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Loading Outlines Into Project (Read 27973 times)
Jack Schmidling
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Loading Outlines Into Project
Aug 20th, 2013 at 4:43am
 
I have spent several hours trying to figure out how to get an outline from the list into the actual project.

In fact that is about all I have done with the software so far.

I think I am following the help and tutorials but nothing will paste into the board except one outline that did go there but  I don't know how I did it and can't repeat it.

I also made an outline for a 4 digit display and it is in the list but I can't get it on the board with the one I put there accidentally.

I am sure I missed something stupid but don't know what.

Thanks,

Jack
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Roger Lascelles
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #1 - Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:28am
 
Hello Jack

Welcome to the forum!

Can you tell me which tutorial you are having difficulty following? For example, is it the tutorial named Outlines or Components etc?

Or possibly, you are reading the "Using VeeCAD -> Simplified Operation"' help topic.

Once we are synchronised, I'm sure we can overcome the problem.
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Jack Schmidling
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #2 - Aug 20th, 2013 at 5:47pm
 
Turns out that since my posting, I found the components tutorial and managed to get my new outline on to the board.

The connection between the two is not obvious to me nor do I still know exactly what step transfers it to the board.

Thanks

As a point of interest, I selected email notification and there was none resulting from your reply.

Jack

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Roger Lascelles
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #3 - Aug 21st, 2013 at 9:46am
 
Hello Jim

Some specific questions:

My guess is that you don't see the relationship between Components and Outlines. Is that the problem? On the menu, go Board -> Outlines to create an Outline. Go Board -> Components to create a component that will be visible on the board - click the ViewNext and ViewPrev buttons to select a particular outline for your component.

** Please tell me which schematic editor are you using? TinyCAD? None? If  you have a schematic generated netlist, VeeCAD creates the components for you. So I need to know if you are using a schematic or not.

Thanks for the alert about the missing emails - I'll investigate.
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« Last Edit: Aug 21st, 2013 at 1:26pm by Roger Lascelles »  

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Jack Schmidling
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #4 - Aug 21st, 2013 at 7:46pm
 
Roger Lascelles wrote on Aug 21st, 2013 at 9:46am:
Hello Jim

Some specific questions:

My guess is that you don't see the relationship between Components and Outlines. Is that the problem?


Good guess.



>** Please tell me which schematic editor are you using? TinyCAD? None?

I was having problems using none.  Simply selecting a dip package and getting it on to the board.  I am still no clear on the sequence of doing just that much.

Having said that, I have jumped ahead and followed the tut on TinyCad and got it playing but have a simple question on that now.

First of all, I am not quite clear on what is meant by a "net".  I ended up with a few red dots on pins and it says this means they are not part of the net.  I don't know if that's good or bad.

Jack

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Jack Schmidling
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #5 - Aug 22nd, 2013 at 2:27am
 
Perhaps I am missing something very fundamental.

All the tuts start with a board full of components and the "how it works" graphic shows schematic to netfile to veecad.  I am beginning to think that one can not just lay out a board from libraries, using it as just a neat scratch pad.

js





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Roger Lascelles
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #6 - Aug 22nd, 2013 at 1:21pm
 
Jack

For a "neat scratch pad", look in the help file at the "Using VeeCAD -> Simplified Operation" topic. You copy-paste components from an open library document.

I'm afraid that VeeCAD mimics the traditional PCB layout program, with all its complexities. That suits professionals, who need the automatic error checking, automatic layout and automatic parts creation, but it can be too much. There is a component model that may not make sense, and the schematic editor has its own component model. But those who conquer the beast can spit out highly accurate projects very fast.

A task that schematic and PCB editors must handle is to have "prototype" parts in libraries and parts actually placed. Because your VeeCAD project file gets separated from libraries, a VeeCAD document contains its own "mini library". That is why VeeCAD has "Outlines" (mini library) and "Components" (placed parts). Once your project contains a certain shape in its Outlines list, it can have one or many components that use that Outline.

The Outlines-Components idea is useful - if you modify an Outline in the mini library, all the connected components change shape. Also, you can tell a component to use a different Outline, and it changes shape, without having to make a new component. If you delete a component, its Outline remains in the "mini library" available for use again.

You can stock up the mini library from library files - that happens when you import a netlist. It also happens when you copy-paste in components from other VeeCAD drawings.

Do post (or email) as you like.



