DipTrace Forum

renewing schematic after pcb copy/paste problem
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Author:  alanambrose [ 18 Sep 2017, 04:24 ]
Post subject:  renewing schematic after pcb copy/paste problem

I've searched the forum and can see some obscure references to a possible solution to this problem but not the whole thing spelled out...

This is a fairly common use case: assume you want to duplicate part of a pcb layout many times and you've got a relevant hierarchy block in the schematic. Think multiple channels of a pre-amp, LED arrays etc etc etc. After you've done the duplication in the PCB layout and a matching duplication in the schematic you want to be able to do a 'renew design from schematic' without all your carefully copied layout being busted again ... with the components going to random locations and the traces vanishing. I've made an test example with one led and a resistor (attached). This is DipTrace

OK, the hierarchy block, 2x instances of the block and 2x layouts have been done by hand.

block 1.PNG

(Something important seems to happen to the refdes naming between having one instance of a hierarchy block and multiple instances).

OK so far, so good. You now want to copy the little PCB layout snippet one more time, 10 times or a 100 times. But without losing the connection to the schematic because, duh, you may need to make some changes later. So you make one more instance of the hierarchy block, one copy and paste of the repeated part of the pcb and you're good. Well you are good until you try a 'renew design from schematic' and the new components go to random locations and the traces vanish. A big deal if you wanted 10 or a hundred copies....

I've seen references to 'fix up the refdes by hand' in the forum but the refdes seem just fine as they don't change before and after 'renew design from schematic' - so something else must be telling DipTrace PCB Layout that these components are not the same...

How do you deal with this problem? In the layout I am actually dealing with, its a block of about 80 components with a complex layout and I need to repeat 16 times within a larger circuit ... so it's a big deal to me.


-- 18 Sep 2017, 09:26 --

This is before the copy:

schematic 1.PNG

pcb 1.PNG

-- 18 Sep 2017, 09:28 --

This is after copy/paste in both schematic and layout:

schematic 2.PNG

pcb 2.PNG

-- 18 Sep 2017, 09:31 --

And this is what happens when 'Renew Design from Schematic / By RefDes' is done. Note that the RefDes don't change:

pcb 2a.PNG

And just to add a little spice ... the forum software seems to put the images in the wrong order, uuugggghhhh.


Author:  Tomg [ 18 Sep 2017, 08:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: renewing schematic after pcb copy/paste problem

To fix your example...
1) Make sure all reference designators in the schematic match those in the PCB layout. In your example PCB layout, you forgot to renumber the reference designators in the 3rd block.
2) Make sure you have saved the schematic.
3) In the PCB Layout editor, Renew Layout from Schematic > By RefDes.... (The By RefDes option is necessary the first time because you have lost the hidden identifiers.)
4) Resave the PCB.

However, I think you're doing this the hard way. You shouldn't need to copy hierarchy blocks in the schematic and the PCB separately. DipTrace can do this for you after you have added additional blocks in the schematic and resaved it. Just use Renew Layout from Schematic > By Components... and choose the newly-resaved schematic file. The new blocks will appear to the right of the existing PCB layout. After that, you can have DipTrace automatically arrange and route (internally) each and every hierarchy block in the PCB layout exactly the same way. Here's how...
1) In the PCB Layout editor, internally arrange and route just one of the hierarchy blocks as desired (without routing it to the outside world).
2) In the Main Menu, click on Route and then select Hierarchy... in the drop-down menu.
3) In the Hierarchy dialog window, select/highlight the related hierarchy block in the Hierarchical Sheets: box.
4) Select/highlight all of the unrouted hierarchy blocks in the Non Routed: box and click on the [Select Blocks] button.
5) In the Routed: box, select/highlight the hierarchy block that you routed in step 1 above, click on the [Copy Placement and Routing] button and choose OK. All of the hierarchy blocks should now be internally arranged and routed identically.
6) Manually move all of the newly-arranged/routed blocks to their required locations and resave the PCB.
7) Route the blocks to the outside world and resave the PCB once more.

Author:  alanambrose [ 18 Sep 2017, 09:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: renewing schematic after pcb copy/paste problem

Hi Tom, many thanks for your thoughts on the tactics and the detailed blow-by-blow task list. The second method sounds great, I'll give it a go.


-- 19 Sep 2017, 12:12 --

Wowee 'Route / Hierarchy' works well, nice :) Thanks again Tom.

Of course DipTrace slows to a crawl once I have >1,000 components on there...


Author:  Tomg [ 19 Sep 2017, 13:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: renewing schematic after pcb copy/paste problem

Depending on the computer, sometimes changing to a different graphics mode helps (View > Graphics Mode).

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