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Discussion: Rules For Drawing Readable Schematics

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by atferrari, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Why not just use png or jpg? The snipping tool in Windows 7 is so convenient. Sorry, I don't know whether that tool is available in later versions.

    John
     
  2. DerStrom8

    DerStrom8 Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    I don't use images because they generally have very poor quality and you cannot zoom in for more detail without it pixelating.
     
  3. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Ironically, all of the "good" examples posted so far in this thread have been images, not pdf's.

    John
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Ian Rogers

    Ian Rogers Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    It's the type... BMP's have to be large...PNG's seem to give excellent results... When you post a BMP it has to be made small to fit and a lot of detail goes with it... GIF and PNG don't have massive sizes so they port better..

    Snipping! or Copy and Paste, seems to work well
     
  6. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    My point exactly. ETO's software also allows display of just a thumbnail, so large schematics don't disrupt a thread. Converting to pdf can be a pain.

    John
     
  7. DerStrom8

    DerStrom8 Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Unless they're huge, I've always had bad luck with PNGs. If you try zooming in it gets very pixelated and difficult to read.
     
  8. atferrari

    atferrari Well-Known Member

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    Hola John

    Based on what I've been doing in my work for much more than 15 years now, I can say that generating .pdf documents is very easy. I use an OLD soon-to-expire Acrobat version (because I will move to Win 7, 8 or 10 and I do not expect it to still work).

    It is fast to convert the usual documents generated by Office and also common graphic files.

    While not relevant for what is being discussed here but a lot in my daily job, there is a big advantage in using it: after "printing" the Office document, you can insert pages consisting of graphic files (.png, .jpg, etc) in the same sesion and as an added bonus you can compress the whole thing.

    Still have to find one of the free packages doing the first two things above in just one pass.

    I am also a long time Corel Draw user (of an also OLD soon-to-expire version). To avoid a recurrent crash every time it was asked to export as .pdf, I use the Acrobat "printing" and I get a .pdf in no time.

    Additional comment (close to digressing now): it is amazing that nowadays (and I mean the last, maybe one week ago) I still receive from heavy weight companies in my area, documents in Word!! (and poorly composed BTW :nailbiting:).
     

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  9. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

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    atferrari, if you pdf write doesn't work out for you when you change, have a look at PDF24. It's so simple even I can use it. And can change word documents to pdf in the click of a mouse too. And it's free! http://en.pdf24.org/
     
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  10. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Now, THAT is interesting. Can it be installed as a printer so you can "print to PDF" simply?

    My Adobe Acrobat is v.8 and going from Eagle to a pdf can be a pain, as I stated before. Lots of clicks.

    John
     
  11. atferrari

    atferrari Well-Known Member

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    Have to check what yours actually means John, but as far as I recall, the first time I saw any software doing "printing" as Acrobat does/did was Acrobat. I could not believe it the first time. A wise move from the designers I think.
     
  12. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Active Member

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    I use free PDF995 also installs as a printer.
    Max.
     
  13. JonSea

    JonSea Well-Known Member

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    Primo PDF is another free PDF creator that installs as a printer. Just print, select Primo as the printer and you'll soon have a PDF.
     
  14. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is installed as a printer. The only problem I have with it is making sure that I select my laser printer when I want to print something. The PDF printer comes up as default and I don't know enough about computers to change it. Other than that I've used it for several years with no problems.
     
  15. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I discovered that PDF995 , which installed with my tax software, could be run standalone and directly from Eagle. It works well, but is not set as default. Isn't setting the default simply a matter of going into your printer dialog?

    In many cases, I do not want to display the whole schematic. The snipping tool with highlighting (format = png) will remain my weapon of choice for those cases.

    John
     
  16. atferrari

    atferrari Well-Known Member

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    As far as I can recall, always my Epson printer was the default one.
     
  17. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Active Member

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    Very simple to set a printer as default in the Control Panel, Printers and other Hardware, right click and select default from drop down.
    Max.
     
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  18. Tony Stewart

    Tony Stewart Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Olin has a lot of experience similar and different to mine and I don't agree with all he said, but that's just his opinion.

