Circuit Design Software Series Tutorial (1), Basic Operation of Protel DXP Circuit Design Software

Circuit design software is one of the commonly used software in the electrical profession. Every circuit design software on the market has its own characteristics. The explanation of the circuit design software in this article is based on Protel DXP, the purpose is to help everyone master the use of this circuit design software. If you have a certain interest in the circuit design software related content in this article, you may wish to continue reading.

In fact, for users who know Protel 99se, it is very easy to learn Protel dxp. Now I will tell you how to easily transition to the Protel dxp version. Protel DXP is a full 32-bit Electronic design system for Windows NT/XP. Protel DXP offers a fully integrated set of design tools that allow you to easily take your design from concept to final board design.

All Protel DXP tools need to run in a single application environment – the Design Explorer. Launch Protel DXP, and the Design Explorer opens, putting all your design tools at your fingertips. You will benefit from a single, consistent, personalized user environment.

This tutorial is designed to give you a preview of how to create a schematic, update design information from the PCB, and generate production output files.

Design Explorer is your interface with your design and design tools. To start Protel and open Design Explorer, select Programs > AlTIum > Protel DXP from the Windows Start menu. When you open Protel DXP, the most common initial tasks will be displayed for easy selection (as shown in the figure).

Circuit Design Software Series Tutorial (1), Basic Operation of Protel DXP Circuit Design Software

After you have created your design folder, you can switch between editors, for example, the schematic editor and the PCB editor. Design Explorer will change toolbars and menus according to the editor you are currently working in. The names of some workspace panels are also initially displayed in the lower right corner of the workspace. Clicking on these names will bring up panels that can be moved, pinned or hidden to suit your work environment.

How to save design files

Protel DXP saves all design files and output files as individual files on your hard drive. You can use Windows Explorer to find out. Project files can create links that can contain design files, making design verification and synchronization possible.

Create a new project

In Protel DXP, a project includes all folder connections and design-related settings. A project file, such as xxx.PrjPCB, is an ASCII text file that lists what files are in the project and configures related outputs, such as printing and CAM. Those files that are not associated with a project are called “free documents”. Connections to schematics and target outputs, such as PCB, FPGA, VHDL or library footprints, are added to the project. Once the project is edited, design validation, synchronization and comparison occurs. For example, when the project is edited, any changes to the original schematic or PCB in the project are updated.

The steps for setting up a new project are the same for all types of projects. We will use a PCB project as an example. First we’re going to create a project file, then create an empty schematic sheet to add to the new empty project. At the end of this tutorial we will create a blank PCB and add it to the project as well.

To start the tutorial, create a new PCB project:

1. Click Create a new Board Level Design Project in the Pick a Task area of ​​the design window.

Alternatively, you can click Blank Project (PCB) in the New section of the Files panel. If this panel is not displayed, choose File > New, or click the Files tab at the bottom of the Design Management panel.

Circuit Design Software Series Tutorial (1), Basic Operation of Protel DXP Circuit Design Software

2. The Projects panel appears. The new project file, PCB Project1.PrjPCB , is listed with the “no documents added” folder.

Circuit Design Software Series Tutorial (1), Basic Operation of Protel DXP Circuit Design Software

3. Rename the new project (extension *.PrjPCB ) by selecting File > Save Project As. Specify where you want to save the project on your hard drive, type the filename MulTIvibrator.PrjPCB in the Filename field and click Save.

Below, we will create a schematic and add it to the empty project file. This schematic is a multivibrator circuit.

Create a new schematic sheet

To create a new schematic sheet follow these steps:

1. In the New section of the Files panel, select File > New and click SchemaTIc Sheet. A schematic sheet named Sheet1.SchDoc appears in the design window, and the schematic folder is automatically added (connected) to the project. The schematic sheet is now listed in the Projects tab under the SchemaTIc Sheets folder next to the project name.

Circuit Design Software Series Tutorial (1), Basic Operation of Protel DXP Circuit Design Software

2. Rename the new schematic file (extension *.SchDoc) by selecting File > Save As. Specify where you want to save this schematic on your hard drive, type Multivibrator.SchDoc in the File Name field, and click Save.

