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I know that in last posts I have been writting about the Software. But what about Hardware? In last months I have been dealing with it, exactly with OrCAD 16. And I will explain how to build a PCB in 2 articles. For begginers could be a good and easy guide.
This article explains the part for the designing of the schematic, and in the next one which i will explain the layout part.
The first stuff you must known about OrCAD is that it is not an unique tool for hardware designing as PCAD. OrCAD it is a suite for multiple tools. Here you have the list of tools/programs and brief description:
All the products are interconnected between each other. I mean if you developed an schematic with Capture, then you use Layout to developed the physical PCB.
After this introduction the first step for obtaining a PCB with OrCAD 16, it is to develop the schematic in OrCAD Capture.
Upon opening the application, for build a new design you must go to "File->New->Project" and in the prompt window fill the name of your project and choose the "Schematic" option. After that, press the "OK" button. For default the program creates you a project window and a page for the schematic.
The project window it is show as a Windows Explorer format, divided in folders. At top folder it is "Design Resources". There are several files and subfolders inside it:
The next folders are "Output" and "Referrenced Projects". As you could imagine in the "Output" appeares the generated files obtained from the process of the you design.
The next step it is to create the design in the page/pages you want. For this there are several books where it explains all in more detail. I recommend this book: "Complete PCB Design Using OrCad Capture And Layout".
With the design completed, the next step it is to create the Output of your design. For this purpose OrCAD includes several Tools:
This Tools are accesible in the menu "Tools". The main important one it is the "Create Netlist". This tools created the netlist needed for the layout program and it is the only one i will explain how to use.
First select the "project_name.dsn" from the project window, then left-click on the menu "Tools->Create Netlist". After this select the "Layout" tab. There you must choose between inches or milimeters. In my case I'm used to milimeters so i choose always this option (note that this it is important for the layout program, if you are going to develop in metric or not). Chose the place where it will be saved the output file and press OK button. If all the design it is OK you will see in the "Output" folder a new File with the *.mnl extension. If not, check the log file and correct the errors.
In the next post I will explain the layout part, with the "project_name.mnl" as an input. But before to this it is needed to create or have the libraries for the footprints of the components you use, so I will post an intermediate article for this purpose.
And if any of you have doubts, please comment. I will try to answer as soon as possible.
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