Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Specific NoERC markers - soon to be in Beta

The ‘Specific NoERC markers’ feature was developed over the past couple of months, and it is now about to enter the Beta stage. The feedback provided as comments to the initial blog has been crucial in shaping this new tool into one that hopefully will provide you with more flexibility, accuracy and productivity.

I would like to share with you the near-final shape of this enhancement, so as to gather last minute feedback and ideas, before ‘it goes to press’, so to speak.

In schematic, the specific NoERC markers can now suppress specific error kinds and connection conditions on the net they are  placed on. 

The NoERC marker dialog box now has two pages where such specific errors and conditions can be explicitly ignored, as shown below. These pages are displayed when the ‘Suppress specific violations’ check box is checked

This first screen shot is the page where ERC violations can be chosen to be suppressed.

This is the page where specific connection error conditions can be chosen to be suppressed

The NoERC manager provides a project level view of suppressed errors. It describes the NoERC situation for each net and bus and allows to edit individual NoERC markers from this global viewpoint.

The schematic inspector and list provide a simple way to globally edit sets of NoERC markers in the design. In the first version, we have chosen not to give detailed access of the violation kinds to be ignored from this perspective. This will be the subject of a future improvement.

On screen, the NoERC markers can now be displayed in a variety of shapes, whether they are specific or not.

Combined with colors, this should provide you with a flexible way to give visible meaning to them. At this stage the available shapes are Triangle, Thick cross, Thin Cross, Small cross and Checkbox.

There are several ways a specific NoERC marker can be placed in a design.

A generic NoERC marker can be placed, and then changed to a specific NoERC marker (using the dialog, inspector or the list).

A new placement tool, ‘Place Specific NoERC’ provides you with a way to identify at a glance the nets violating some rules, and to individually place specific NoERC markers for each of the violations..

After compiling, specific NoERC markers can also be placed from the messages panel, by right clicking on a reported violation.

The same can be achieved by right clicking on a schematic object involved in a violation.

The suppressed errors can still be reported by the compiler, if a project option (report suppressed errors) is turned on. In this case they are reported as shown below.

Suppressed errors can also be reported in the ERC output, defined in an output job document (this setting is local to the outputjob document and independant from the project setting). They appear then in the generated report.

Finally, NoERC markers can be excluded from printouts, by shape

This constitutes the extent of the improvements that are about to be released to beta.

As always, your thoughts and feedback are very much welcome, and I will be very interested to read them in the comments section below.

But as this particular project draws to a close, I would like to highlight the importance of your involvement in its definition and completion.

A significant number of elements of this enhancement have been directly influenced by the feedback you have provided.

On a personal level, this provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. Working directly with the people who will ultimately use this feature makes the process a real pleasure. But most importantly, I hope this will constitute a fundamental part of the success of the feature, and really help you to perform your daily work better.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


This project contains set of scripts, examples and other content which is developed to provide extended features for Altium Designer unified design environment for electronics development

  • Custom Pick&Place report script - script for generating user defined P&P for SMD components only
  • SelectConnectedTrack script - script for selection of connected NoNet track on Mech layers
  • CopyAngleToComponent script - script for copying angle of track to a component
  • EagleToAD conversion package - package of scripts for conversion of PCB project from Cadsoft Eagle to Altium Designer (manual available only in Czech)
  • IBIS Editor script - Script that overrides Selector and Submodel keywords in IBIS File.
  • IncrementingDesignators script - Script that enables user to set designators with mouse. Works on Components (in SchDoc and PCBDoc), pins (SCHLIB) and pads (PCBLIB). Designators can be swapped too. When working with pins it can also move pin names.
  • SCH-SelectTouchingRectangle script - Script made because some people wanted select touching rectangle feature in Sch.
  • SCHSelectionFilter script - Script that uses select Touching trectangle, but user can choose object types that will be selected.
  • ZoomComponent script - PCB function similar to Altium's Jump Component, but it also zoom, mask and/or select component.
  • Adjust Component script - it will center the designator in top and bottom overlay.
  • RoomFromPoly script - Script to create room from selected objects or from selected polygon.
  • RenumberPads script - Script helps with changing order of pads mainly in Altium PCBLIBs. You just start script, select start index and increment and you create new designators of pads by clicking on them in the new order.
  • Hyperlynx Exporter script - Script for PCB export to hyp file. It adds fills, regions, polygons and split planes in hyp file.
  • Current Calculator script - PCB script that gives the user a dialog box with current (Amperes) handling calculations for a selected track. The script determines if the track is on an internal or external layer, and provides current calculations for 1, 5, and 10°C rise above ambient.
  • FormatPaintBrush script - This script is used to copy formattings from one object to the others. Currently it works on dimensions and coordinate in PCB and wire in sch. It is planned to be expanded to other objects.
  • DeleteAllSelectedItemsInPCBLIB script - This script can be used to delete selected objects in PCB Library. Currently you can only delete selected objects that are part of currently visible footprint, but this script deletes selected objects that are in other footprints.




Monday, August 8, 2011

Hobart Vault Update - Würth Elektronik

The Hobart Content Team is pleased to announce the release of Würth Elektronik’s SMD Power Chokes and Double Chokes. This is the fourth and final release of Würth components.  Eight categories have now been released over the last two months; an additional 1600 components available in the vault, all with detailed 3D support.

SMD Power Choke

The SMD power chokes of Würth are divided between magnetically shielded and unshielded inductors. The magnetically shielded inductors are represented by the families WE-PD, WE-PD3, WE-PDF, WE-TPC, and the power multilayer inductors WE-PMI. The families WE-PD2, WE-PD4, WE-GF and WE-LQ are magnetically unshielded.

The inductors are optimized for use in switching regulators and DC-DC converters, optimised in the selection of the core and winding design. Furthermore, these components realise a stable inductance over a wide range of frequencies. In the area of switching regulator applications, the choke is used for intermediate storage of electrical energy and also for smoothing the output current.

Nickel-Tin alloy used for the core results in very low losses and high modulations.  This makes them particularly suitable for use in switching regulator applications up to 10 MHz while they offer a high current capacity and low DC resistance in a very small package. The miniature power chokes WE-TPC are suitable for applications where a high package density and a low height are required.

Double Choke

The magnetically shielded WE-DD series of double chokes, in contrast to the single-wound inductors, have two identical, separate windings on a common ferrite core. The application spectrum of this reactor is large, it can be used in 1:1-flyback applications, buck, boost, SEPIC and CUK switching regulators and switching regulators with a second, unregulated output voltage. When using them in series and parallel arrangements, even more choke solutions become available.

All components are available from Würth Elektronik ex stock. Samples are available free of charge. More info at