My thanks to Abd ul-Rahman Lomax for his response. I see this as an
informative response to a worthwhile subject. I would like to extend the
"Rooms" dialog, so I've included additional comments below.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Abd ul-Rahman Lomax" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2002 6:11 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Room Placement Issues

> Rooms are new and, as yet, primitive. I am grateful that they exist at
> Various improvements are obvious. Polygonal rooms would be more useful,
> example.

Regarding PCB organization and component placement, Rooms are the best thing
since toothpaste. I would encourage Protel users to evaluate Rooms and urge
them to forward their findings and recommendations to Altium. I've listed my
own recommendations in my original post.

> At 03:47 PM 1/17/2002 -0500, Fred A Rupinski wrote:
> >* What is the proper procedure (in the schematic, as implied above) to
> >successfully define rooms, assign components to rooms, and TRANSFER this
> >grouping information from the schematic to the PCB?
> I do not know any way to define component classes in Schematic, other than
> the default formation of classes by the synchronizer from schematic pages.
> One could make a temporary schematic page with some subset of components
> and use that to create a class and associated room. A method of creating
> component classes at the Schematic level may require a Schematic database
> change. This is not a small thing!

Imagine the productivity clout that this feature would provide! No more pile
of rubble from the AutoPlacer. Faster placement. Lower blood pressure.
Reduced eyestrain.  Improved PCB quality. Placement would almost be fun
......... Wow! In spite of what the Manual says (see my original post),
there is no evidence that this capability exists. I don't know how big a
thing it is, but the seed for doing it may already be available. If a sheet
were used for each logical grouping, it would be substantially done. Not
very nice, but how much more would it take to do it a better way, say dashed
rectangles around the groupings instead of a whole bunch of sheets. In any
event, I believe that Altium has programmers who can handle it.

> There may be some way to use cross-probing to select a set of components
> Schematic and thus the corresponding components on PCB; this would then be
> used by the Class Generator (Design/Classes/Component/Add/Class Generator)
> to create a class. The class would then be assigned a room.

This sounds involved. I think it is easier and more intuitive to pre-define
the rooms on the PCB sheet, and then assign components in the normal way
after the PCB is updated from the schematic. However, it might be
instructive to see how far your suggestion takes me, time permitting ....
I'll see.

> But I haven't used cross-probing in Protel. I thought there was a way to
> this, but I did not see it off-hand.
> >* Is it possible to rotate rooms (including assigned relative component
> >patterns) while editing the PCB?
> Yes. Select the objects, including the room, and rotate them together.
> Rooms do not seem to have a select field in the dialog, but they do
> select/deselect with normal mouse/keyboard commands.

I found it.
Cursor_on_Room) gets me there. I also discovered how lock rooms,
(Double_Click_Room)>>Edit_Rule>>Room_Locked>>OK; and to hide rooms,
Tools>>Preferences...>>Show/Hide>>Hidden>>OK; alternatively, ( Right_Click)
.>Options...>>Show/Hide>>Hidden>>OK.     Thanks!

> >* How should ERC 'room errors' be interpreted? (I disable this because I
> >don't know what a room error means)?
> It means that a component does not satisfy a room definition. The most
> common would be that it is outside the room defined for it.

This checks out (even if only a small portion is outside).

> >* Is there any problem in letting rooms overlap to obtain a more compact
> >layout (assuming other rules are not violated)?
> Overlapping rooms do not create a problem, to my knowledge, if the room
> rules are properly defined.

DRC did not report any violations when I forced the situation, even if
components in other Rooms are overlapped.

Fred A Rupinski

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