From: Dennis Saputelli [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] Sent: Friday, July 11, 2003 4:14 PM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] PowerPCB Pads ?
how easy is the creation of footprints in Pads ? (the proper name for the current version is PowerPCB ? 5.0?)
Current name version is PowerPCB V5.0.1 (aka Pads5). Pads has always used integrated libraries (footprints, parts, SCH symbols) something DXP is trying to emulate.
Of course integrated libraries only work when using Protel as a suite, useless for nVisage as stand alone product except for sim models, and this is also true of PowerPCB if you do not use PowerLogic as a front end.
Library creation takes no more time in Pads than it does in Protel, in fact it is easier in some ways.
when making SMD footprints can you do it from a data sheet without having a calculator in hand?
If you mean is it like the wizard in Protel when you need to calculate corner/corner offsets from centre/centre offsets or dimensions by hand, then enter the results to the application to create a QFP. The answer is no, Pads does this way better than Protel.
I made a screen snapshot of the lib dialogue boxes and put it at http://www.proteluser.com/download/pads if I think other snapshots would be worth a look for you I will put them there also.
can you make useful descriptions or comments in some footprint field?
Just add attributes, see screenshot
how is their copper pour?
Ah, now you have a difference between PPCB and Protel
Your copper pour is much more configurable than Protel although you need to get to know it well. Many a board has been screwed up over pour vs. flood ....
But a copper pour can exist on a signal layer in outline form only without actually being drawn. So screen editing, DRC with large 'polygons' is an absolute breeze with little penalty on speed (productivity) while still respecting the netlist and DRC. No more waiting 10 minutes for a DRC run to complete.
and lastly :) what about their DRC ? does it work?
You can also set up design rules as part of the component itself, so you can store it in the library.
I have made some screenshots for the DRC 'tree' and parameters if you wish to see the configurability of the rules manager.
Yip, it works, with much more flexibility but the UI is not nice.
The support for front end tools for Pads is REALLY bad unless you take a complete suite from them, I personally cannot stand to use PowerLogic as it is 'proprietary', but it is perfectly integrated with PowerPCB, Hyperlynx, epd, cam350, specctra and so on.
I have some translation utilities we written in house, some as .exe and some as just macros/scripts to get a useful netlist from the SCH editor in 99se as the netlister from 99SE generates 2 files which you need to merge.
DXP also does this, but there is plans for the netlister to output a single file for direct loading to PowerPCB. Admittedly I promised Altium some feedback on this but I have failed to find the time.
If you maintain the same footprint name in Protel, as you use in Pads, the netlist can be loaded to either package at crunch time.
Although I still use 99SE as my capture tool I believe DXP has great potential.
If you call your local Mentor sales office or VAR they should be more than happy to offer you a demo CD or if they are pro-active (like Cadence) they should be prepared to send a sales engineer to you, with the demo tools ready to use, and let you ask questions, request feature demos to your hearts content.
It is also worth checking out http://www.pcbstandards.com to look at the limitations of Pads tools as well as the bugs before making a decision.
Do not think that Pads is a perfect solution, it is only an alternative solution.
John A. Ross
RSD Communications Ltd 8 BorrowMeadow Road Springkerse Industrial Estate Stirling, Scotland FK7 7UW
Tel +44 1786 450572 Ext 225 (Office) Tel +44 1786 450572 Ext 248 (Lab) Fax +44 1786 474653 GSM +44 7831 373727
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