    I know there are standards for capturing Logic Diagrams ( which includes Analog but means a logical capture vs a physical capture, but I've forgotten where.

    But since standards aren't free, few small shops buy them, just like IPC standards for layout design pads, spacings, design rules, quality criteria, so beginners learn rules from whoever they work for.

    Historically, military created standards for schematics with dots on all junctions and no 4 way junctions because microfiche was used for archive storage and dots could appear on cross lines would be ignored from lens blurring. But those are rules based on old technology.

    I can read any good schematic, no matter how complex it is from any country because of a standards set of rules, but more importantly an artistic skill for hand drawing skill, flow, symmetry, aspect ratio, size and gaps or fill factor, annotations, labels, values, test points and proper labels.

    If you've ever tried to read an old car schematic with few labels and tons of cross wires, you know some bad examples of schematics.

    A good schematic has elegance and complexity yet clear illustration of a easy to read logic for analog and/or digital, no matter what language or country the schematic came from. Same holds true for Programming language documentation and Int'l Air Traffic Control lingo. One language and one set of core rules. Of course you might always get a strong accent, same in drawings, but some of the best schematics I have read are like a good book, and many came from Japan.

    I was used to large C or D size after I convinced my draftsman in 1975, that E,F and G size just wouldn't fit on my workbench with dozens of pages. So I coached him on high fill factor and smaller font.

    I like to think back at who were the best illustrators of "logic diagrams". WHen it came to block diagrams and simple ccts. HP journals were the best, then came EDN magazine Design Hints.
    But when it came to complex Analog with discrete parts, Tektronix and HP had the most readable schematic documents for instruments.

    What I liked about Tek. was designators were zoned in blocks of 100 so all parts on the board for one zone for one function started at R100, R101... same for C100, L100, CR100 so they could be recognized easily on layout and logic.

    There are hundreds of good rules I can think of, but it would be a waste. Just find your own favorite books of schematics.

    Often you need a good block diagram which I also created for my complex designs.
    [​IMG]

    Then , we all used to draw schematics on paper napkins in the cafeteria during breaks. ( not mine .. ref EDN)

    [​IMG]


    Then trade magazines always had good illustrators for simple circuits, but often left out important details for simplicity and ease of reading.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. alec_t

    alec_t Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Is Fig1 supposed to be an example of a bad schematic? Q1 has no emitter/collector distinction :confused:.
     
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  20. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Active Member

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  21. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi,

    In the context of this thread I think there are three kinds of schematics:
    1. Really bad.
    2. A little bad.
    3. Very good, professional looking.

    The really bad ones have diodes pointing in almost any direction, with no regard for relative parts placement, input could be on the right side instead of the left, etc.
    The 'little bit bad' ones arent too bad, maybe the author didnt have a huge amount of experience drawing them yet.
    The very good ones look like the parts are drawn clearly either vertical or horizontal.

    With regard to the pin placement on symbols, it is impossible to make a good looking schematic with all types of parts if you try to lay it out exactly like the physical package pinout, you know, 1,2,3,4, on the bottom and 8,7,6,5 on the top. That works for some packages but for the most part is not a good idea. It's better to make the drawing more readable by numbering the pins as they connect to other objects.
    For troubleshooting and/or hand wiring it is better to have them as the physical package, but for the schematic it is better for the drawing itself, so the best bet is to use a separate inset drawing with the physical package layout along with the nicely drawn schematic.
    What i started doing is taking a snap shot of the package layout right from the pdf and then pasting it right into the schematic, usually on the far right side. This provides an instant reference to the package pinout and still allows the nicer schematic layout. So for example for an LM317 the drawing would look like the standard rectangle with Vin, Vout, and Vadj on the bottom, but to the far right there would be a 3d-ish picture of the actual package with actual pinout, taken right from the data sheet. It doesnt make the file size much larger either when using the .gif file format.

    pdf's just outright bite for a pile of reasons. Yeah we need them but only because they are so common now.
     

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