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display rats nest? (Read 2527 times)
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display rats nest?
May 1st, 2017 at 9:39pm
OK, This may be asking too much....

In eagle, when I am laying out a board, my components are shown connected to other components via the rats nest.

For example, http://i.imgur.com/qYPmXX4.png

I just don't know how I am supposed to visualize the placement of my components without the rats next there. It just seems like it would be too frustrating place components on a complex circuit.

Is that a feature that I missed or is there a method that people use to place their components?

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Roger Lascelles

Posts: 450
Ocean Grove, Australia
Re: display rats nest?
Reply #1 - May 2nd, 2017 at 4:06am
Hello Neil

Positioning parts, links and tracks is a job that requires human judgement. It is also quick and satisfying once you get the hang of it. Some points that might help:
  • Start with a large board that gives you plenty of room. You can shrink the board later.
  • Take a look at the help file topic "Layout Hints -> Stripboard Layouts" for the basic procedure. In particular, look for the heading "Use the Connectivity Check". If you put all your unplaced components at the bottom or right of the board, separated into little compartments by vertical rows of track breaks, you will find that the connectivity check can help a lot.
  • The help file topic "Layout Hints -> Design Patterns" might spark your imagination.
  • The help file topic "Autorouter -> Interactive Routing" can help, even if you are manually routing. That topic shows how you place the "fixed parts" and then arrange the "moveable parts", then finally squeeze the whole thing together.
  • The commercial version of VeeCAD has a "Trace Nets" feature, where you click on any pin and see highlighted all interconnected pins.
  • The easiest layouts have one or more ICs with some supporting small parts. You plonk down the ICs and then fit the small stuff around them. The hardest is just a mass of transistors and resistors, because there are no ICs to anchor everything.
I did make a build of VeeCAD that provides a rats nest for a component while it is being dragged, but it didn't seem to help. Stripboard is like a puzzle - you are finding a home for each part that satisfys the requirement for connectivity and for free board area and for available strips, preferably strips that offer the required nets. You just can't wire it up like a PCB.

If you are stuck, email me your .PER VeeCAD project file and I will send you some images of one possible step by step layout.
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