Author Topic: Multiple PCB in Diptrace  (Read 4608 times)

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Offline beng

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Multiple PCB in Diptrace
« on: May 16, 2015, 01:22:55 pm »
G'day All,
I am a complete beginner with Diptrace, but I am  finding it is really intuitive, with little need to refer to the Tutorial PDF.

However I am wondering how to handle a new project that consists of a Motherboard and 3x Daughterboards.
I know that Diptrace doesn't (yet) link together files into projects like say Eagle does.
But is there a way to keep things consistent between boards? In the project I plan to use a set of Arduino style Male/Female headers to mount each board on top of the other and share a common bus.

So I am assuming I should simply create the 4x schematics in one file and link them with buses? And the same with the PCBs, just use one file with 4x layouts on it ?
I thought I would ask before diving in and discovering many hours later there was a better way to do it .....  ::)


Rgds Ben
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Multiple PCB in Diptrace
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 04:50:33 pm »
In theory and it could become quite troublesome in the end you could do it all on one set of files. You could use a single sheet schematic or have each individual board on a separate sheet it does not really make any difference. But you would need to use separate ground and power symbols so that the ground between the boards do not need routine together. So if you created custom ground symbols they will not get electrically connected so they could be separately rooted later.

I'm not entirely sure though if you can have more than one board in the PCB layout side of things.

Of course any labels for things like pin headers between boards would have to be different so I did not link across the boards.

All in all it would be a lot easier to treat them as separate boards and separate schematics. There's no reason why this should cause you any problem in fact it would be easier.
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Offline beng

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Re: Multiple PCB in Diptrace
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 04:58:14 pm »
Thanks for your reply Simon. I think you are right. For some reason I thought I would have trouble if the headers were not "linked" but of course all I need to do is document them! :-)

Rgds Ben
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Multiple PCB in Diptrace
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 05:04:00 pm »
Well there is nothing to stop you calling them by the same names. In fact you can even use the same schematic references as there will be no collision because they are not in the same file
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Offline Kremmen

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Re: Multiple PCB in Diptrace
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2015, 09:25:52 pm »
One thing that could make life easier is, if you create a pseudo component of the headers doing the interconnection. That way you are guaranteed to have the correct pin spacings on each board so they actually fit together.
Additionally, with careful coordinate origin placement, you can ensure that the pin arrays are laid out on the boards where you really want them to be. Like, if all the boards have exactly the same dimensions, then the pin array X and Y coordinates in the Property dialog should match on all boards.
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Offline beng

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Re: Multiple PCB in Diptrace
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2015, 11:44:28 pm »
Thanks Kremmen that's also a great tip.

I sorta hacked that, by using 20 pin headers in the schematic (and created all the modules in the one schematic.)
I then separated them out enough so the Rat lines only wanted to route via those connectors.

Then when it came to the PCB's I created a new file for each module, attached the schematic and deleted the groups of components etc I did not want.
This way when I updated the schematic, the components I had laid out on the PCB would update(ie change components and/or numbering etc) and it would import the "unused" ones to the side, making them pretty easy to delete again.
Plus it allows me to colour code Nets all the way through the layout makining it much easier to follow.

So it certainly works or my limited requirements, and is not that cumbersome either.

Really happy with the way Diptrace works, I doubt I will be returning to Eagle (except to import/export)  :D

Thanks for everyone's help!

CHeers Ben
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Multiple PCB in Diptrace
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2015, 11:47:03 pm »
Nothing stopping you from making a custom symbol and footprint, might look a bit ugly on the schematic though but again you could still draw them as separates and keep them to one side with new labels on them
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop New stock now in of EEVblog Brymen 235 and uCurrent Gold, Now selling a selection of Probe Master probes
 


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