At 10:38 PM 11/27/01 +1000, robi artwork wrote:

>PCB-Circuit - Duplication can only be done within the PCB-Package.
>You simply select, copy & paste.
>If you ask me  -  "don't do it"
>Your board manufacture should have proper software to do these things - and -
>he also knows the panel size and the router bit he's using to separate the 
>individual  pcb's, when penalizing.

Panelizing, unless they are planning to charge extra.... :-)

Robi misunderstood the question, which is about a subcircuit, not panelized 
identtical boards.

Ths original question from Dave Babcock:

>>I have a PCB I am designing that I want to duplicate a subcircuit 64 times.
>>I want to be able to layout the subcircuit once in PCB and then make an
>>array of this subcircuit.
>>Can I do this from the schematic or in the PCB?   Any help is appreciated

There are a number of ways to do this. The only other response which has 
been made as I write this described how to duplicate the track but not the 
components themselves.

You could simply select the components from one section and copy and paste 
them, using Paste Array.

The problem is that the components will be renamed when copied, and the new 
names will not be what you want, probably.

I recommend using partnames that can be readily edited to unique names for 
each section, both in PCB and in Schematic. For example, assume that a 
section has no more than ten of each type of part class designator, i.e., 
R,C,U, etc. You could name two resistors in the first section R010 and 
R011, in the second R020 and R021, etc., up to R640 and R641. You want to 
keep the designators short to make it easy to keep them readable. If you 
consider that desireable.
Make your first section on the schematic, synchronize it to the PCB, and 
arrange the parts for it and route them. Get it right at this point, it 
will be a big pain to change it later, every change will be multiplied by 64!

Once you have your section, carefully planned so that when multiplied up it 
is going to fit, and use the paste array tools to multiply it by 64, 
*keeping the component reference designators the same*. Unselect it and 
then select each section in turn, globally editing selected components 
to  give them the section's designator prefix and then dEselect All. (With 
the designator scheme I gave, I would name the original parts RXX0, RXX1, 
etc. Then I would edit each section to substitute the section number for XX.)

It would be possible to write a utility which would automate this process. 
With 64 sections, I'd be tempted.... (I haven't done this for a while, and 
I would not be surprised if someone will pop in with the information that 
the utility exists, either in the Protel system or externally, that will 
handle the designator renaming problem automatically. I don't have time to 
check at the moment...)

Now, your original schematic has the XX parts. Using a similar process in 
the Schematic, multiply up your section schematic and edit each section to 
give it the same reference designators as you used on the PCB. There are 
some tools, including the automatic annotation functions, which may ease 
this process.

Update the PCB from the Schematic.

Then dEselect All and select all the copper (track, vias, free pads, arcs, 
fills) in your first section. Copy it to each section, setting a reference 
point on a component pad easy to identify. (You might also be able to do an 
array paste on the copper as well, I haven't done it that way.)

The copper will normally take on the proper nets, unless you have made an 
error in copying either the schematic or the PCB sections. Delete the 
stepping reference pads on the mech layer if you used them and have not 
already deleted them.


I haven't done a big array for a while, so, as I mentioned, I will not be 
at all surprised to find that it has become easier. However, the process as 
I described it took perhaps half as long to describe as it would have taken 
to do it for 64 sections, not including the time to design the individual 
section. The time will not increase with an increased number of parts, only 
with an increased number of sections, because of the renaming time.

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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