Author Topic: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol  (Read 5082 times)

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Offline DrGeoff

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Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« on: January 11, 2018, 06:12:06 am »
I was looking into this as a potential replacement for my now aging Protel 99SE software.
One thing with Protel is the limitation of only being able to attach 4 PCB footprints to a schematic symbol.
This is a pain with things like resistors, electro caps etc, where there may be many footprints available for a particular component type.
I could not find any documentation describing how many patterns could be allocated to a schematic component.
I have not installed the demo version yet, as I want to spend time running through the tutorials with it.

Could any users shed light on this?
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 06:48:38 am »
in Diptrace you have symbols and you have patterns. a component is a symbol + a pattern.
so if you want a 0603 resistor, that's a component with the resistor symbol and the 0603 pattern
a 0805 resistor will be another component with the same resistor symbol but the 0805 pattern.

so.. you can't do what you are asking (single component, multiple patterns) directly, but you are always free to change the pattern of a component (or all components) inside a design, rou don't have to explicitely replace the part
 

Offline MarkF

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 06:52:49 am »
Basically, you can have as many as you like.

In the Diptrace component library, each part name must be unique within a library but it's schematic symbol can be identical to another component (copied or redrawn when building the component).  Then it's PCB footprint assigned from a pattern library.

It's not one symbol with many patterns.  It's one symbol to one pattern.  But you can copy that same symbol many times with a different name and assign it a different pattern.

In your example for resistors and capacitors, the provided discrete SMD component library name is RES + the package size appended.  You build your custom user components and patterns in a similar fashion.  See screen capture:
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 06:55:40 am by MarkF »
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 06:56:51 am »
OK, thanks.
I'll have to consider this.
It means the schematic library will rapidly be bloated once the IC footprints go in for SMD and DIP version of each, plus SMD and through-hole version of many capacitor types.
This may make it unusable in a practical sense. Pity.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 07:12:01 am »
you see the potential issue!
However, in my own libraries i only add the component i'm actually going to use. if i have to change the pattern for whatever reason it's just a couple of clicks
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 08:02:27 am »
I have extensive protel libs that I will have to replicate and many hundreds of active designs that will also have to be brought across before retiring protel.
As you can imagine, the components in use are many and varied, however the migration could be done over a period of time.
Migrating between CAD systems is never a pretty picture!
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 01:10:18 pm »
I have extensive protel libs that I will have to replicate and many hundreds of active designs that will also have to be brought across before retiring protel.

You can directly import Protel netlists & PCBs into the DipTrace PCB module.

You can directly import Altium files into DipTrace Schematic & DipTrace PCB.

Quote
As you can imagine, the components in use are many and varied, however the migration could be done over a period of time.

I moved over from Altium to DipTrace some 3 years ago. It was one of the best decisions I have made in recent years.

ADDED: DipTrace allows you to set up your own keyboard shortcuts. This is great as it means you can replicate most of your Protel keyboard shortcuts to speed up your leaning curve.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:12:51 pm by DerekG »
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Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 11:14:40 pm »
I have extensive protel libs that I will have to replicate and many hundreds of active designs that will also have to be brought across before retiring protel.

You can directly import Protel netlists & PCBs into the DipTrace PCB module.

You can directly import Altium files into DipTrace Schematic & DipTrace PCB.

Quote
As you can imagine, the components in use are many and varied, however the migration could be done over a period of time.

I moved over from Altium to DipTrace some 3 years ago. It was one of the best decisions I have made in recent years.

ADDED: DipTrace allows you to set up your own keyboard shortcuts. This is great as it means you can replicate most of your Protel keyboard shortcuts to speed up your leaning curve.

Thanks Derek. It certainly looks impressive as a replacement.
Can you tell me more about the migration from Protel to DipTrace?

How is the import achieved if the PCB footprint and schematic symbol used in Protel is not present in Diptrace?
I'm assuming that the PCB and schematic symbol libs cannot be imported into DipTrace, since the library mechanisms are different.
So we'd need symbols of some sort for the netlists to connect to.

Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 12:51:08 am »
Altium 18 allows you to bind many (more than 4) footprint options to one component.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 01:01:17 am »
Altium 18 allows you to bind many (more than 4) footprint options to one component.

I don't have Altium 18 here, and given the crazy pricing I doubt I would ever bother.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 01:17:28 am »
Can you tell me more about the migration from Protel to DipTrace?

