2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2014 9:28 AM by aclark

    Offsite PCB Layout of existing PCB

    aclark

      I'm about to embark on an offsite PCB update, and I'd like to use a remote design database.  The Schematics and PCB were done in EE7.9.4u6.  The schematics have been updated in DxD & packaged, but have not been forward annotated to the PCB yet.


      We haven't used remote databases before (as described in the DxD User Guide "Exchanging Design Data with a Remote Location" or EE CES User's manual "Offsite PCB Layout and Remote Teams"). However, I'm very keen for us to start using them.  From our sub-contractor's site, we cannot access the database that drives DxDatabook, nor our live central library.  This means that whatever change in the design needs all PCB work to stop, the design sent back to us, updated, and then sent to the sub-contractor again.

       

      In principle, it seems that you end up with a local and remote database, with forward/back annotation archives sent between the two sites to syncronise the local and remote databases.  However, it's obvious that there is a much stronger conenction between DxD and the Expedition PCB through iCDB than there used to be with DC+Exp, and just copying PCB files might not work, or worse might break things badly.

       

      The process described in the CES user manual says:

       

      Prerequisites

        • A PCB design does not yet exist.

       

      Is it possible to use the remote database functionality if the PCB already exists?

      How would the process be different to that described in the DXD/CES User's manuals?

        • 1. Re: Offsite PCB Layout of existing PCB
          MikeD

          Have you tried the "Undock" command from the Flle menu in Expedition? That should enable you to 'disconnect' the PCB from the schematic, send it out and continue working on the schematic. You would then have to get the PCB database back, re-dock it and forward-anno.

          Have you tried that?

          • 2. Re: Offsite PCB Layout of existing PCB
            aclark

            Hi Mike.

            No we didn't try that.  In the end we zipped up the entire project (iCDB + PCB) and sent it to the sub-con, and then they sent it back (234Mb!).  We'll have a few more of these forward/backward steps, and that was what I was hoping to avoid.  What I wanted was to be able to just send the forward/back annotate files, that should in theory be much smaller.  As it is, the transfer from one site to the other with this size file takes us a few hours.

             

            I was hoping that maybe someone here uses this functionality, or that the usual Mentor people on here know about it.

             

            The "undock" feature does look interesting though for some other use cases, and I suppose would allow some concurrent schematic editing while the PCB file is offsite.