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 Breaking down foot print libraries into categories 

Last post Fri, Nov 30 2012 11:01 AM by ScottCad. 7 replies.
Started by TH Designs 23 Nov 2012 06:07 AM. Topic has 7 replies and 1499 views
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  • Fri, Nov 23 2012 6:07 AM

    • TH Designs
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    Breaking down foot print libraries into categories Reply

    I find the one big footprint library very cumbersome. Has anyone broken theirs down into sub categories, ie; resistors, capacitors, ic's, etc..... If so are there any special constraints for the directory structure?

    Do the padstacks need to be resident in the footprint library directory, or can I have a padstacks directory seperate from the footprints?

    I would think I'd have to do something with the paths in order to make Editor locate the new sub directories, right? 

    Thanks,

     Tom

    • Post Points: 35
  • Fri, Nov 23 2012 6:24 AM

    • steve
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    Re: Breaking down foot print libraries into categories Reply

    Hi Tom

    Yes you can have sub directories but they all need to be listed in the psmpath setting, You can also have a padstacks folder that can be different - hence the padpath setting. The only thing you need to do is keep the dra and *.sm file together (a recommendation).

    When the tools look for a symbol they start at the top of the psmpath list and work down the list until it finds the relevant symbol name. This means that you have to make sure you don't have duplicates in the folder that you use because it will use the first one it finds...

    • Post Points: 5
  • Fri, Nov 23 2012 2:04 PM

    • ScottCad
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    Re: Breaking down foot print libraries into categories Reply

    Tom you can have different folders for your symbols and padstacks but you would have to edit the PSMPATH & PADPATH to tell the system where to look. In Allegro go to Setup User Preferences then go to Paths, Libary.

    When you create a package symbol for a footprint there will be 3 files created. .DRA, .PSM, .TXT. You will also have the padstacks used for that particular symbol. What I do is keep the pads,dra,psm, .txt files for each symbol in the same folder. This has helped me cut down on packaging problems when creating a board from the schematic.

    By way of an example here is directory structure.

    PSMPATH is configured to point to the following "Click expand in that dialog box first" and remove any paths you do not need before making your edits.

    c:\my-libs
    c:\my-libs\SMD
    c:\my-libs\connectors
    c:\my-libs\capacitors

    PADPATH is configured the same but I also include a folder for vias, again "Click expand in that dialog box first" and remove any paths you do not need before making your edits.

    c:\my-libs
    c:\my-libs\vias
    c:\my-libs\SMD
    c:\my-libs\connectors
    c:\my-libs\capacitors

    When you create your symbols dont use spaces in the name as it will lead to packaging problems. For example SOT_23.dra,SOT23.dra are all ok to use.

    Be aware also that it is possible for Allegro 16.5 to blow away your custom PSMPATH and custom PADPATH and replace them with system defaults. I kid you not. This one seems to be a bug. My work-around for this is to make the env file read-only after all edits have been made. Depending on your setup you may or may not come across this hidden treasure, hope you dont : )

    Thanks Scott 

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  • Fri, Nov 23 2012 5:54 PM

    • TH Designs
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    Re: Breaking down foot print libraries into categories Reply

    Scott, Steve

    Exactly what I had in mind to do. Thanksfor the help. Looks like I'll be spending tomorrow converting old libs and setting up new directories / paths and the like.

    I just received a PO for a job I quoted a while back and it requires using 16.5 so I am diving into the deep end........ and hoping to surface............

    Tom

    • Post Points: 20
  • Sat, Nov 24 2012 9:08 AM

    • redwire
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    Re: Breaking down foot print libraries into categories Reply

    I keep the .dra organized as you suggested in their own folders.  But at the top of the library path I keep *all* of the .psm files. 
    What is the advantage to this?  The pathing is simple and Allegro will package correctly since it only cares about .psm files.

    The only disadvantage is preview in OrCAD for footprints which I don't use.

     

    • Post Points: 5
  • Fri, Nov 30 2012 6:54 AM

    • TH Designs
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    Re: Breaking down foot print libraries into categories Reply
    ScottCad:

    Be aware also that it is possible for Allegro 16.5 to blow away your custom PSMPATH and custom PADPATH and replace them with system defaults. I kid you not. This one seems to be a bug. My work-around for this is to make the env file read-only after all edits have been made. Depending on your setup you may or may not come across this hidden treasure, hope you dont : )

    Thanks Scott 

    Guess what just happened................................... Paths are gone.

    Opened service ticket with EMA. We'll see what they say.

    Tom

    • Post Points: 5
  • Fri, Nov 30 2012 7:08 AM

    • TH Designs
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    Re: Breaking down foot print libraries into categories Reply

    Response from EMA:

    When you set your psm and pad that did you add it to the favorites in the Setup User Preferences? If you did that would explain it. There is a bug and adding the psm and pad path to the favorites causes them to reset.

    And Yes you have to add every folder. You cannot add the highest level. The tool will not recursively search the sub folders.

    I have the paths set as favorites............ figures.

    Tom

    PS: I think I recall reading this in another post, sorry if I'm duplicating subjects.

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  • Fri, Nov 30 2012 11:01 AM

    • ScottCad
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    Re: Breaking down foot print libraries into categories Reply

    Tom, that is a bug in the SW for sure. What you might consider doing is Make a copy of your env file and save it off to another folder just in case Allegro tries to nuke some of it's settings. I did that and then made the working env file Read only as a precaution.

    Got to love the hidden Treasures : )

    Scott 

    • Post Points: 5
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Started by TH Designs at 23 Nov 2012 06:07 AM. Topic has 7 replies.