On 03:07 PM 21/08/2002 -0500, Michael Biggs said:
>What issues prevent Find and Set Testpoints - from converting connector pads
>or vias to be testpoints if your Testpoit style and Testpoit usage are all
>ok. I have to manually go and set the pads for testpoints and they are
>through holes. The design rules clear ok but why doesnt it pick up on all
>the vias and pads needed?

Protel's testpoint finder is not really all that useful for current 
technology tester.  It assumes that the points must be on a grid - most 
modern testers only require a certain separation (100mils preferred, 75 
mils OK).

I have had poor results with the Testpoint finder.  The testpoint rule is 
great - it will alert my to any net without a testpoint.

There is/was, I think an third party testpoint finder - it may (not sure) 
have been at:
http://www.eda.co.uk

We often have quite dense boards.  We usually try to achieve 100% testpoint 
coverage.  Although we prefer not to use a via as a test point, due to 
possible barrel damage, we do sometimes.  Since the boards are dense we 
like to tent the top of the via but expose the bottom of those that are set 
as testpoints.  P99SE did not allow selective top and bottom tenting (DXP 
does).  So we manually placed a testpoint component (a simple 1mm round 
pad) over the vias that we want to expose as test point.  The Sch has all 
the testpoints marked for debugging.  The testpoint components can be 
placed on vias if necessary or nearby a via and a track run, if 
possible.  A simple rule can be set to check clearances between testpoint 
components (we normally name the single pad as something like TP, within 
the library footprint and then set a Pad to pad clearance rule with a 
suitable scope based on the pad name.  The testpoint component can include 
a 5mil wide, 47.5mil radius arc on a mech layer to show (visually) the 
clearance required.  Since the testpoints are components they have 
automatic text (designator) that can be hidden or shown as desired, which 
matches the Sch. There are lots of advantages in this over using existing 
pads and vias as testpoint.

In fact, the ability to be able to set a rule checking the distance between 
testpoint pads is missing unless you use a separate pad, or you use other 
contrived methods.  We use Footprint-Pad scope - only out TP component 
(with its single TP pad) is used as a testpoint so the rule is easy).  Can 
any one else come up with a clearance rule that checks that any via or pad 
marked as a testpoint (either free or within a component) is at least xyz 
mils from its nearest neighbour?

>  Is is there anyway to select all the pads you want
>as testpoints and do a global edit? Mine was'nt working for me. Any
>thoughts?

http://www.considered.com.au/Protel01.htm

There is a freeware server there to allow this.

In the past I used to do it (set the testpoint status of selected 
pads/vias) by saving-as an ASCII format and then using a search and replace 
to change the testpoint status as required for records marked as 
selected.  I got sick of doing this hence the server.  For some very 
unknown and unfathomable reason Altium did not permit global operations on 
the testpoint status.  No idea why.  It may be that the global code in 
P99Se was getting quite complex and any change required significant changes 
elsewhere - I can't imagine that it would be deliberately left out if it 
was easy to do.

Ian Wilson



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