More Eagle questions

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tracecom, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    I learned to be fairly proficient with ExpressSch and ExpressPCB in about a day of study. I am now up to 7 days with Eagle and still can't do squat.

    I created two devices, a .25 watt resistor, and a .5 watt resistor. I gave both of them the prefix R. Now, when I try to place them on a board layout, they both use the prefix E and start with number 5. I don't know why.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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  3. Pencil

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2009
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    Just a shot in the dark.

    When in package mode and symbol mode did you use the text:

    >NAME

    >VALUE
     
  4. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    I hate to keep advertising this but I'm obviously not connected with these people.

    Grab the non-profit or educational use copy of http://www.diptrace.com

    Totally free, fairly easy to learn, if you don't like it just uninstall it.
     
  5. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    Yes, but thanks for the suggestion.
     
  6. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    The Dip Trace web site looked good and the product seemed right, so I bought the starter version ($75.) An hour after I installed it, I can already do more than I could after seven days trying to learn Eagle. :D

    It's possible that I will run into problems, but so far, it's great. Thanks.
     
  7. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    An hour after I installed it, I can already do more than I could after seven days trying to learn Eagle.

    Shoot, I started out with the free 500 pad version, upgraded to a licensed version, upgraded again then ended up buying a full license. Although I don't do multi-layer boards there have been some that I needed a lot more pads than you could imagine.

    I think you'll like it when you get to know it. Be sure to sign up for the forum, it was only recently started so there's not much there yet. The program has been around for years and the guys that sell it are the best, constantly improving it. I do have a few suggestions for them but haven't taken the time to submit them. For instance I think the <CTRL> + R to rotate schematic symbols should go in the other direction, most every time I need to change a component's orientation it requires three hits instead of just one if it went the other way.

    TIPS:
    #1: If you've got a bunch of a component that will be orientated differently just get the first one right then copy/paste it at will - of course you've got the flip and rotate capabilities in the properties menu with a simple right click.

    #2: Right click to the properties menu and play around with all the options you've got for Markings, sometimes I like to move it or add a second one to a particular component off to the side or wherever for a better looking schematic or silkscreen when in the PCB layout mode.

    I've found it easier to get everything you like done in the schematic part then go into layout and manually place the components rather than use their autoplacement or schematic capture feature. Once you've done the "point to point" connections the autorouter is great, especially if you've got a decent PC as it's somewhat processor and memory intensive as it tries to figure out the best paths. On a big board I'll just let it run overnight while I sleep, save the output and go through it when I'm done with waking up.

    I also love the way you can have it work up single sided boards with jumpers (great for small prototypes) and the verification tools are outstanding. The text output one will be a bit confusing at first but if you print it out then compare you can catch a missed connection. The one that checks for trails being too close to others or other pins is great too - I usually tighten down the specs until it finds a ton of errors, back it off until it only finds a few then manually adjust those traces to my liking - very easy to do when you learn how to manipulate them as it's a bit confusing at first moving the darn things around.

    All in all this program has most all the features of the ones that cost a fortune and is far more user friendly than anything else I've ever used and yes, I've had to deal with Orcad which is a nightmare.

    Best of all once I'm done it's rare that my output files won't pass through http://www.freedfm.com which I also highly suggest because getting a second opinion for free can't be beat either.

    Glad you like it, and any support you might need is usually only a few hour's response time but remember they're on the other side of the time zones from the US so they sleep while we're up. They won't send you any spam but they will advise you when an updated version has been released which, unless they've made drastic changes and moved to a version 3.x, is just a free download which will update the program without altering any of your preferences or remove any of your existing projects. Might be a good idea to keep a backup of them and any custom libraries you've created though because as much work as you've put into projects it's just common sense to keep copies in case your own PC crashes or gets a nasty virus.

    All in all you can't help but give them an A+ on this program as well as their support. Don't forget to use the mirror feature when necessary, I hate ending up with boards coming out backwards from what I want them to be. Also pay attention to all the scale features in preview, in the default mode it'll print exact size but if I'm just wanting a .jpg image to post as a schematic picture on a website I obviously center it, adjust the scaling to the pixel size I feel most people can read (usually a little less than 1024x768 which most people display nowadays) before I save it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  8. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    You don't need to use <CTRL> + R to rotate anything anymore, a simple R will do it. As to the libray problems I've been having they suggested this:

    See video of simple pattern and footprint creation in guided tour (2
    last videos): http://www.diptrace.com/tour
    Also see Part 3 of the tutorial (Help/DipTrace Tutorial) - it describes
    all step-by-step.
     
  9. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    In talking with the DIPTrace support team over the past few days they're in the process of including some radically new features to the component creation capabilities as well as additions to their libraries but they wanted me to clarify something.

