convention for parts and parameters which designers could choose to adhere to. (Then we can ask the semiconductor vendors to use it!)

xjordanx_#1
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Re: Paper models?
xjordanx_#1   6/9/2014 9:30:26 PM
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PCAD had this, but Altium (the "upgrade" path) does not.

Acutally it does. Everything is parameterized and the idea is to use templates, which are or can be updated through a batch process. 

In fact, the sheet numbering can reflect hierarchy with dot separators - why not make a call to tech support to find out how to do it?

antedeluvian
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Re: Paper models?
antedeluvian   6/9/2014 8:47:50 AM
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Nickel65

Under Preferences | Schematic | Graphical Editing, there is an option called "Single '\' Negation", select this and voila you only have to place the '\' at the beginning of the net text.

Thanks for this. I wonder what else I am missing, hidden amongst all the options.

 

traneus
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text-file part libraries
traneus   6/8/2014 11:39:21 PM
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I use gschem for schematics, in part because the libraries are ASCII text files (also, gschem is GPLed). I fondly remember enjoying the old DOS386 OrCAD text libraries Roba66 referred to. I find it much easier to edit a text file to be exactly what I need, than to struggle with a GUI editor.

For digital designs, I go directly to a commented netlist text file and skip the schematic entirely, for all the reasons mentioned in previous posts. The netlist format must allow comments that will be ignored by netlist-reading programs. If necessary, I can write my own comment-stripper program to remove lines starting with #.

My experience writing and maintaining embedded software and VHDL code, has taught me that text representations scale much better than do graphical representations. One good comromise, is top-level graphical representation, and text representations below.

For designing boards, I use PCB, again for text-file libraries and for GPL. A few years ago, I designed some boards full of spiral coils, one connector, and no other parts. For these boards, I wrote C programs to directly create the needed Gerber artwork from numerical tables in C arrays. The disadvantage was that I did not create fabrication drawings.

Nickel65
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Re: Paper models?
Nickel65   6/8/2014 10:33:29 PM
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At least both PCAD and Altium have that. In Altium though you have to do it for each letter in the line and not once for the whole line.


You don't have to do it for each letter. Under Preferences | Schematic | Graphical Editing, there is an option called "Single '\' Negation", select this and voila you only have to place the '\' at the beginning of the net text.

 

antedeluvian
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Re: Paper models?
antedeluvian   6/6/2014 3:48:52 PM
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GSKrasle

I don't trust Altium's font-handling, as it apparently can't ROTATE text.

Well that isn't really true in its strictest and very narrow sense. You can see in the left hand (power block) of my Figure 1 where the text is rotated by 90 degrees, but it is severely crippled- if you rotate it another 90 degrees it flips back to 0 degrees and 270 reverts to 90. Another example: compare pin 3 in Figure 2(in PCAD) and Figure 3 (in Altium). There is no way to get the PCAD orientation in Altium for either the pin name or the pin number.

GSKrasle
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Freelancer
Re: Paper models?
GSKrasle   6/6/2014 3:32:10 PM
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Overbar?

I don't trust Altium's font-handling, as it apparently can't ROTATE text.

I'm OK with using bitmaps in component decals, so there's no actual text, but pin names and node names would be facilitated if an overbar attribute or font were available: that would preserve serarchability.

Incidentally, here is an example of a snipped (stolen), annotated, and re-snipped bitmap of a kind I find helpful, but the MfrPN is obviously not searchable:



As long as a wishlist was implicitly mentioned, let me second the suggestion that on parts like µCs, displayed pin names (and open-drain, totem-pole, input, etc. attributes) should be available in a drop-down! And I wish that every time someone makes a four-way schematic connexion, they were forced to rework twenty PCBs. 



 

 

zeeglen
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Re: Paper models?
zeeglen   6/6/2014 2:49:33 PM
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@antedeluvian, GSKrasle   In Altium though you have to do it for each letter in the line and not once for the whole line.

Same with TinyCAD, each character must be preceded by a reverse apostrophe.  If doing a text find later the characters must be entered into the search field exactly the same way.


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