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Altium DXP2004-Need help for schematic tutorials

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Jun 11, 2011
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How can i learn Altium DXP2004? The Altium, company web site doesn't provide in detail PDF or notes for self learning of DXP2004 and older versions (rather it focuses on the Latest versions). Also the help file within the software is also not equally effective..For eg.On compiling a schematic design,i got some Error messages and i wanted to understand the Terminology "Signal_Pin signal_C1_1[0]has no driver". This was some how pointing to a connection error, at the 1st pin of capacitor C1, but even after trying numerous times to rewire the joints, i was unable to resolve the error.

When compiling the schematic, the compiler will generate errors/warnings based on "Connection Matrix" settings.

Setting Up Project Options

All project-specific settings are configured in the Options for Project dialog (Project»Project Options). The project options include the error checking parameters, a connectivity matrix, Class Generator, the Comparator setup, ECO generation, output paths and netlist options, Multi-Channel naming formats, Default Print setups, Search Paths, and any project parameters you wish to specify. Altium Designer will use these settings when you compile the project.

When the project is compiled, comprehensive design and electrical rules are applied to verify the design. When all errors are resolved, the compiled schematic design can then be transferred to the target PCB document by generating a series of Engineering Change Orders (ECOs).

Schematic diagrams in Altium Designer are more than just simple drawings - they contain electrical connectivity information about the circuit. You can use this connectivity awareness to verify your design. When you compile a project, Altium Designer checks for errors according to the rules set up in the Error Reporting and Connection Matrix tabs of the Options for Project dialog. When you compile the project any violations that are detected will display in the Messages panel.

1. Select Project»Project Options to open the Options for Project dialog (shown in the figure above).
2. Set up any project-related options in this dialog. We will now make some changes to the Error Reporting, Connection Matrix and Comparator tabs.

Setting up the Error Reporting

The Error Reporting tab in the Options for Project dialog is used to set up design drafting checks. The Report Mode settings show the level of severity of a violation. If you wish to change a setting, click on a Report Mode next to the violation you wish to change and choose the level of severity from the drop-down list. For this tutorial we will use the default settings in this tab.
Setting Up the Connection Matrix

The Connection Matrix defines what electrical conditions are checked for on the schematic.

When the design is compiled a list of the pins in each net is built internally in Altium Designer's memory. The type of each pin is detected (eg: input, output, passive, etc), and then each net is checked to see if there are pin types that should not be connected to each other, for example an output pin connected to another output pin. The Connection Matrix tab of the Options for Project dialog is where you configure what pin types are allowed to connect to each other. For example, look down the entries on the right side of the matrix diagram and find Output Pin. Read across this row of the matrix till you get to the Open Collector Pin column. The square where they intersect is orange, indicating that an Output Pin connected to an Open Collector Pin on your schematic will generate an error condition when the project is compiled.

You can set each error type with a separate error level, eg. from no report, through to a fatal error. To make changes to the Connection Matrix:

1. To change one of the settings click the colored box, it will cycle through the 4 possible settings. Note that you can right-click on the dialog face to display a menu that lets you toggle all settings simultaneously, including an option to restore them all to their Default state.
2. Our circuit contains only Passive Pins (on resistors, capacitors and the connector) and Input Pins (on the transistors). Let's check to see if the connection matrix will detect unconnected passive pins. Look down the row labels to find Passive Pin. Look across the column labels to find Unconnected. The square where these entries intersect indicates the error condition when a passive pin is found to be unconnected in the schematic. The default setting is green, indicating that no report will be generated.
3. Click on this intersection box until it turns yellow, so that a warning will be generated for unconnected passive pins when we compile the project. We will purposely create an instance of this error to check it later in this tutorial.
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