Author Topic: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium  (Read 2778 times)

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Online NANDBlog

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Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« on: August 10, 2018, 08:06:18 am »
I'm struggling on how to import BRD files from Orcad to Altium.
I have Orcad PCB designer Standard, version 17.2. Altium 18.1.17
When I try to import the board files with the import wizard, It wants me to have Allego licence. On different designs it said "Design not recognizes or version is too old". Am I missing something here? Is there a way to export ORCAD files into a different format that Altium can handle?
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2018, 01:45:28 am »
Oh I think I've done this before. Send me the brd file, assuming I can open it, there is a small script that uses Cadence database extract commands to create massive ASCII files that Altium uses to re-create the board.
At least I think that's the Altium process.
 

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 10:39:19 am »
I cannot really do that, these are covered by NDA.
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 02:45:42 pm »
IIRC, Altium only eats Orcad 16.2 or around there.  And I forget if it has to be ASCII or native.  Hmm, maybe they did the next version up in AD18, dunno.

In any case, Altium's import documentation shows the procedure.  You need to convert it using Cadence tools first, as Alex said.

Tim
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Electronic design, from concept to prototype.
Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!
 

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 08:12:24 am »
OK, I am starting to understand whats going on. Orcad is a despicable hackjob of programs glued together by spit, edits .brd files. .brd files are Allegro, and not Orcad, and Orcad doesnt even have a native file format. And it doesnt have the option to output files into ASCII format. Great. So In order to stop using it completely I need to update the license or get someone who can convert the files.
I think I just contact the Altium salesman, and get them convert the files.
 

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 10:08:00 am »
So Altium support sent me a guide, stating that the demo version of allegro can convert these files.
I leave this here, if anyone stumbles upon this thread in the future.
I also report back if it was a success.
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 03:18:26 am »
I don't know what a demo version of Allegro does, but the export process is command line only, it uses the extracta.exe command. If you type "where extracta" in your windows command line, it should spit out the path to the command, showing that Cadence is installed correctly. Then you can type extracta -help (cadence tools are all unixy, you don't use /? to get help)

For example:

Extracta:
    obtains flattened infomation from a design from information
    contained in the cmdfile. See documentation for command
    file (cmdfile) syntax.

extracta [args] [<drawing>] [<cmdfile>] [<outfile>...]

With no arguments prompts for files.


(Yes, that typo is really there)

You need these command files from Altium that tell extracta what to extract from the brd file. I guess you don't need an allegro license for that command to work. I don't remember.
 

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 11:58:07 am »
Apparently, OrCAD standard also contains the file necessary. It is indeed the extracta.exe, has to be given to windows path, run a batch file winch comes with altium, and it converts .brd to .alg. And that can be actually imported. Although Altium needs a restart after import, because it doesnt work properly afterwards (typical).
My only problem is that they have a import wizzard, which even tells that it can import .brd. And then it doesnt in fact you need todo a bunch of manual work to import. Annoying if you have a few dozen project. Anyway, problem is solved now, thanks for the help.
 

Offline rcasciola

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 01:52:37 pm »
Hi NANDBlog,

I'm now struggling with this issue you had from six months ago. I have Cadence 17.2 installed and a file in that version's .brd format. I want to get it into Altium 17 or 18. I understood everything in this post except the part about the 'Extract Command File'. I have no idea what should be in that file. I've tried Google, but no luck. Any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Randy
 

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Re: Importing Orcad BRD file to Altium
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2019, 04:07:58 pm »
In the meantime they updated the guide on their wiki:
https://www.altium.com/documentation/19.0/display/ADES/((Allegro+Import))_AD
 


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