Learning DipTrace - Some Questions

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djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,694
Spent my Sunday afternoon trying to learn DipTrace. I felt like a Windows person trying to learn Linux. We can dismiss the vagaries of the UI; I'll never figure out why it keeps switching into draw connector mode on its own... Like a demon, it was. I had unwanted traces all over my schematic.

No. what got me was trying to use the verification tool. I was shocked to see a two page error list. And being unfamiliar with the notation, it took me a while to grok even where an error occurred. I did eventually learn if you double clicked the error,something became highlighted in red, but it took me a little while longer to find the problem. It started with an easy one, once I lucked upon it, since there were so many errors. When looking, I could see a gap between my connections! I fixed that.

I was convinced I couldn't see any other errors! They were mostly no connection errors. Then I changed my perspective. Lets assume there is no connection. I separated the components and connected them with a short trace. Voili! It appears DipTrace doesn't like two components connecting directly together; you have to draw a line between the terminus points for the program to understand what you want.

Am I crazy? Has anyone else had this problem?

Then I went into routing. And gave up for the night. It seems Diptrace cannot count. My schematic had 4 DIP chips... The PCB that DipTrace produced had twelve chips. Twelve! Even if you counted the individual gates, you don't get twelve...

Are these anomalies typical?

I've attached the schematic in a zip file.
 

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spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Well the issue of not connecting components to components is fairly common. I don't see it that night of a deal. What I have seen is it can be tricky to make a connection. As far as the count being off, I have never seen that. If I had to guess, you created multiple components and they are either off of the screen or on top of one another. You should always do a verification of your schmetic before creating a PCB. I
IMHO despite some of it's quirks, Diptrwce is VASTLY superior to Eagle when it comes to the hobbyist.
 

Thread Starter

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,694
Thanks spinnaker!

When you say it is fairly common, is it a restriction of DipTrace or something that is a little tricky? If the latter, do you have any advice on how to successfully connect my resistor to an LED?

I did do a verification (its how I found the connection problem), and it was clean. Took me a while to learn it, but I had just picked up DipTrace for a couple of hours.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Not in front of it now so you going from memory. Drop a led, drop a resistor. Click the wire button. Click on a lead of the led. Drag to the resistor lead. Right click and select enter. I will verify my instructions on e I get home.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Diptrace has a great video tutorials on using the software.. I tried using it and loved it and it's very simply to understand..
Good software should require very little training. That pretty much describes Diptrace. It might not pass muster in a professional environment but then again I am not a professional and it currently does everything I need it to do.

I am using PCBGcode to produce isolation layer gcode. Unfortunately, it only runs under Eagle. Thankfully, I was able to import Diptrace into Eagle through PCad format. I cannot tell you how much I struggled just figuring out how to move the board! Maybe it has a lot more features than Diptrace but features I just don't care to learn right now.
 

Thread Starter

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,694
I was an ExpressSCH and ExpressPCB user. I was able to download and start using DipTrace in a matter of minutes. After a reasonable amount of time, I was able to verify and correct my schematic. I would say it was easy to use.

The only negative i see is that I couldn't connect components directly. I had to use the wiring tool

So far, I've been unsuccessful creating a PCB. Perhaps the schematic still has problems.
 
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