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Jack Schmidling
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #7 - Aug 22nd, 2013 at 5:15pm
 
Seems like the time delay between here and Oz is just about what it takes for me to stumble and hack into an answer.

Looking at the "simplified procedure" is exactly what I stumbled onto this morning.  So now I am clear on that part.

The rest of your comments provide the bridge to the rest of the process.

At this point, even following a tut seems incredibly complex but I suppose with practice, it will get easier.  Hopefully easier than pushing parts around with no help from the computer.

Thanks for your patience.

On another subject, what is the usual practice for getting the finished  layout onto a real board.  Seems like one is still left with the chance of making lots of mistakes just by eyeballing and counting pins.

Jack
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HELLI
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #8 - Aug 22nd, 2013 at 6:59pm
 
Draw a grid every 5 holes or
Print it out real size,  stick it to the board and then poke the components through the paper or
count holes, printing the layout makes it easier with the row and column numbers.

Hamilton
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Roger Lascelles
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #9 - Aug 23rd, 2013 at 5:57am
 
Inserting the parts into the board is fiddly - and making a mistake early on leads to trouble when later parts won't fit.

Hamilton points out two good methods for locating parts:
  • Draw rulers. Either directly on the board, or on labels stuck around the board edges, as in the image below.
  • Tape a 100% scale size printout onto the board. The help file topic "Layout Hints -> Board Contruction -> Paper Overlay Method" has pictures of this.

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BoardRulers_001.png (54 KB | 294 )
BoardRulers_001.png

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Jack Schmidling
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #10 - Aug 28th, 2013 at 6:21am
 
Thanks for the ideas.  I am not getting email notices so I forgot to come back here.

I finally got my prototype working so I am ready to start on the board but suddenly realized another problem.

The board layout shows the solder side and  the components are placed on this side but on the real board they are not.

Seems like the parts have to be mirror images to lay them out this way but I see no way of doing this in the program or a word about it in the help files.

The first project I made on strip board, I scanned the board and printed a full page blow up of it and did the layout by pencil and flipped all the parts.

I want to use the simplified method for this project so I have a neat layout to work from as the pencil one is a real mess.

js
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Roger Lascelles
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #11 - Aug 28th, 2013 at 7:27am
 
VeeCAD shows you the view from above the components, where you'd be able to read the part numbers off the top of the ICs. Normally that means the copper tracks are on the other side of the board. So you hold your board with the copper underneath, and load the parts into your board to match what you see on the screen in VeeCAD.

If you want the view from the other side of the board for soldering or track cutting, go "File -> Print" and look for the radiobuttons under "View", marked "Front" and "Rear". "Rear" is a mirrored view - the same as you see if you turn your board over.

If you are one of those rare people who mount components on the copper side, then just hold the board with the copper towards you, and load the parts.
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dcb
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #12 - Sep 24th, 2013 at 9:34pm
 
Roger Lascelles wrote on Aug 28th, 2013 at 7:27am:
If you are one of those rare people who mount components on the copper side, then just hold the board with the copper towards you, and load the parts.


And if you want to put components on both sides of the board VeeCAD won't help. Smiley

It would be useful to be able to mirror a component (and maybe change its colour) to allow two sided placement.
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Roger Lascelles
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #13 - Sep 25th, 2013 at 8:44am
 
I hear you loud and clear. I have a long list of potenial improvements to the program, in order of priority. Reverse side components is a long way down the list, I am sorry to say, because there are so many other important things that VeeCAD lacks, like a track editor.

I'd like to understand better:
  • What sort of projects do you build?
  • Do you need a really compact layout?
  • How do you construct the boards?
  • How do you avoid needing to solder underneath the body of components?
You are welcome to email me, or start a new post on this forum.
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dcb
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Re: Loading Outlines Into Project
Reply #14 - Oct 2nd, 2013 at 4:46pm
 
Roger Lascelles wrote on Sep 25th, 2013 at 8:44am:
I hear you loud and clear. I have a long list of potenial improvements to the program, in order of priority. Reverse side components is a long way down the list, I am sorry to say, because there are so many other important things that VeeCAD lacks, like a track editor.


Fully understand that.   The only time I mount components on both sides is with LED displays where when the display needs to be within a few mm of the viewing window thus preventing tall components being on the same side.

It isn't much work to create mirror image symbols in Tiny CAD
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