    The boards that I left it to autoroute overnight were huge ones and on a very slow PC. At work I was always given the oldest "hand me down" in the business as my normal job rarely requires me to do anything but simple web browsing and e-mail. Of course not long ago I threw my hands up when the one I had was starting to crash on a random basis and even though the MIS gave me a pile of parts to try nothing was any better or didn't work so I complained to the CEO who allowed me to pick out and order what I wanted to upgrade the innards to something more modern, which I honestly haven't routed a board on yet. The building is my job up there, the electronics stuff is totally not understood by them and even though half my circuits are designed for my own or other's use I've done quite a few that had to to with control and monitoring systems related to the building.

    To beat everything after upgrading it the problem would still occur on occasion and it turned out the cheap LCD monitor that had also been handed down to me was the problem all along. I haven't a clue how this would cause the thing to not boot up or reboot at will but I found that if I just unplug the VGA cable until Windows has fully loaded then plug it back in I'm good to go and I only need to do that from a complete shutdown, it doesn't do the random reboot anymore with the new motherboard, CPU etc I put in. When I get back to work and set it up upstairs I'll probably use my old 21" Mitsubishi professional CAD monitor up there and one of many 19" CAD monitors I've got hanging around for my second PC which will not only be my print server (as it has been in the past) but will also be the machine that my helper in training will be using.

    No way am I going to home base up there without my own printer, 16' of stairs then the walk to the nearest printer on the network for a few pages just isn't worth it. I've got an extra nice one stashed away at the old building I used to use or I think we've even got an extra almost new Ricoh sitting around the office nobody's using but as with anything around there the MIS probably already has ideas for it and if he ends up needing it guess who would end up losing their printer?

    I don't mind having to buy and supply most of my own tools because that way I own them and can take them off my taxes with a simple Section 179 deduction but when it comes to PCs and the like the MIS is quite aware that I'm quite ahead of him on a lot of the hardware side in knowledge so he pretty much expects me to handle my end of that too. If I really need something I can get it by submitting a PO but sometimes that's more of a hassle than it's worth having to explain why. At least they're flexible with me on most of the suppliers I normally use, I just write up an open PO and get it signed to get a blank check then fill it out later. I'm also the only one that holds the Home Depot Commercial account card (as well as one of the few company Visa cards) so on my rather frequent trips to some places I just go buy what I need and fill out the PO later.

    It wasn't this way until the CEO hired another accountant who insists on purchase orders for everything and nothing is more fun than filling out all that paperwork when I have to go buy a 0.62 copper pipe fitting but they'll learn how to make the system a bit more flexible in time.

    Reminds me of a very old but true story about IBM. At one point in time there you had to fill out a requisition even if all you needed was a few pencils then it had to pass through a lot of hands before the requesting person finally received what they needed to do their job. Eventually somebody new came along and noticed the problem then figured out that they were wasting about $800 million a year in labor time alone over trivialities so the process was changed.

    I ran into the same thing at a previous place of employment. You need more network ports? I found the proper parts to upgrade our (then) Token Ring hub to include another 24 ports (can't just toss switches at will into that type of network) and had to fill out a requisition form which sat on my bosses desk for three days until I asked him if it had been ordered yet. He hadn't even signed off on it yet, then it had to go to the CFO where it would sit for even more days then to the purchasing department who was supposed to research best prices and eventually order it, often going through all the trouble of applying for an open account with the company instead of simply using the company Visa since it was probably only going to be a one time purchase. After that fiasco the next time I needed something I hand walked the paperwork through the system, sitting down at someone's desk until they signed off on it then moving on to the next person. It got so bad that whenever they saw me up on the 10th floor the CEO would occasionally see me and ask "so what are you buying now?"

    That system also changed thanks to my help and a printout of the old IBM story that I haven't found online in ages. I think the breaking point was when the CEO wanted a duplexer for his personal color laser printer that was in his office. When the request was asked of me to find one I just followed the old guidelines and let the paperwork go through the channels it was supposed to. A week or so later when he inquired as to when he'd be getting it I told him exactly how the paper trail worked and that sent him on a search. He finally found the request sitting unsigned in a pile on the CFO's desk. Needless to say he signed the darn thing himself, brought it back to me, handed me a corporate Visa card and told me to just get the thing ordered. It wasn't a week later that a memo came out about changing the procedures for purchasing anything that was under $100 and a far simpler method if it was under $1,000.

    Point is if you see a way that productivity can be increased without sacrifice you can complain all you want but sometimes a hard example is necessary to get the changes made.

    [Additional EDIT:] We've had some employees at the place I work that should not have been there and one was somewhat related to my function. Any and all complaints by a number of people over his performance and habits would usually fall on deaf ears so as I finally told my boss "he'll hang himself eventually" which he finally did but it took a year. One of these days I'll ask to see what finally broke the last straw but I've got some ideas as to why. It was probably one or a combination of him being quite lazy in his duties, or that he occasionally disappeared from the job for hours on a simple errand or perhaps they finally caught him selling drugs to some of our other employees which I also know he was doing.