The Protel netlist can be imported into the DipTrace PCB module by selecting:
File
Import
Protel netlist

I have not tried to import a Protel schematic directly as no import filter is listed, however you can use the 30 day free trial of Altium, convert the Protel schematic into the Altium ASCII format, then open that directly in DipTrace.

Like Protel, you can highlight each component in your workspace & add them to your personal DipTrace library. I'm not aware of any automatic way to do this. This works for both the schematic & PCB modules.

Quote
How is the import achieved if the PCB footprint and schematic symbol used in Protel is not present in Diptrace?

Using the import methods I have described above, the components are accurately reproduced in DipTrace. You just need to highlight each component & individually add them to your personal DipTrace library. When adding it to the library you will need to give it a name etc.

When importing Protel PCBs into DipTrace, your original layout is preserved.

Be aware that the supplied DipTrace libraries are "locked" for security reasons. You cannot add new components to them & you cannot modify the components within them. You can however (with 2 clicks) send a component to your own personal library & modify it to your heart's content.

My advice would be to add a pile of your components into your Protel workspace, then import them into DipTrace, then add them to your personal DipTrace library one by one.

I was (still am) dissatisfied with Altium Designer not long after Protel moved across to Altium. I tried out about a dozen alternative packages over some 13 or 14 years before deciding to move over to DipTrace (which became very usable once ver 2.4 was released).
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 01:30:43 am »
Can you tell me more about the migration from Protel to DipTrace?

The Protel netlist can be imported into the DipTrace PCB module by selecting:
File
Import
Protel netlist

I have not tried to import a Protel schematic directly as no import filter is listed, however you can use the 30 day free trial of Altium, convert the Protel schematic into the Altium ASCII format, then open that directly in DipTrace.

Like Protel, you can highlight each component in your workspace & add them to your personal DipTrace library. I'm not aware of any automatic way to do this. This works for both the schematic & PCB modules.

Quote
How is the import achieved if the PCB footprint and schematic symbol used in Protel is not present in Diptrace?

Using the import methods I have described above, the components are accurately reproduced in DipTrace. You just need to highlight each component & individually add them to your personal DipTrace library. When adding it to the library you will need to give it a name etc.

When importing Protel PCBs into DipTrace, your original layout is preserved.

Be aware that the supplied DipTrace libraries are "locked" for security reasons. You cannot add new components to them & you cannot modify the components within them. You can however (with 2 clicks) send a component to your own personal library & modify it to your heart's content.

My advice would be to add a pile of your components into your Protel workspace, then import them into DipTrace, then add them to your personal DipTrace library one by one.

I was (still am) dissatisfied with Altium Designer not long after Protel moved across to Altium. I tried out about a dozen alternative packages over some 13 or 14 years before deciding to move over to DipTrace (which became very usable once ver 2.4 was released).

Thanks for this, it clarifies a few things. I hope to try out the trial version of diptrace to test the migration in a week or two.
I've used many packages since moving from red/blue 2:1 tape to CAD, from Mentor Graphics, Orcad, Cadstar, Pads, Protel, Altium Designer. Always gravitated back to Protel 99SE for some reason.
However, since it is long not supported and almost 20 years old I expect it to stop working one day with the rounds of Win10 updates. Hence the search for something suitable to replace it.
I saw some of the video tutorials for DipTrace and it looked quite usable.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 02:04:40 am »
However, since it (Protel 99SE) is long not supported and almost 20 years old I expect it to stop working one day with the rounds of Win10 updates.

I would certainly recommend the move to DipTrace, however as long as you have a legitimate copy of Windows 3.1 / Windows 7 etc, you can run Protel 99SE under VMware easy peasy.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 
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Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 03:31:12 am »
Can you tell me more about the migration from Protel to DipTrace?

The Protel netlist can be imported into the DipTrace PCB module by selecting:
File
Import
Protel netlist

I have not tried to import a Protel schematic directly as no import filter is listed, however you can use the 30 day free trial of Altium, convert the Protel schematic into the Altium ASCII format, then open that directly in DipTrace.

Like Protel, you can highlight each component in your workspace & add them to your personal DipTrace library. I'm not aware of any automatic way to do this. This works for both the schematic & PCB modules.

Quote
How is the import achieved if the PCB footprint and schematic symbol used in Protel is not present in Diptrace?

