Author Topic: Is anyone using DesignSpark  (Read 52167 times)

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Offline DerekG

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #50 on: May 12, 2015, 01:09:27 am »
Been playing with the latest version for about a week of evenings and it looks pretty good to me .........it may be worth taking another look now.
Cheers, Bob.

Thanks Bob.

Take your time to see how you get on making components that are not RS website. It used to be a real pain in the a*se to make your own component ........ plus doing your own 3D modelling hardly/didn't work at the best of times.

Also before you spend too much time with DesignSpark, take a look at DipTrace, Target 3001 & Proteus. The pin limited versions of all of these are pretty cheap & I would prefer to use any of these over the previous version of DesignSpark anyday.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2015, 08:20:24 am »
Been playing with the latest version for about a week of evenings and it looks pretty good to me .........it may be worth taking another look now.
Cheers, Bob.

Thanks Bob.

Take your time to see how you get on making components that are not RS website. It used to be a real pain in the a*se to make your own component ........ plus doing your own 3D modelling hardly/didn't work at the best of times.

Also before you spend too much time with DesignSpark, take a look at DipTrace, Target 3001 & Proteus. The pin limited versions of all of these are pretty cheap & I would prefer to use any of these over the previous version of DesignSpark anyday.

I use DesignSparkPCB simply because it doesn't have any artificial limitations, and initially because of the RS library. The RS library wasn't as useful as I hoped, so I ended up making most of my components' layouts - which I found easy and intuitive. N.B I haven't tried anything w.r.t. 3D modelling.

I now run it in Linux under Wine, so I don't even have to boot into Windoze any more.

FFI, https://entertaininghacks.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/designing-pcbs-with-surface-mount-components/
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline DerekG

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2015, 09:13:48 am »
FFI, https://entertaininghacks.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/designing-pcbs-with-surface-mount-components/

Nice board. It would be worth updating all the 90 degree track angles for 45 degrees. When using thin tracks, 90 degree bends can cause etchant pooling in the corners which leads to breaks occurring.

Just a pointer if you are thinking of making production numbers.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2015, 09:23:04 am »
FFI, https://entertaininghacks.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/designing-pcbs-with-surface-mount-components/
Nice board.
Thanks. I regarded it as a quick'n'dirty hack to explore the entire process of modern SMD boards, since fabrication technology had changed a bit since I did my last homebrew boards (see https://entertaininghacks.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/a-40-year-old-hack-disinterred/ :) )

The whole experience wasn't bad but there were a few wrinkles, as outlined in these posts: https://entertaininghacks.wordpress.com/tag/smd/

Quote
It would be worth updating all the 90 degree track angles for 45 degrees. When using thin tracks, 90 degree bends can cause etchant pooling in the corners which leads to breaks occurring.

Just a pointer if you are thinking of making production numbers.

Just so, and absolutely not :) Besides, using the ridiculously cheap Chinese board houses highlighted other grosser problems - but I will continue to use them where appropriate.

More interestingly my next boards will have sample rates up to 2GS/s, so impedance control will be key.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2015, 12:07:05 pm »
Giving it a whirl this week. Absolute hell on earth so far. The potential is there to be awesome and well integrated with RS (who is who I order through 99.999% of the time already), but it fails so hard at every corner. I feel like I'm getting what I paid for haha.
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #55 on: May 13, 2015, 12:17:00 pm »
Also, am I far beyond sleep deprived, or is there a quirk where diodes mysteriously change direction from schematic to PCB? I don't know whether it's a fault in Modelsource or what, but on the board I'm laying out right now every single diode is in the correct direction on the schematic, but has its markings reversed on the PCB. Good thing I'll be assembling myself, that'd let the smoke out pretty quick if nobody caught it.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #56 on: May 13, 2015, 02:48:40 pm »
Also, am I far beyond sleep deprived, ...

In which case it might be better to wait before fabbing (or posting) :) We've all had mornings where we wish we had gone home two hours earlier the previous night.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Bob F.

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #57 on: May 13, 2015, 11:19:43 pm »
Take your time to see how you get on making components that are not RS website. It used to be a real pain in the a*se to make your own component ........ plus doing your own 3D modelling hardly/didn't work at the best of times.

Also before you spend too much time with DesignSpark, take a look at DipTrace, Target 3001 & Proteus. The pin limited versions of all of these are pretty cheap & I would prefer to use any of these over the previous version of DesignSpark anyday.

Yes, that is a good plan - no point rushing at it.  I used OrCad a bit in the distant past and I was not a fan - but that was dictated by job requirements so choosing one I don't end up hating will be worth the time taken  :)

Cheers, Bob.
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2015, 03:39:46 am »
Also, am I far beyond sleep deprived, ...

In which case it might be better to wait before fabbing (or posting) :) We've all had mornings where we wish we had gone home two hours earlier the previous night.

That was more of a polite courtesy/joke. It wasn't a sleep thing, it was a Designspark thing. Diode markings were indeed reversed between schematic and board and I couldn't find a way to correct the mistake in the program (I guess I'll have to edit the parts manually but I haven't had time yet). They were diodes from Modelsource, next time I'm working in DS I'll try some other diodes and see if it happens with others.
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #59 on: May 23, 2015, 08:35:18 pm »
Diode markings were indeed reversed between schematic and board and I couldn't find a way to correct the mistake in the program

Zener diodes are normally installed in "reverse". Did you choose a zener instead?

