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Discussion in 'CAD' started by OZ8HP - Hugo Pedersen, Jun 12, 2007.

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  1. Isn't there a shortcut in Altium that increases/decreases the trackwidth?

    It could be usefull when routing between pads on an IC
  2. Hugo,
    I don't use AD/DXP but I believe what you are mentioning is the trace
    "neckdown" feature and I believe it only works for pad/land entries. I don't
    belive it works on necking down a trace between pads. Can't you set several
    preferred trace widths in AD/DXP (not sure which version) and then switch
    them with some shortcut keys?

    Brad Velander
  3. James Beck

    James Beck Guest

    I don't use Altium either, but when I used PCAD you had to stop the
    route where you want to neck down, change the trace width with the menu
    on the task bar, and then continue. At least that's how I did it, I
    never saw any short cut in the manual.
    The system I use now had the ability to define a "Necked" width and to
    select it on the fly. I like that much better.

  4. nospam

    nospam Guest

    Assuming you are running the current version of Altium Designer, while
    interactive routing there is a default hotkey of '3' to cycle through a
    list of favourite track widths. A default hotkey of Shift-W brings up a
    menu of the favourite track widths. The list of favourite widths can be
    configured under Tools>Preferences>PCB Editor>Interactive Routing>.

    While in an interactive mode the '~' hot key (might be a different key
    depending on the nationality of your keyboard) brings up a menu of hotkeys
    active in that particular mode.
  5. Marra

    Marra Guest

    What I did with my CAD software was to have large pads on layer 2 and
    narrow pads on layer 1 so I could run tracks easily between pads. My
    symbol designer allowed this so it was no problem.
  6. I have the list of preferred track widths, but my problem is that I
    can't change it while routing.
    I can bring up the list Shift-W but nothing happens if I choose a
    different width - and that is very frustrating :)

  7. nospam

    nospam Guest

    Works for me setting the width of the track you are currently placing.

    Check you don't have a design rule which would be broken by the selected

    Can you change the width by hitting tab and typing a new value? I am pretty
    sure you will be warned about design rules in that case, maybe the hotkey
    just silently forces the width to comply with rules.

  8. Hugo,
    I wondered if you were just a little confused by the prior message about
    setting the favorite widths.

    Shift-W brings up the window to set the favorite track widths.
    It is the '3' key that then cycles through the favorite widths while you are

    Could it be that the '3' only works on the numeric keypad and it has to
    be set to numeric functions or vice versa? You should be able to check your
    hotkey settings as well, maybe your '3' was previously set to some other
    function or just blanked in your set-up?

    Otherwise "nospam" has a good point about trying to change the width
    manually and double checking that some design rule is not trumping your
    desired trace width change. Been there, done that, now I usually recognize
    it right away since I have run into it so many times.
  9. After some 'fidling around' I managed to get this working - it is not
    optimal but it works :)

    Now I am only left with one problem (for the time being) and that is the
    optional to have more than one clearance setting. I want one setting for
    routing and one for when adding polygons. But that I haven't been able to
    figure out.
  10. nospam

    nospam Guest

    You can have a zillion different clearance rules.

    Add a new clearance rule with a query "InPoly" against All. Make it higher
    priority than tighter clearance rules.

    It will apply to any part of a polygon against everything else on the PCB.

  11. Hugo,
    Sounds like you needd to do some reading on the capabilities of your
    tool. If you don't know how to do multiple rules then you are just playing
    at it. 8^>

    Not sure which version of AD you have but you need to check out the learning
    guides available for download through the Altium website. Like:

    TR0116 Design Rules Reference


    AR0111 Specifying the PCB Design Rules and Resolving Violations
    TR0116 Design Rules Reference earlier DXP2004 version than the one listed

    And there are many, many more, a couple of dozen. There are also some of
    these available on your computer right now through the "About" drop-down
    menu area.
  12. Well the last thing you normally do is to read the manual :)
    After not having used PCB software for some years it is a big step from
    Protel 2.0 to Altium Designer 6.7 and further more I am not full time
    user. So please forgive me if asking 'stupid' questions :)

    /* Vy 73 de OZ8HP / OZ1IIQ
    /* Hugo Pedersen
    /* Tlf. 40 28 78 84
  13. Hugo,
    No problem, you aren't exactly asking for step by step guidance on how
    to do every basic thing like some posters to the NG. Have you looked at the
    website to see all of their guides? Have to give Altium credit for doing all
    those guides, they far surpass the typical help file or manual one receives

    Protel 2.0? That must have been purchased back in about 92/93? I used
    the first versions of Protel up to and including vesion 1.7 or 1.8, then we
    threw it in the round file under my desk because we couldn't get product out
    the door, for the fact we were always sending corrupt files to Protel for

    AD is actually quite a powerful system but you do need to understand the
    rule/query portion of the tool to get the best out of it. I think the
    capabilities in the rules/queries need a few more capabilities but those
    that are there can easily surpass most of the competitive systems
    capabilities since you can write your own rules and consition them to fit
    most needs. Certainly doesn't limit you to the simple rules capabilities
    that the designers/programmers could think of up front.
  14. It sounds about right with 92-93. I started working at the company in 94
    and at that time it was the software used by the electronics guys there
    and due to my interest in the subject (I am licensed HAM amateur and
    likes to play around with small electronic setups) I tried the software
    and have been using it on and off since. About a year ago I should use
    some PCB software and got the opportunity to try the AD and I liked it
    much better than Eagle that I simply can't work with :) but since the
    license is on a laptop I burrowed from one of the guys at my old
    company, I will have to return to my old Protel 2.0

    That is the story of my use of the AD - not proff. just for fun.

    /* Vy 73 de OZ8HP / OZ1IIQ
    /* Hugo Pedersen
    /* Tlf. 40 28 78 84
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