Using the import methods I have described above, the components are accurately reproduced in DipTrace. You just need to highlight each component & individually add them to your personal DipTrace library. When adding it to the library you will need to give it a name etc.

When importing Protel PCBs into DipTrace, your original layout is preserved.

Be aware that the supplied DipTrace libraries are "locked" for security reasons. You cannot add new components to them & you cannot modify the components within them. You can however (with 2 clicks) send a component to your own personal library & modify it to your heart's content.

My advice would be to add a pile of your components into your Protel workspace, then import them into DipTrace, then add them to your personal DipTrace library one by one.

I was (still am) dissatisfied with Altium Designer not long after Protel moved across to Altium. I tried out about a dozen alternative packages over some 13 or 14 years before deciding to move over to DipTrace (which became very usable once ver 2.4 was released).

I started the DipTrace evaluation. Working through creating a simple past design to replicate what I had in Protel. So far it's quite impressive.
As far as PCB libraries go, I put a handful of symbols from the Protel PCB lib onto a PCB and exported as PCAD2000, which imported nicely into the DipTrace PCB editor.

I have created a User library to add the symbols to. Then I selected once of the footprints and, using Edit->Properties, selected the user library.
Clicking 'Update Component' brings up an error (that the pattern could not be found in the library).

I could not find any other way to insert them into the library at this stage. I wondered if you had tried it or had a way to take a pattern in a PCB layout and make a library pattern out of it?
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 04:23:59 am »
I wondered if you had tried it or had a way to take a pattern in a PCB layout and make a library pattern out of it?

I'm leaving for work very shortly - so a very quick reply.

Highlight the component, then right click on it. You will be given some options. You may have to "Ungroup the component" first.

You may then have to highlight it & regroup it again in DipTrace PCB. DipTrace may assign some different properties to it by this process.

Right clicking again, there is an option to then save to a library file. Make sure you choose the pcb library style.

You might have to save it to a new library file (not the one you created). Do this, then export the components from their individual files into the main library you have already created.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2018, 09:11:41 pm »
OK, thanks.
I'll have to consider this.
It means the schematic library will rapidly be bloated once the IC footprints go in for SMD and DIP version of each, plus SMD and through-hole version of many capacitor types.
This may make it unusable in a practical sense. Pity.

I understand and agree with this being an annoying shortfall, that you'll get in most PCB packages.

But you have to realize that the general case is not so simple at all. Of course it seems so for simple passives. But in the general case, a lot of components (especially ICs) have different pinout for different packages, so the symbols themselves may be different in that way. So in the end, it would be very close to having one symbol/one footprint anyway.

That could be better dealt with by using more sophisticated database structures for storing and retrieving them though, for instance by being able to group parts as "variants" of a single part.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2018, 09:54:22 pm »
OK, thanks.
I'll have to consider this.
It means the schematic library will rapidly be bloated once the IC footprints go in for SMD and DIP version of each, plus SMD and through-hole version of many capacitor types.
This may make it unusable in a practical sense. Pity.

I understand and agree with this being an annoying shortfall, that you'll get in most PCB packages.

But you have to realize that the general case is not so simple at all. Of course it seems so for simple passives. But in the general case, a lot of components (especially ICs) have different pinout for different packages, so the symbols themselves may be different in that way. So in the end, it would be very close to having one symbol/one footprint anyway.

That could be better dealt with by using more sophisticated database structures for storing and retrieving them though, for instance by being able to group parts as "variants" of a single part.

It's not really as cumbersome as I had thought it would be.
It is possible to create schematic symbols without a pattern attached, and attach the pattern at the schematic drawing time, which is what would happen with Protel anyway.
So a simple non-polarised capacitor, for example, can be placed and have the appropriate PCB footprint symbol assigned when it is placed into the schematic.

I spent a bit of time on the weekend building up some PCB and schematic libraries from my Protel libs and managed to redraw an existing design up quite quickly. Now in PCB layout stage whcih will attempt to replicate the existing, working layout. So far it has worked extremely well and I would see it as a viable replacement for Protel.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2018, 02:47:13 am »
Completed the PCB layout OK. Created gerbers and drill file which look OK. No problems with using the layout editor, just coming to terms with different shortcuts.

Not sure if it is possible, however in the schematic editor it would be nice to be able to create your own title block and sheet frame (I used a custom sheet design in Protel for all schematics).
Anyone know if this is possible or is it just the built-in ones for now?

