Moving my project to DipTrace

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by carlmart, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. carlmart

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    I had started a thread with schematics and PCB design programs on another forum in ABC, but I was advised to come here. So here I am.

    After spending several days with Proteus, and having several problems I didn't have the time to deal with, I decided to switch back to DipTrace.

    DipTrace had been one of the programs I had tried, but I found the tutorial added too many things I didn't need. But I decided to give it another try, pulling the stages or steps I didn't need.

    So I designed the schematic and did my first conversion to pcb, which I hadn't been able to with Proteus.

    Got my first ratsnest, which I am now trying to re-arrange in order to make the pcb tracks.

    If anyone has experience with DT please let me know, because I have several questions.

    One of them is that I decided to separate one part of the schematic, because it will go on a different board, and I don't know how to do that.
     
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    I use Diptrace all the time..
    Diptrace doesn't support "single schematic multiple boards".
    Personally I would just create 2 schematics (1 for each board) and then include text on the schematic calling out the other schematic.

    You can only expect so much from a free/low cost program.
     
  3. carlmart

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    It's alright. It will basically be two boards. Just coming and going from one to the other.

    But that the program doesn't care to know.
     
  4. carlmart

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    I'm getting to know some tricks. not necessarily bugs, ways to proceed and correct on why some lines had "vanished" when converting to pcb.

    Now please tell me something: how do I select and move a block of components? I will start to do as you say: create the part of the schematic that goes on the other board separately.

    Some switches, pots and jacks will go on a vertical board on the front plate, so I will need to use a multi-pin flat-cable to connect them. So some lines will go to the multi-pin.

    One thing I need to do first, for the front plate pcb is position the parts (pots, switches, jacks, leds). So I need to design the pcb to the exact size it will be and position the parts exactly.

    That positioning will determine where to place tracks and parts. My idea is to first design the pcb and print it with the grid dots, so I can then transfer that to the pcb. How do I do that?
     
  5. mcgyvr

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    I'd highly suggest just going through the tutorial that comes with diptrace.. Spend an hour or so and all your questions are answered and we don't need to piece meal answers one by one to you.
     
  6. spinnaker

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    Just drag a box around them. Or click on each one while pressing ctrl. This is basic Windows editing stuff.

    That is a good question. I usually use case mounted controls. A lot easier to line up. But what I would do is space them best you can. Then measure later, after everything is mounted, to drill your holes in the case.
     
  7. carlmart

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    Before I ask the questions, I always go through the tutorial first. It would be quicker and more effective. When I come here is not because I'm being lazy and want you to do the job for me: it's because I didn't find my answer or my approach is not mentioned.

    The official DipTrace forum is also very slow in answering the questions.

    Please explain a little more about the box, because I have drawn one on the schematic around the parts I want to move out of the schematic, pressing and not pressing control, and nothing happpens.

    The parts are already placed on the front of the case, on the drawing, of course. As the part will be soldered directly into the vertical pcb behind. I need to have the exact point for each one.

    Measuring with a ruler is one way to do it. Another, if it may be done, is design a rectangle with PCB layout, and have the grid points printed, if that is possible. I was thinking I could put pads on every grid point and print it like that, Or traces lines too.

    You have to have some sort of reference printed and positioned on the case to determine the exact point to place the part.
     
  8. Evil Lurker

    Member

    Aug 25, 2011
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    Use the "arrow" draw a rectangle around the components you wish to move (which will disappear when you let go of the mouse button), go to edit menu and select the "group components" function. Then you can just click around on it till it selects everything. You can cut, copy and paste the group as you wish or use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it.

    For making a grid pattern I'd suggest using the option to place an oval SMD pad (which ends up being round provided you set the x and y axis the same), set the size to 0.3x 0.3mm (which is about as small as a laser printer can reliably do, good enough for horseshoes and hand grenades anyway, and I use metric scale to make things easier for me), set your grid spacing to the pitch of the components you wish to mount (i.e. 0.1" is 2.54mm, you can get different standard pitches by dividing 2.54 by 2, 4, or 8), put down a row of custom pads on the grid, group, cut and paste till you get enough to fill a board, then select preview and print. To make things easier to count I would suggest that you make every 5th dot square to make it easier to count.