Also, you have to allocate the anode & the cathode to each side of the diode in your "pin allocation map". It might be that this allocation is reversed.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2015, 03:27:23 am »
Design had a Zener and a couple plain old diodes, same problem with all. I think you're missing the point with the reverse thing, it's not confusion over which way diodes work.

Imagine there's a diode between point A and point B. On my schematic the anode is at point A and cathode is point B. As soon as I switch over to the PCB, the anode is now connected to point B and cathode to point A.

Thanks for he pin allocation tip, I'll check it out. Still, why on earth would the program be designed that way??!! Why wouldn't it just default to following what was drawn on the schematic?
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2015, 04:01:02 am »
Why wouldn't it just default to following what was drawn on the schematic?

The component "drawing" means little to DesignSpark. As far as it's concerned, it is just a combination of lines that have no intrinsic value.

What does matter is the number of pins & the pin numbers. It sounds like the pin mapping between the schematic part & the footprint have been reversed.

Let's hope so, as it is a quick remedy to swap them over.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2015, 04:08:00 am »
Why wouldn't it just default to following what was drawn on the schematic?

The component "drawing" means little to DesignSpark. As far as it's concerned, it is just a combination of lines that have no intrinsic value.



That seems like a MASSIVE oversight to me.

Curiosity has got me now, I'm going to boot up the system and try this pin assignment thing. I'm also going to see if it happens with default library components (as I said before, these were parts from Modelsource so that could be the issue, I know the symbols for the op amps I've used from there are a joke)
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2015, 04:50:36 am »
Well, as the tree said to the lumberjack...

Opened up that last project and sure enough everything is assigned properly pin wise, but symbols are definitely inconsistent between schematic and board. Standard Designspark diodes work as they should though when I added them as a test, while the original Modelsource ones are messed up.

So out of curiosity I started a new project and added default Designspark diodes as well as the same Modelsource diodes used in the other project. Works fricken perfectly. Maybe I'm going crazy, or it's user error, right? So I open the original project back up and delete the traces to the diodes in question to see if I've somehow manually routed wrong (I know I didn't, because I remember majorly getting the shits about the symbols when I was routing and posting this rant, but let's assume I'm an idiot and messed up). Nope, the thing is still telling me to route them backwards. There is definitely something wrong here.

Ahh, the joys of software.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2015, 07:53:38 am »
Well, as the tree said to the lumberjack...

Opened up that last project and sure enough everything is assigned properly pin wise, but symbols are definitely inconsistent between schematic and board. Standard Designspark diodes work as they should though when I added them as a test, while the original Modelsource ones are messed up.

So out of curiosity I started a new project and added default Designspark diodes as well as the same Modelsource diodes used in the other project. Works fricken perfectly. Maybe I'm going crazy, or it's user error, right? So I open the original project back up and delete the traces to the diodes in question to see if I've somehow manually routed wrong (I know I didn't, because I remember majorly getting the shits about the symbols when I was routing and posting this rant, but let's assume I'm an idiot and messed up). Nope, the thing is still telling me to route them backwards. There is definitely something wrong here.

Ahh, the joys of software.
... including models :( I remember, back in 1982 being asked to quote to freate HiLo models of 74xx devices. The client really, seriously, didn't care about their accuracy or correctness. The client was a salesman which a large sale pending on whether or not the simulator had 74xx devices. I think you can guess the rest.

Back to the present. You've piqued my interest. Can you let us know the precise modelsource model so that I can attempt to verify it? Probably necessary to have the Designspark version, although I'm not going to change my version.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #65 on: May 25, 2015, 02:46:14 am »
Haha, oh man, sounds like a nightmare!

Sure, the diodes are RS part numbers 7087916 and 2513069. I'm in DS 7.0.2.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #66 on: May 25, 2015, 08:59:54 am »
Haha, oh man, sounds like a nightmare!
No, not at all. We simply declined to quote.

Quote
Sure, the diodes are RS part numbers 7087916 and 2513069. I'm in DS 7.0.2.

Using DS 6.x, have a look at the attached schematic and pcb files.

It looks OK to me, apart from the lack of the schottky and zener diode indications on the schematic. That's unnecessarily sloppy to be true, but I don't see a connectivity error.

I'm not overly fond of the diode picture on the pcb, and would prefer that it was inside the outline, but it is pointing in the right direction.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 09:02:22 am by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #67 on: May 27, 2015, 09:08:47 am »
Yeah it worked fine for me too in try fresh test project I created, weird. Still wrong in my original project though, so I don't know, some kind of data corruption maybe? Thanks for double checking mate.

I'm about to lay out another board with those same parts, let's see how this goes.
 

Offline Wizard

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Re: Is anyone using DesignSpark
« Reply #68 on: September 08, 2015, 02:27:21 am »
Installed it (easy enough on Win 8) added 3D lib (what I wanted in first place) and tryed it out  :( (now what was that part number?). What a disapointment that I can't search for SRAM, EEPROM, or Regulator. You have to know what the part number is that you want to use and I CAN'T/WONT keep that many numbers in my head so, it's back to Eagle for me   :)
 


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