3. When the blank schematic sheet opens, you will notice that the workspace has changed. A new set of buttons has been added to the main toolbar, new toolbars have appeared, and new menu items have been added to the menu bar. You are now in the schematic editor.

You can customize many aspects of the workspace. For example, you can reposition floating toolbars. Click and drag the toolbar’s title area, then move the mouse to reposition the toolbar. To change the toolbar, you can move it to the left, right, top or bottom of the main window area.

Now we can add our blank schematic to the project before the design begins.

Add schematic sheets to the project

If the schematic sheet you want to add to a project file is already open as a free folder, right-click on the schematic document folder in the Free Documents section of the Projects panel and select Add to Project. The schematic sheet is now listed in the Projects tab in the Schematic Sheets folder next to the project name and linked to the project file.

Set Schematic Options

The first thing to do before you start drawing a circuit diagram is to set the correct folder options. Complete the following steps:

1. Select Design > Options from the menu. The Folder Options dialog box opens. As this tutorial, the only thing we need to modify here is to set the sheet size to the standard A4 format. On the Sheet Options tab, find the Standard Styles section. Click the arrow next to the input box to see a list of sheet styles.

2. Use the scroll bar to scroll up to A4 style and click Select.

3. Click the OK button to close the dialog box and update the drawing size.

4. To display all documents in the viewable area again, select View > Fit Document .

In Protel DXP, you can activate any menu by just pressing the menu hotkey (the underlined letter in the menu name). Any menu item in the future will also have a hotkey that you can use to activate that item. For example, the hotkey for selecting the View > Fit Document menu item is to press the D key after pressing the V key. Many submenus, such as the Edit > DeSelect menu, can be called directly. To activate the Edit > DeSelect > All menu item, you just need to press the X key (for direct access to the DeSelect menu) and the A key.

Below we will set the general schematic parameters:

1. Select Tools > Preferences (hotkeys T, P) from the menu to open the Schematic Parameters dialog. This dialog allows you to set all parameters that will apply to all schematic sheets that you will continue to work on.

2. Click the Default Primitives tab to make it current and check Permanent. Click the OK button to close the dialog.

3. Before you start drawing the schematic, save this schematic sheet, so choose File > Save (hotkeys F, S).

draw schematic

You are now ready to start drawing schematics. In this tutorial, we will use the circuit shown in the figure below ( Figure 1 ). This circuit uses two 2N3904 transistors to complete the self-excited multivibrator.

Locating components and Loading Component Libraries

Circuit Design Software Series Tutorial (1), Basic Operation of Protel DXP Circuit Design Software

Management of thousands of schematic symbols is also included in Protel DXP, and the schematic editor provides a powerful library search function. Even though the components we need are already in the default installation repository, it is useful to know how to find the components through a library search. Use the following steps to locate and add the libraries used by this tutorial circuit.

First we’re going to look for the transistors, both are 2N3904.

1. Click the Libraries tab to Display the Libraries Workspace pane.

2. Press the Search button in the Library panel, or select Tools > Find Component. This will open the Find Libraries dialog.

3. Make sure Scope is set to Libraries on Path and that the Path field contains the correct path to your library. If you accept the default directory during installation, C:Program FilesAltiumLibrary will appear in the path. Make sure Include Subdirectories is not selected (not checked).

4. We want to find everything related to 3904, so type *3904* in the Name text box of the Search Criteria unit.

5. Click the Search button to start searching. The Results tab will be displayed while the search is in progress. If you entered the rules correctly, a library will be found and displayed in the Find Library dialog.

6. Click on the Miscellaneous Devices.IntLib library to select it.

7. Click the Install Library button to make this library available in your schematic.

8. Close the Search Libraries dialog.

Added libraries will appear at the top of the Libraries panel. If you click on the library name in the above list, the components in the library will be listed below. The component filter in the panel can be used to quickly locate a component within a library.

The above is all the content that Xiaobian brings to you this time, thank you very much for reading.

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