Any time I am looking at a schematic of any complexity at all, I will pull out my "colors." It is very easy to lose a signal - especially when there are multiple lines running parallel to each other, or when the drawing spans multiple pages.
With the markers, you can easily give a signal a olor code and it becomes amazingly easier to follow.
Most of my experience with troubleshooting is that I do not have access to the schematics on the computer while I am doing any troubleshooting - that is, they're printed out on paper, and often times the electronic version may not match the as-built (as red-lines have not yet been incorporated).
Even for a design review, when someone hands me a schematic, I'll often pull out my colors.
As for the vide - those lines were just an example. But imagine, had I found that reset was incorrectly wired? The colors would have made that much easier to understand.
Color pencils are great when there are many hardcopies available for markup. Some CAD systems (such as freeware TinyCAD) allow multiple on-screen and printed color choices and line width for individual nets tied together with names. This feature comes in very handy for highlighting various operation modes such as relay and logic state combinations.
Back In The Day, there were diazo-copies (blue-prints), and they were expensive. I had a Million Dollar Idea that the high-light markers that were used on them, while checking them against a layout, or whatever, should be ERASABLE. In fact, my idea was to invent a marker that would be decolorized either by the UV or the ammonia of the diazo machine...
I also invented a GREAT new kind of wax for buggy-whips.
But now, I think I'm going to see if there is a way to make Altium use colours....
@Tom: Thank you for sharing your experience. I never tried that so far but I have decided to try that next time I am debugging something. Did you experience the same benift coloring signals when the schematics is spread across mutipage pages (e.g. 20 - 30 sheets with off-page connectors)? Does any EDA tool have this feature: to apply color to different types of nets? That might save some time...I don't know.
Did you experience the same benift coloring signals when the schematics is spread across mutipage pages (e.g. 20 - 30 sheets with off-page connectors)?
Absolutely! Right this instant, I'm doing a design review on a schematic I've never seen before - and it spans 10 pages. I actually put labels at the top of each page, and ensure I use the same color for the same signal across multiple pages. Much easier to see where the signals are going, and also easier to reverse engineer the circuit to make sure I understand what it's doing (as oposed to what it's supposed to be doing)
Does any EDA tool have this feature: to apply color to different types of nets?
This I don't know, but there are a few that allow you to highlight a single net at a time, and that's pretty useful when you're sitting at the monitor.
Does any EDA tool have this feature: to apply color to different types of nets? That might save some time..
Freeware TinyCAD (see my earlier post) schematic capture allows this and is very handy and time-saving. Drawbacks are that even though colors carry across multiple pages among nets that have common names (case sensitive), only one page can be viewed at a time. If a different page is opened in another iteration of TinyCAD the color change does not take place across the iterations, has to be done manually on each page viewed.
One workaround is to select a very large sheet size and fine grid to get as much as possible onto a single page. On-screen zooming makes features visible, and it also has a scaling feature that allows printing on standard size paper on multiple sheets that can be glued together for easier readability.
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