Also, in PCB printout, I could not see any way to select the layers, orders or colours for the printout (I used greyscales for specific layers in Protel). Is it possible in the current version?

Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2018, 03:55:57 am »
Completed the PCB layout OK. Created gerbers and drill file which look OK. No problems with using the layout editor, just coming to terms with different shortcuts.

Great. Remember that you can replicate many of the Protel keyboard shortcuts by setting up your own:
TOOLS
HOTKEY SETTINGS

Quote
in the schematic editor it would be nice to be able to create your own title block and sheet frame (I used a custom sheet design in Protel for all schematics).
Anyone know if this is possible or is it just the built-in ones for now?

Yes, all do-able as you ask:
FILE
TITLES and SHEET SETUP
TITLE BLOCK EDITOR

Give your new title block a name & then choose what you want to be included in it. It is fully custom-able so make what you want. This applies in the PCB module as well as the schematic module :)

Quote
Also, in PCB printout, I could not see any way to select the layers, orders or colours for the printout (I used greyscales for specific layers in Protel). Is it possible in the current version?

To ensure you fit the entire PCB onto your printed sheet, go to:
FILE
PREVIEW
then click on the "four arrows" symbol on the top menu bar. This now lets you grab your entire PCB & position it where you want it on the printed sheet. Adjust "Scale" & "Print to Scale" so that the PCB ends up covering the size on the sheet you desire.

Note that on the same top menu bar, there is:
PRINT IN BLACK ONLY
untick this if you have a colour printer & want to print in colour.

Note that on the same top menu bar there is a "multi-coloured square". Click on this, then select
PRINT COLOURS
to choose the layer colours you want your printer to print with (including a multitude of different greys).

Note that the "Print Preview" is dynamic. Simply de-select the layers you do not want to print whilst in the PCB design module. You will then be shown only the remaining layers when clicking on "Print Preview". Only these layers will then be printed.

As you can see, there are lots of options which is why DipTrace is sooooooooooo very nice to use.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 04:38:49 am »
Brilliant. Thanks for that Derek.
Managed to create a title block and page frame easily and adjust the PCB printout as well.
Seems to have just about everything covered.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2018, 04:45:22 am »
Great news. No doubt you will have some more questions as you get further into DipTrace's features. Don't hesitate to ask.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2018, 10:51:44 pm »
Completed the evaluation with a thumbs up.
Converted my Protel PCB and schematic symbol library to Diptrace with no problems at all.
Rebuilt 5 circuit and pcb designs from Protel in Diptrace and had no problems.
I found a couple of things that are missing from Diptrace, such as free rotation of designators and text on a PCB, however these are not deal breakers.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2018, 07:16:59 am »
text on a PCB..
upper right corner select the layer you want to put text to, may it be an assembly layer, silk or signal.
then press the "T" icon.
Click on the working area.
Type your text.
click again.
done.

for signal layers you can also specify if the text will be for the tob, bottom or both layers. I don't like how true type font renders (in 2.4 for mac they rendered differenctly based on zoom.. and it affected gerbers! yikes. so i try to use the fixed size font. One thing i wish that the keepout they have from pours would be smaller...
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2018, 07:25:37 am »
text on a PCB..
upper right corner select the layer you want to put text to, may it be an assembly layer, silk or signal.
then press the "T" icon.
Click on the working area.
Type your text.
click again.
done.

for signal layers you can also specify if the text will be for the tob, bottom or both layers. I don't like how true type font renders (in 2.4 for mac they rendered differenctly based on zoom.. and it affected gerbers! yikes. so i try to use the fixed size font. One thing i wish that the keepout they have from pours would be smaller...

Thanks. I already know how to place text. However I would like to rotate it freely to any angle.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline HwAoRrDk

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2018, 10:29:38 am »
I don't like how true type font renders (in 2.4 for mac they rendered differenctly based on zoom.. and it affected gerbers! yikes. so i try to use the fixed size font.

On current version, Truetype font text rendering is still poor. The size varies depending on the zoom level. Quite annoying, as you can't be sure what exact size it will come out on gerbers until you try.
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Number of PCB patterns per schematic symbol
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2018, 10:40:01 am »
sorry, i misread it as two different sentences :palm:

Regarding True Type fonts, it seems it's still behaving the same. With 2.4 the gerber would correspond to what was displayed at the moment of generating them
 


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