    We don't drug test. It's been thought of but I know that so many of the warehouse employees do so on a recreational basis that I insisted it would be a totally unnecessary expense and so long as it wasn't affecting their performance nor were they turning up for the job obviously high in the morning or after lunch it was really none of our business and, as again mentioned above, a person will eventually hang themselves as I'm sure a few have over the past years. My policy suggestion was that if you come into work high, drunk or obviously under the influence of something you get a verbal warning and told to go home and think about it. This seems to have worked out pretty well over the past several years when I first noticed the problem.

    I can't even count the number of forklifts, order picking lifts and other machinery we've got out there running all over the place at relatively high speeds so safety is a #1 priority. When we were much smaller we weren't on OSHA's radar, now that we've grown so much they're quite aware of us so amid all of my other duties I'm also somewhat of a safety compliance officer but I've had courses on that in college and am able to read through the codes which are little more than common sense. Luckily the new warehouse manager we hired a year or so ago is also highly educated in this so I've got little worries about that end anymore. If a problem is noted he either directly addresses it or asks me what can be done to improve a situation he considers to be dangerous.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  10. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    As of tonight, I have made significant progress with DipTrace. I have created a dozen or so schematic symbols, an equal number of component patterns, drawn a schematic of my project (only a couple of dozen components), and laid out the PCB. Tomorrow, I will route the board and should be ready to send it out for fabrication by the end of the day.

    All in all, DipTrace is good enough for my needs and fairly easy to use. The tutorial is good in some sections, but other sections were written by someone without a full command of English. I have found it to be much more intuitive than Eagle and a bit harder to learn than ExpressPCB, but maybe that's just because of my idiosyncrasies. It will be nice to be able to generate my own Gerber files.
     
  11. RRITESH KAKKAR

    Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2010
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    Eagle work in Mac O.S. i have Windows Xp.
     
  12. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    You need to read a bit more, you can download any version for any modern OS. They wouldn't do well offering a product with an OS with what, 5% of the market.

    I have XP, and I have Eagle. I don't use Eagle yet, but I have it and have loaded it. I have the same problems the OP has with it, you should not have to know the exact brand name of a part when a simple footprint will do.
     
  13. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    The Eagle learning curve is much more steep than ExpressSCH/ExpressPCB, because it provides much more functionality.

    You don't necessarily need to know the exact brand name; usually industry standard part names are enough. You can perform a "wildcard" search; for example try *555* and a number of variants of your favorite IC will pop up. Try the ICM7555N version; it's easier to use than the others; the pinout is the same - but it's easier to use to draw a schematic with. You can use the NAME function to change the name to something else in your schematic.

    The big advantages come when you start using the Electrical Rule Check (Erc function) in the schematic, and the DRC (Design Rule Check) function in the PCB layout. Eagle will complain if you have floating nodes, missing junctions, traces crossed, traces too close, etc. ExpressSCH/ExpressPCB doesn't have the ERC, and it couldn't because it doesn't know about the electrical characteristics of the ICs you're using.

    For Eagle, there is also SPICE simulation software available from a 3rd party as an add-on for Eagle via Beige Bag Software. I haven't tried it, but nice to know it's there. I usually work something up in LTSpice because it's free, and I took the time to more-or-less learn it - at least I'm pretty comfortable with it.

    I haven't used DipTrace, so can't comment on it. I'm not looking to load on a bunch more software; what I have works for me.
     
  14. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Bingo, and the more you use it the more you'll find that's actually hidden in there.

    Please use my advice when you run verifications after you've routed something. Print the text output and double check everything then tighten down its internal checking trace separation dimension until you get a ton of errors, back off until you just have a few then manually adjust those traces before you make your outputs. Save it as a new file name in the event something goes wrong. Don't forget to mirror the output if necessary, I messed up on that once but it was simply due to my own stupidity. Still worked but was backwards from what I really wanted as far as the finished product layout was concerned.

    I will also advise that you carefully check your silkscreen and manually add whatever you want, or shift things around on it to make it the most easily readable, no big deal to do that. Also double check that your specified hole diameters and spacing are correct, I won't design another board again without having some actuals of the parts such as switches in hand so I can double check them as on occasion the manufacturers aren't correct on their website specs.

    Utilize http://www.freedfm.com for a second free opinion.

    When you go through all that work it sure is nice to get back exactly perfect stuff from the board houses. I use http://advancedcircuits.com/ due to comparison of the quality and support I've received from them compared to others I've tried but of course that's your decision as to who makes your boards. They will even produce small prototype boards in small quantities if you're willing to wait a few extra days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  15. RRITESH KAKKAR

    Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2010
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    Is eagle free for Xp??
     
  16. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    There is a crippled version for it. It will do almost everything a hobbiest will want it to do.
     
  17. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Same for http://www.diptrace.com but you're simply limited to 500 pads and two layers for an .edu or non profit status.
    Your license to use it is permanent on that basis. Plenty enough for you my friend.

    Try them both and compare.
     
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