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Make a part with more than 64 pins

Amber 7 years, 1 month ago

How do I create a microcontroller board (using the parts editor) that has more than 64 pins? Neither the generic ic or the mystery part allow more than that.

Jonathan Cohen 7 years, 1 month ago

Hi Amber,

There is indeed currently a hard limit of 64 pins.  For now you would have to find another part with more pins--for example one of the larger Arduinos or something in the Sparkfun library. 

- j

Amber 7 years, 1 month ago

The Arduion Mega seems to have the most pins available, but the part I'm trying to make has 98 pins- 16 more than the Mega. Is it possible to add more to that, or would it be more advisable to wait until the new parts editor is completely release?

Jonathan Cohen 7 years, 1 month ago

Hi Amber,

Your post requires multiple answers.

-- We will bump the allowable number of pins on mystery parts and generic ics to 128 in the next release, which is due out probably in the next week or two.

-- The next big revision of the parts editor is probably not in the cards until Q3 2013.

-- Though it is indeed is a convenient way to get started making a custom part, it is not necessary for you to wait for a 96 pin part to be available. It is "only" necessary that you create or modify three svg images (breadboard, schematic, pcb) containing structures (i.e. svg elements) which are used to make up connectors. 

To be less abstract about it, in breadboard and schematic view, these structures are typically <rect> elements, and in pcb view these elements are typically <circle> elements. In the context of other forum posts I have seen that you are quite adept at using Illustrator, so this is where you would create these elements.

There is a complication, which is that the elements have to be grouped, and the group has to be given an specific ID (i.e. "breadboard" or "copper0"), but you are also already familiar with this.

So it's up to you whether to wait for the next release. If you choose to go forward immediately, I have the following suggestions:

  • start with a 64 pin generic ic or mystery part
  • open it up in the parts editor and under the File menu choose 'Show in Folder'. This will point you to the svg image for breadboard view. Make a copy of it to edit. Tab to schematic and pcb view and do the same. Now you have three images to start with. 
  • In a text editor, take a look at these svg images to see how they are organized. If they are too complicated to make sense of, then start with a 4 pin generic ic or mystery part and look at those images in a text editor.
  • It is not necessary for you to create the connector ids in Illustrator, only the group ids. When you use the Parts Editor "Select Graphic" button, that will create the connector ids. However, if it is easier for you, you have the choice to do so in Illustrator.
  • For more background about custom parts you might check out this tutorial; for a more technical description of the parts format look here. The tutorial is out of date, since it is based on the earlier incarnation of the parts editor, but the broad outlines are still relevant. The technical document is out-of-date, because there are new capabilities of parts (like bendable legs) that have been implemented since the paper was written. But for your purposes it is probably a sufficient introduction.
  • Once you are ready to work in the Parts Editor again, tab to the Connectors view, and change the number of connectors to 96 (this number entry field is at the very top of the view). You can then scroll down in the view and add metadata for each of the individual pins.
Good luck.

- j

 

 

Amber 7 years, 1 month ago

Thank you!

Amber 7 years ago

Has the number of permissible pins been bumped up yet?

Amber 7 years ago

Never mind, thanks!

Jonathan Cohen 7 years ago

Hi Amber,

Yes, bumped to 128 pins in the latest release (available for download since yesterday).

- j