Electronics > DIPtrace

Random rant about DipTrace

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poorchava:
Ok, so since I saw Dave's video about DipTrace I started testing it. I'm looking for something more suitable for small/medium projects than Altium. Altium is very nice, but not affordable for an individual and overpacked with features I'll probably never use. I said that I'd give DipTrace a go and I'm currently trying to design a small project with it (kind of sequential/safety-aware power supply for cnc machine). There are upsides and downsides.

Upsides:
-I absolutely love the footprint editor. It's so intuitive, fast and easy to use. It definitely makes up for somewhat lacking libraries&search engine. It's the best out of all software I've seen (at least for this degree of project complexity)
-much less resource-greedy (CPU&RAM) than Altium
-I like the way traces are being routed in schematic editor.
-I like the feature 'disconnect wires' in schematic editor
-I like the feature that narrows the wide traces automatically when approaching a small pad (although in some cases I have to turn it off)
-I like annotation options for schematics and pcb's

Now the downsides / ranting:
-Why can't I alternate between right- and left-turning 90/45 traces? I hate that When I want to change from 45>90 to 90>45 i use only space, but when I'd like to change the other way around I have to cycle thtough all the possible options? Cna't this be done automatically/alternating with one button?
-No cross-selection between schematic and layout. In Altium it was really fast. Select components (like schematic block), switch to schematic, L.ALT+t,o,l, select place, voila! Here it seems cumbersome as hell!
-I'm addicted to real-time DRC. Really hard to work without it when you once get a taste.
-selecting parts suck! When I have a simple block ready (like regulator+caps or opamp+feedback+caps) I group it. And i HAVE to switch to all layers mode because otherwise when I try to move parts, the traces will not move (because they weren't selected).
-I can't copy trace paterns. Let's say I have some OC outputs for relays. This generally consists of 2 resistors+bjt+diode. Normally I'd arrange component groups in the same patten, then route one set and then copy traces to the other ones. Simple and quick. And in DipTrace? Sure, i can select traces and copy them, and even paste them, but pasted they end up in some random location and I can't move them, because any drag action is interpreted as an attempt to change traces shape. Argh!
-When i have a piece of schematic and connect nets by names (to avoid long traces in schematic) and then group these objects weird thing  happens. When i want to change name of the same net, but from somwehere else (I'd expect to change name of whole net based on the fact that all the pieces of this net highlight), the name changes everywhere BESIDES the grouped parts. I have to manually ungroup them and group them again to get the nat name updated.
-I want a hotkey to switch component to the other side of pcb.
-why the hell does it want to create new signals everytime i click on component pad in PCB EDITOR? :<
-why don't libraries updates whenever i save them? With schematic symbols it's rather easy, just open other library and open the changes one again. It's updates. But with PCB patterns you have to do some library/remove/add/mumbo/jumbo/WTF?! I demand some update button!

That's so much for ranting right now. I wonder if i finish this pcb with DipTrace or switch back to Altium :)

Kremmen:
A good rant. I am a long(ish) time user of Diptrace and agree with most of the issues you mention. What i wanted to say is that directing the rant to Diptrace forum would bring it to the eyes of the DT guys. Surprisingly, they listen to their customers and quite a number of improvements have been the result of user feedback. Even i have reported bugs and got them fixed.

Mechatrommer:
i reported there that... while converting schematics to pcb, there should be an option for... components in each hirarchycal block should be placed together at different place to another circuit/components in different hirarcycal block. hirarchycal blocks are to simplify design, but when convert to pcb and they all mixed together, then there not much point. i'm not sure if there's such thing in altium. i dont know if they listening, my report needs moderation the last time i saw it... gotta go back sometime.


--- Quote ---I'm addicted to real-time DRC
--- End quote ---
maybe that will power hog the software?

--- Quote ---I can't copy trace paterns...because any drag action is interpreted as an attempt to change traces shape
--- End quote ---
try selecting all traces including "some" components in vicinity using click drag rectangle or "click+ctrl". right click paste in desired location and move mouse to one component until it turns cyan and drag move. yeah its messy sometime. and err... remember to right click once anywhere if you are in "edit trace mode", you should be able to move components and traces after that, can be quite tricky to remember in which mode we are.

novarm44:

--- Quote ----Why can't I alternate between right- and left-turning 90/45 traces? I hate that When I want to change from 45>90 to 90>45 i use only space, but when I'd like to change the other way around I have to cycle thtough all the possible options? Cna't this be done automatically/alternating with one button?

--- End quote ---
Press "M" and switch to custom mode, then define "45>90" and "90>45" only. Now it does not choose all other options.


--- Quote ----No cross-selection between schematic and layout. In Altium it was really fast. Select components (like schematic block), switch to schematic, L.ALT+t,o,l, select place, voila! Here it seems cumbersome as hell!

--- End quote ---
This is plans, but not nearest release.


--- Quote ----I'm addicted to real-time DRC. Really hard to work without it when you once get a taste.

--- End quote ---
This is in plans for 2.3


--- Quote ----selecting parts suck! When I have a simple block ready (like regulator+caps or opamp+feedback+caps) I group it. And i HAVE to switch to all layers mode because otherwise when I try to move parts, the traces will not move (because they weren't selected).

--- End quote ---
This is bug in 2.2. Bottom grouped traces are not always selected. It has been fixed for the next update.


--- Quote ----I can't copy trace paterns. Let's say I have some OC outputs for relays. This generally consists of 2 resistors+bjt+diode. Normally I'd arrange component groups in the same patten, then route one set and then copy traces to the other ones. Simple and quick. And in DipTrace? Sure, i can select traces and copy them, and even paste them, but pasted they end up in some random location and I can't move them, because any drag action is interpreted as an attempt to change traces shape. Argh!

--- End quote ---
This feature was discussed. In 2.3 we add copying routing/placement for hierarchical blocks (already done). Probably saving patterns (several components with traces) will be added later.


--- Quote ----When i have a piece of schematic and connect nets by names (to avoid long traces in schematic) and then group these objects weird thing  happens. When i want to change name of the same net, but from somwehere else (I'd expect to change name of whole net based on the fact that all the pieces of this net highlight), the name changes everywhere BESIDES the grouped parts. I have to manually ungroup them and group them again to get the nat name updated.

--- End quote ---
That is strange. Grouped parts should work in the same way as non-grouped. We will check that.


--- Quote ----why the hell does it want to create new signals everytime i click on component pad in PCB EDITOR? :<

--- End quote ---
There are plans for 2.3 to change that.


--- Quote ----why don't libraries updates whenever i save them? With schematic symbols it's rather easy, just open other library and open the changes one again. It's updates. But with PCB patterns you have to do some library/remove/add/mumbo/jumbo/WTF?! I demand some update button!

--- End quote ---
This is also in plans, but I'm not sure about terms.

FreeThinker:
+1 For Diptrace Support
@poorchava Remember this is DIPTRACE not Altium (check prices :)) and something s will be different or plain missing, they have to be or else Altium would jump up and down on Diptrace until it was no more. Remember the Job v Gates 'Look and Feel' circus many years ago. IMHO diptrace gives you more Bang for your buck than ANY other package and actively address bugs and develop new features but you will always come up short if you compare feature lists with the likes of Altium otherwise it would just be Altium by a different name (not good) Just my 2cents.

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