DIN Rail Connector

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Joined: 10 Aug 2017, 03:35

DIN Rail Connector

#1 Post by DaveD » 29 Dec 2018, 03:46

Hi DipTracers,

I am trying to draw a schematic to document a machine built using DIN rail connectors. I have attached a photo of the style of connector used.
DIN Rail Connectors.jpg
These connectors have a screw terminal on each side for joining wires together. The red bar in the middle is inserted to gang a number of individual connectors together to form a common connection point for more than 2 wires. Usually each terminal has a numerical label and each block of terminals has a designation. For example if the blocks are labelled TB1, TB2 etc. then TB2-3 would be connector #3 in terminal block 2. In most drawings I have seen the terminals are represented by a circle or square on top of the conductor with a label which matches that of the connector.

I cannot figure out an easy way to do this in DipTrace. Ideally a connector would be a part that could be placed and have wires attached to it but I cannot figure out how to build a part with 2 pins that are connected together electrically. In other words the connector is not an end point but an inline connection with continuity. There is no footprint needed for this part as there will be no PCB involved.

Any ideas? I can manually add circles and text to the schematic on top of wires but these do not move with the wires.

Thanks for any suggestions,

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Re: DIN Rail Connector

#2 Post by Tomg » 29 Dec 2018, 11:25

I don't know if this is exactly what you are looking for, but I suppose you could try creating a "phantom terminal block". Be warned that the following method comes with potential "gotchas"...
1) In the Component Editor open a custom connector library and create a new connector with the desired number of pins. Make sure that each pin has a unique name (e.g. "1", "2", "3", etc). If any pin names are repeated in the Component Editor, those pins will merge the nets that are connected to them (on the same component) in your Schematic Editor. We're talking Pin Name, not Pin Number.
2) Once your component is complete, change its Part Type: to "Net Port". Since it is not a PCB component, do not attach a pattern.
3) Resave the component library (Ctrl + S).

When placing one of these "phantom terminal blocks" into your schematic, and before making connections to it, make sure its Component Name does not match the Component Name of any other "phantom terminal block" (or Net Port for that matter) you may have previously placed. This will prevent unintended net merges. At this point, identical Pin Names shared by different "phantom terminal blocks" should not cause any unintended net merges in the Schematic Editor as long as their Component Names are not identical. Be warned that once a Component Name has been changed in the Schematic Editor, the "Update from Library" tool will no longer be able to locate it in the library.

Don't forget to change the "phantom terminal block" reference designator to suit your needs along with choosing which "Marking" should show (e.g. "RefDes").

I haven't had a chance to test every possible scenario using this method, so keep an eye out for other unforeseen problems that might result from the use of these "phantom terminal blocks".

Good Luck.
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Re: DIN Rail Connector

#3 Post by KevinA » 29 Dec 2018, 16:55

I ran into this with my airplane dash; on the schematic you have to add screw terminal connectors, from the screw connectors you can take the signal names to another separate schematic sheet that has no PCB, just wiring information.
If you try to build a PCB from Tomg example J1 and J2 are dropped therefore the parts are left unconnected hence the screw terminal connector...

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Re: DIN Rail Connector

#4 Post by DaveD » 31 Dec 2018, 03:03

Thanks very much for the thoughtful and detailed reply.

I'm going to use a variation on the netport idea of yours that I hope will be more flexible for what I am doing.

I have created 4 parts
-a plain individual contact for where the contact is not ganged with any other.
-an upper contact
-an inner contact
-a lower contact
DIN Connectors.jpg
By stacking up individual contacts I can build up a terminal block of any size and configuration. Kind of like how the physical parts work.

When inserting the parts into the schematic:
-I change the part/netport name to a unique value. For example AC-1
-I change the RefDes to match the physical connector number. (typically there is a single number per connector, not a number per pin)
-I set the default default marking to be the RefDes
-For ganged/bridged connectors I use the same part name for each so that the netports are merged but use different a ResDes so that the connector numbers are unique.

I’ll give this a try for now and see how it works out. I’ll post back if I find any problems.
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