Author Topic: Are there any Altium books available?  (Read 23255 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jason Long

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 28
  • Country: us
Are there any Altium books available?
« on: July 07, 2012, 05:16:22 am »
Yes, I know there are plenty of online resources and YouTube videos out there, but I still prefer to learn the basics from a good book. Something that starts off walking through a simple pcb design and progresses gradually into more advanced topics.

The online stuff is great for picking up new tips and tricks or finding answers to specific questions but it's a pain in the ass to cobble all the bits and pieces together to form a good foundation... Especially when you don't even know what you really to create that foundation.
 

Offline Psi

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7367
  • Country: nz
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 07:17:00 am »
The best thing you could read/learn for altium designer would be a keyboard shortcut list.
There's enough of them to fill a small book :) hehe
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7241
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 04:09:21 pm »
the easy way tolearnthe keyboard shortcuts is to keep an eye on thestatus bar. when in a command itcycles thepossibilities right there.

and for most of the commands it is very logical
Place Part PP
Place Track P T
Place String P S
Place Line  PL
Place Wire

my favorites are EMG and ENU
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Jason Long

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 28
  • Country: us
Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 06:09:50 pm »
Short cuts don't help when you don't know how, why, when or where to use them...

I'm trying to learn the software from scratch. It's tough to put it all together when you don't even know what it is that you don't know.

That's why I like books with hands on lessons that take you, start to finish on a simple project and introduce all of the necessary tools along the way.

And, for the record... I have found the shortcuts list. It in the Help menus at the bottom right of the screen...
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7241
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012, 06:21:17 pm »
Here's a question :
how many problems are you trying to tackle ?
learning a pcb tool is 1 problem. learning how to do a layout is another ....

afaik there are no books about altium. they have the on-line wiki and training video's available.

What specifically do you have problems with ?
creating projects ?
adding sheets ?
connecting sheets ?
parts and library management ?
pushing desing to pcb ?


most of it is straightforward
new project
add schematic
add pcb
place parts , place wires , ports netnames
push to pcb

if the libraries arecorrect thefootprints will appear..
and then it's a matter of placing parts , rotating and routing.

give us a bit more info what are the problems you are experiencing ?
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Jason Long

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 28
  • Country: us
Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 08:52:42 pm »
No real specific problems per se... I've been able to figure out how to get over hurdles as I get to them and working on very simple things is helping with that. For example, I'm in the process of building an adapter board to allow me to place a LTC3785 (4mm x 4mm qnf package) on a breadboard... 1 ic and 2 header strips...

My problem is that I'm new to this. About 7 months ago I decided that I needed a new hobby and decided that I was going to start playing around w electronics. It didn't take very long to realize that to make anything useful (and get it off the breadboard) I was going to have to start designing my own pcbs.

In short, I've never used any pcb/sch software before. I'm not a professional EE. In fact, to say that I'm a hobbyist at this point would be an insult to most hobbyists... That said, I'm pretty good at figuring things out and I'm just looking for the best way to ease the learning curve.

Yes I fully acknowledge that Altium is overkill for what I'm doing but if I'm going to take the time time learn a software package, I want it to be one that I'll still want to use 10 years from now.
 

Offline dfnr2

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 228
  • Country: us
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 02:06:31 am »
Well, if you're really lost on this, then you're probably better of with Altium than with just about all the "hobby" eCAD software.  I learned Altium by just starting to use it for a project, and it was not so terrible.  My take was the opposite: I want a dry reference that is comprehensive, organized, cross-referenced, and indexed.  Altium has no such thing.  It does have great tutorials, though. 

I know you would prefer a book, and I like those too, but no such thing exists.  Altium also has a course for which they make all the materials available for free on line as PDF's.  It's pretty straightforward and not intimidating at all.  That will serve as a pretty thorough tutorial as well.  If you must have a book, then get an iPad, and flip through the tutorial documents and wiki there.  Or, print out the course PDFs and put them in a 3-ring binder.  I would bet that's how they hand them out in the class. 
 
Don't worry, despite being quite powerful, for what you want to do, it's actually easier to learn than most other eCAD systems, and once you know it, you will likely be more productive as well.
 

Offline Jason Long

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 28
  • Country: us
Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 02:29:42 am »
That's exactly what I'm doing. I've pulled all of the tutorial PDFs and loaded them into I books. I think that by going through each of them sequentially will get me the foundation I'm looking for.

FYI: Just finished my 1st Atlium project and my first DIY PCB... (If a little adapter board counts)
 

Offline moto

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 08:17:26 pm »
So the real question is, does anyone see a market for a book. I am about half way through a tutorial/reference/handbook for Altium that I originally started for my company so I didn't have to teach everyone and would love to hear peoples comments if they would buy something like that.
Thanks!
 

Offline Jason Long

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 28
  • Country: us
Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 01:05:13 am »
Can't speak for anyone else, but I'd pick up a copy... Assuming the price was reasonable.
 

Offline moto

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2012, 01:12:24 am »
Thanks Jason-
I guess I was thinking keeping under $50...how does that sound.
Ideally, I would actually do one for closer to $25 and have it more specific to PCB layout and design and less heavy on the FPGA stuff....maybe leave that for another guide/edition.

The topics I would like to focus on would be 2D/3D part creation, schematic navigation, PCB routing, and building/managing libraries. Anything else anyone would like to see touched on...

The topics I know that I am leaving out would be: Simulation and FPGA.

Thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 

Offline moto

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2012, 01:16:11 am »
Another thought I just had today was trying to get active feedback for a reward ($$) if you caught a mistake or starting a list of the most important tips you can think of before a first edition, and anyone who submits helpful information will receive a discount of the first copy. I would try to make this as all inclusive and correct as I could, and with how tricky Altium can be, it sure would be nice to get some group effort and I would be happy to reward your efforts...just a thought.
Thanks again!
 

Offline cwalex

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 302
  • Country: au
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2012, 01:03:08 pm »
I would buy a copy. Have you thought about selling it through lulu.com ?
 

Offline moto

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2012, 01:04:44 pm »
I will definitely check it out.
Like I said, I hadn't really thought to much about selling it because I was going to basically just do it for people at work...but yesterday got me thinking about making it more comprehensive and getting it out on the market.
Thanks!
 

Offline Jason Long

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 28
  • Country: us
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2012, 03:13:07 pm »
My suggestion would be to split it into two editions (or maybe even 3).

The 1st would be a beginners level book that could quickly get a new user up to speed creating libraries, components, footprints, schematics, board layout, the basics of 3D bodies and output files. Maybe even a section on getting the necessary PDF outputs for DIY home etching, using toner transfer and/or UV exposure.
Basically everything that a beginner or hobbyist would need to output a DIY board. What Dave would refer to as the 90% crowd.

The "Advanced"books could get into the FPGA design , other advanced topics and the necessary inputs and  outputs for commercial/mass production, including BOM.
 

Offline moto

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2012, 03:14:29 pm »
Great suggestion Jason-
I like that a lot actually.
Thanks!
 

Offline Jason Long

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 28
  • Country: us
Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2012, 04:44:17 pm »
My suggestion, at least for the "beginners book" would be to follow the format used by Charles Platt in Make: Electronics.
It's an outstanding format.
It's based on a series of hands on experiments that start off extremely simple (the 1st experiment is licking a 9V battery) and steadily progresses into more advanced topics.
Each chapter starts off by giving you a list of everything you'll need to complete the experiments in that chapter.
From there you go straight into that hands on part of the experiment. It's not until you've actually completed the experiment that you are given the full explanation of what you've done and why it works the way it does.

If you're serious about writing this book, i'd seriously recommend that you grab a copy. As an experienced circuit designer, I'm sure the actual experiments won't be overly interesting to you, but the format and structure of the book should get the wheels turning for you.

The reason I suggested the inclusion of DIY output files is the fact that there is something remarkably satisfying and rewarding about being able to create a design and produce it in real life and see it actually work. Simply seeing the completed board on the computer monitor doesn't have the same effect...

So... Starting your book off with a simple design that uses through hole components that the reader can print, etch hand solder would make everything more real.

Obviously you'd want to cover QFN & BGA type packages at some point, but making "most" of the designs hand solderable (I would consider anything with exposed leads to be hand solderable) would allow the reader to turn the designs into something real... And, at the end of the day, that's why we want to learn the software in the 1st place!

Even the pros probably wouldn't send book examples to a board house to prototype them in real life. An employer may go for that option for their people who are going through your "Advanced" book, but probably not for the beginner one. 
 

Offline moto

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2012, 04:50:41 pm »
You are awesome Jason, thanks, I will check it out for sure!
 

Offline dfnr2

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 228
  • Country: us
Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 04:48:01 pm »
I would be interested in a book as well, but I'd be interested In advanced schematic capture and layout, as well as good library management, svndblibs, etc; effective 3D design, BOM and part management, classes, design rules, and scripting. stuff that separates Altium from Eagle or Diptrace even of you're not into high speed or FPGA design. Also, it would be great to have a book that holds up as a reference when you're done with tutorials. I'd pay well over $50 for that.
 

Offline moto

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 04:51:36 pm »
great! Thanks for that info, I will definitely keep it in mind!
I truly do appreciate all the feedback!
 

Offline cerrem

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2012, 09:37:12 pm »
Hi, I am new to group...
I would definitely be interested in such as book.....
It would be usefull...
I have read months worth of ALtium documentation as well as watched a ton of video tutorials......and I have learned more in 3 hours of "monkeying" with Altium on my own.... If this gives you any idea how useless I find thier documentation.....

Chris
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7241
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2012, 01:04:43 am »
the question is what you are trying to learn ...

PCB design ?
altium ?
how to do pcb design using altium...

For the last one you need to know the first one first ...
altium in itself is easy. in an hour you can learn where most stuff is. And then you can set it up for your project. but to feed it the information you need to know what is involved in making a board. Where to enter the numbers is one thing... what the numbers are is another thing...
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline ben_r_

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 411
  • Country: us
  • A Real Nowhere Man
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2013, 05:08:29 pm »
Sorry to bump an old thread, but did anything ever come of this? Why are there still no books for Altium?
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!
 

Offline senso

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 882
  • Country: pt
    • My AVR tutorials
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2013, 11:00:38 pm »
Because its everything in the Altium help, wiki, and forums, and that the real knowledge is passed by the great gray beards(like Free_electron that can do anything in altium with 3 button presses )
 

Offline ben_r_

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 411
  • Country: us
  • A Real Nowhere Man
Re: Are there any Altium books available?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2013, 05:41:24 pm »
Because its everything in the Altium help, wiki, and forums, and that the real knowledge is passed by the great gray beards(like Free_electron that can do anything in altium with 3 button presses )
Well yea, but how is that different than any other program on the market? Everything from AutoCAD and SolidWorks to MS Office and HTML have many books out despite all the info being readily available on the net and people around you using it. Its just nice to have a long, consolidated walk through that a book can provide and Im very surprised there isnt one for Altium.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf