Welcome to the CADSTARguys Blog - Information, hints, tips and my waffle on the CADSTAR Printed Circuit Board design suite.

Please note that all names used are completely fictitious and any thing written is my own personal opinion or knowledge and not related in any way to either my employers or their customers (or Zuken).
Also this is not a replacement for proper Maintenence/support and you should read the help files before asking anything techy:).

Monday, 20 December 2010

Busy Busy, Busy....

Sorry folks - its been a busy time recently with the run up to Christmas and I have not had time to put anything together.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Any better?

OK I have had a little play with what default templates are available, hopefully this looks a little better now.

Wish I had some pictures I could use though.

Monday, 22 November 2010

OOPS! what have I done...

Oops - I was looking at the templates to try and find one to make the posts wider.

Now it looks awful  -I'll play with the settings some more when I get a chance to see if I can make it better.

Having trouble with components with thermal vias in heatsink pads?

Are you having trouble figuring out how to prevent your components that have a heatsink pad with thermal vias in causing errors when you run a DRC?

The type of package I am talking about is for example the QFP style with a large square middle heatsink pad that also has some vias that go through to copper features on other layers.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Dangerous Diodes!

Just a little something that I noticed in a CADSTAR library I was browsing through.

How do you draw your diodes? Although there is an obvious choice of whether you want them filled or clear some disastrous mistakes have been made because of bad choices made when creating the simple diode symbol.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Assignments - what are they then?

So what are the "Assignments" in CADSTAR for?

Basically assignments is the term given to they settings for all the route, line, pads, text, copper, via codes amongst others. You assign values to them.

They are all kept within the assignments in CADSTAR, it is worth noting that CADSTAR keeps its assignments in each individual design file, within each schematic and documentation symbol and PCB library also the default files used for new design files.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Who said what?

Hey folks - if your going to post comments could you please leave a name?
Otherwise all posts come from  "Anonymous"  and it gets confusing who is asking what. :)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Layers in CADSTAR.

As requested - some information on setting up your layers in CADSTAR.
(Pull up a chair and make a coffee - its a long one).

What is all this layer stuff about then?...

So you are designing a printed circuit board - this is generally a fibreglass inner core with copper tracks on the outside. Although the inner core can be made of many different laminate materials depending upon the boards use, FR4 (Fibreglass) is the most common.

On the outside copper layers, which are completely covered in copper before the board is made - the tracks that you design will be what is left on the board when it is manufactured.

How to manage board Mounting holes in your PCB designs.

Recently I have seen comments on the web recently from people asking "how do I do mounting holes in CADSTAR?".

There are a few methods that you can use to implement mounting holes in CADSTAR.
Which one you choose is dependant upon the type of hole you want and how you want to use it.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

CADSTAR Spacing Classes and what they do.

What are Spacing Classes and why use them?

A spacing class is a way of identifying that a net should be treated different to other nets with regard to spacings. A spacing class will overrule your design rules.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Life is much better with multiple monitors.

Something that really puzzles me is why so many designers are still using a single monitor to design with.

A 2nd monitor will cost about £100 with another £30-40 on a video card and you open a whole new world of visualisation of your designs.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

I wonder?

.... If ayone is actually looking at this blog?

Does anyone know it exists?

Suggestions on how to get more reading it would be most welcome.

EDIT: If I knew that someone was reading I might post more.

Friday, 11 June 2010

A simple report listing testpoints and attached nets

Here is a simple report that can be run from the report generator that will list your test points as added in the design editor using "Add Testpoint"(not the ones added in PREditor) and the names of the nets that they are attached to.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Comments and Questions?

Hey folks, if anyone is reading this blog and has any comments or questions - or anything that you want to know about in particular that may give me a subject to blog about then by all means, please ask or comment.

That way I can help you after you have helped me by giving me something to blog about.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

So what is CADSTAR then?

CADSTAR is part of a printed circuit board design suite that provides a solution
to the needs of anyone that needs a printed circuit board for their electronic products.

Friday, 28 May 2010

What am I proposing to blog about?

OK, enough of the waffle, what the heck am I going to say about CADSTAR?

How about starting with what CADSTAR is, who makes it, who sells it & why it is one of the top PCB design packages used in Europe.

Then perhaps I'll muse about the things I find out daily, little hints & tips on how to use certain features, how to make CADSTAR easier to work with & how to make your installation more productive.

Yep, as soon as I have figured out some of that lot I'll be back to let you know. :)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

OK who am I and what did I do?

Although it's not hard to guess, I think I will remain anonymous for now, but in my past employment I was tasked to specialise in taking fag packet circuits and drawings and create decent and informative schematics then PCB packages that were easy to manufacture, test and repair (as well as working well).

Monday, 24 May 2010

My very first blog!

You know....

It's actually been over 18 months since I actually completed a PCB design, and I'm pretty sure that I do not miss it one iota!

Not because I don't like connecting up hundreds of components and thousands of connections over many layers to make an electronic circuit work (and work well), but because I don't miss the dark place that I was in when I was doing it.