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Author Topic: How do you best copy tracks for many identical sub circuits?  (Read 545 times)

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Online Dijital

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How do you best copy tracks for many identical sub circuits?
« on: February 17, 2017, 10:04:19 AM »
I'm laying out a very simple design that has lots of components. It's a board of relays that each have their own control circuit attached. Rather than re-make the same design for every relay, I figure there is an easier way to do it.

I tried copying the tracks from my reference design, but when I fill in the tracks with components, all the tracks have "No Net" set and it throws lots of errors. I could go through each track bit by bit and assign the correct net, but that would take forever.

I'm sure there is an easy way to do this, I just can't figure it out!
 

Offline kiran_shrestha

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Re: How do you best copy tracks for many identical sub circuits?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 04:27:11 PM »
I would suggest hit ESP , this would select all the connected copper and assign them the net. It could save some time, for now its the only thing in my head.
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Online T3sl4co1l

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Re: How do you best copy tracks for many identical sub circuits?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 07:02:12 PM »
Once you place the components, select the copper (using a filter: IsTrack AND OnCopper), then cut and paste it on top.  Alternately, do a D-N-U (Design/Nets/Update Primitives from Component Pads).

Or, copy the placement from the source file, then paste the routing on top.  Placement can be copied in several ways:
a. Export the original placement to a Pick-n-Place file.  Load this for your current board.  This only works if the designators and relative coordinates match.  (If the relative coordinates don't match, you can always select the components and move them as a group.)
b. Make a copy of the original file, save it as a new PCB as part of your working project, and via Project/Component Links, link each respective component.  (Again, this doesn't make much sense if the designators are different -- you have to match up each by hand in that case.)  Paste in all the rest of the board (the stuff other than this section you're matching up).
c. Select the components, and in the PCB List Panel, select their names and X1/Y1/Rotation coordinates.  Paste this into a spreadsheet.  Do the same for the source components.  In the spreadsheet, match up the components (however you can; yet again, if the names are equal, you have the advantage here..), then copy the corrected X1/Y1/Rotation coordinates back into the PCB List (set it to Edit mode).

Or write a script and make it solve all your ills, transparently! ;)

Tim
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Electronic Design, from Concept to Layout.
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Offline FivePoint03

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Re: How do you best copy tracks for many identical sub circuits?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 11:12:04 PM »
Look up "rooms"....
 

Offline ajb

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Re: How do you best copy tracks for many identical sub circuits?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2017, 12:20:54 AM »
If you put all of the duplicated circuitry on its own schematic sheet, and place multiples of that sheet as subsheets in your schematic, you can have Altium generate rooms for those duplicated sheets.  Then once you have one room laid out, you can copy the layout and routing to the other rooms.  This works quite well when the duplicated section is fairly complicated and you have the space on the board to have all of the sections laid out identically, but it can be a bit of a pain if you need to have slight variations in layout.  Also, the designators tend to get unwieldy because of the way Altium handles annotation of duplicated sheets.

If I've got a fairly small bit of layout I want to duplicate a couple of times, I usually just filter the tracks+vias+polygons, copy and paste, and then snap component pads to the ends of tracks to get the parts placed correctly.  Then D,N,U to fix the net assignments, or even just delete and re-paste the routing copper and let it pick up the right nets from the component pads.

If a lot of your nets are the same from one section to the next, you can also "Paste Special" (Ctrl+Alt+V) and check 'keep net names'.

For manually  correcting net associations, there are several useful tools under Edit->Select, E,S,P: Select connected copper, E,S,C: select connection, E,S,L: Select connection on single layer.
 

Offline Mikekoz13

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Re: How do you best copy tracks for many identical sub circuits?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2017, 06:42:57 AM »
Another vote for rooms. One of the nice things about rooms is that if you later have changes you make the changes in one room and then update all of the other rooms in literally seconds.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: How do you best copy tracks for many identical sub circuits?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 06:53:24 AM »
rooms and channel design. then simply replicate the channels.
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 


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