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Some format ideas (Read 2238 times)
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Some format ideas
May 12th, 2007 at 9:24am
1.  Numbering the rows and columns.  Would it be possible to draw a small border around the board and number the rows and columns (a bit like an Excel spreadsheet)?  This would be especially handy when building from the printout, especially for larger boards.   Smiley

2.  Component heights.  In the component design mode, how about assigning a user-defined notional height to each footprint?  This could be an integer in the range 0 - 5 (e.g. 0 for wires, 1 for links, 2 for resistors, .. , 5 for big electrolytics).  With the principle in mind to build from the lowest components up, several printouts could be made for each circuit (on the same piece of paper), showing the build-up of the circuit in stages?   Wink

3.  Circuit testing aid.  I don't have a detiled idea in mind, but with my workmanship at least I need to use a continuity tester to check the soldering and proper breaks after building my board  Wink  Trouble is I'm a bit haphazard in just testing between here and there, and nobody has time to test every single hole against every other.  Could you come up with an algorithm to suggest a minimum set of recommended continuity tests (should be open or should connect) that would assure the majority of the board and any high-risk areas?   I don't know how that would be done, something like a tree search algorithm with minimum sum of the squares to select tests perhaps?   Cheesy

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Roger Lascelles

Posts: 463
Clifton Springs, Australia
Re: Some format ideas
Reply #1 - May 12th, 2007 at 11:47am
1. A worthy idea, and already on the list.

2. Presently you can print just links, just wires, just components or any mix.  Your idea goes farther.  This opens possibilities.

3. This is really an electronics  thing - mostly there are just a few important points you check as you fire up your board - and you find them by looking at the schematic.  Mostly other shorts won't kill components.  I can see a proper article on this could help.

For now:  Check resistors on a multimeter as you build, if you are not a color code expert, or colors are hard to see. Run a needle or screwdriver blade between the strips and in breaks to clear invisible shorts.  Use IC sockets and omit ICs at first.  Use ohmmeter to check for shorted + and - power rails.  Check for opamp or other IC socket pin shorts to + and - power supply.  Now connect power supply: preferably a variable supply you can bring up slowly while monitoring current.  Measure IC pins to check for presence of + and - supplies on correct pins and correct voltages on other pins.  Turn off, insert ICs and bring up power slowly, monitoring current.  Thanks to VeeCAD, chances of disaster are slight.

Excellent stuff - its feedback from people actually building projects which steers development.
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