    Of course it also helps to first define your board outline and mounting holes so you know how much room you have to work with. Not a big fan of how the program defaults the origin to the center of a standard sheet of paper though.

    When it comes to measuring components you need a digital caliper measuring to the 1000th of an inch. Harbor Freight occasionally runs them on sale for $10-12.
     
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  9. carlmart

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    OK, I got to draw a rectangle and move all the components of the schematic, which I copied and pasted below, using the arrows on the keyboard, not using the mouse.

    Now I'm looking for a way to re-number those pasted parts, which on the first were 1xx and now would be 2xx. Ex: C101 now becomes C201, and so on. It seems that the way to do that is with RefDes Renumbering, but I can't make it to work or do not understand how you do it.

    What I couldn't do, not matter what I tried, was draw a rectangle aroung a group of parts, select them as "group components" and move them out of the schematic.

    Now for pattern I need to print, so I can relate physically the exact parts I need to put there, which probably do not exist in the library or are difficult to find. Of course I am measuring everything with a digital caliper, and everything I am printing Im checking with it. We seem to be tuned on the same things, which is a relief.

    The first thing to start is drawing a board outline, one that will show when I print things. My idea is to print the pattern, glue it to thicker paper, and transport to it where the parts should be. No need for mounting holes, because the pots and jacks are supposed to hold it to the box.

    You are right about the origin default, because I don't know how to zero it for X and Y, say on the upper left, and draw my outline from there. Once that is done, your suggestion to draw rows of custom pads, cut and pasted seems great, also making every 5th a square. I am working in millimeters, as I am not so familiar with inches and mils.

    In any case, let me thank you in advance for all this help. It's being great.
     
  10. carlmart

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    OK, using pads to fill in the whole pcb and use them instead of millimeter paper to place the large parts up front worked like a charm.

    That is, I have already done that and I am now ready to draw the squares and rectangles and circles representing the body of the parts, as they will be soldered directly to the pcb.

    What tool do I use for this drawings, that will likely be on the top silk too?

    The included tutorial only takes care of the top and bottom traces, but says nothing on how to turn on or off a silk layer, on the top of bottom. I think that silk layer might be the best place to draw the shapes of the large parts, am I wrong?
     
  11. mcgyvr

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  12. carlmart

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    Jul 14, 2010
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    No, it doesn't. What I need to know is how to design and work on a silk screen. They specifically say they will not work on it.

    For instance, how do you show a silk-screen layer or open it to design things on it?
     
  13. spinnaker

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    Go away JayGatsby or what ever you are calling yourself now.
     
  14. carlmart

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    Jul 14, 2010
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    Sorry?!?!
     
  15. mcgyvr

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    Yes it does.. section III is all about creating libraries which includes an example of how to add the silkscreen to a resistor right after it shows how to add pads.
     
  16. carlmart

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    OK, will have a look at it.
     
  17. mcgyvr

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    I thought you already read through the tutorial.. :p
     
  18. carlmart

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    Jul 14, 2010
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    I did read it, but there were things I wasn't interested in, so I jumped ahead.

    Some things did not interest me at the moment I was reading them.
     
  19. carlmart

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    I tried to draw a part using the instructions, but they are not that clear as they might be.

    For instance, I have three pads, but with specific distance between them. And then I have two more pads, that are placed 7.5mm above, to secure the part to the pcb, and such a thing seems not to be considered.

    I would prefer to place the pads myself, according to the datasheet, DipTrace providing me a precise way to do it, like pressing the keyboard arrows for instance, each pressing being a millimeter or so, and so on. If that is possible, I couldn't find it.
     
  20. carlmart

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    Jul 14, 2010
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