Technical Support and
the Latest Information for VUTRAX Users
Issue Number 30
- Vutrax Version 12.2a-
Vutrax 12.2a is planned for release in April 2000.
The primary content of this bulletin is an outline of
the enhancements. Operational details of the changes are
embedded in the installed
interchangeable with Vutrax
& 12.1. Other files are forward compatible, and in
general backwards compatible if new
features are not used.
When available, this issue of the
software can be supplied from Downloads situated on
our Web site (www.vutrax.co.uk) or on
CD-ROM or Floppy
Those who have subscribed to
the Software Maintenance
Agreement and require CD or
Floppy media should
- Master & Interface
Floppy Disks (if you have any - do not return the
- A note of your media
'Download' customers will need to contact us to arrange for
a configuration file.
'Freeware' customers can update from downloaded materials
alone. The same 256 pin
limits and indefinite use
Users who have not subscribed to
the Software Maintenance Agreement and would like to know
more details of the costs involved, please
telephone or e-mail the Computamation office on:
- Vutrax 12.2a
- The new Library Management tool
provides a facility to integrate your own or third party
schematic, footprint and physical libraries to
suit your current library arrangements (or vice-versa),
such as pad code definitions, and various system changes
to make the handling
of similar devices in a number of different libraries
reliable. This tool can be used to:-
- Assign Library
Identifiers (see below).
- Deal with conflicts in
the use of pad numbers within libraries.
- Regularise the grouping
of pad numbers.
- An assortment of new libraries
(.LOG and .LIB) are also available for installation into
folders ...\LIB\ID_BD, ...\LIB\ID_PK and
...\LIB\ID_SP. These libraries
include over 2000
devices, the majority provided
in schematic, graphical footprint and physical library
forms, checked for compatibility with modification cycles.
The 'BD' series are footprints only. The libraries
'BD', 'PK' and 'SP' respectively to
ensure that they do not clash with your own libraries,
and to avoid duplications with existing library
You can find a list of the
contents of each set by choosing.
Supplementary Library -
PK etc. from (Help
> Contents > Contents list Drop-down 'Libraries'
> List sections)
These libraries are supplied as
separately installable modules.
- Dialogues and Wizard sequence positions retain any re-positioning applied, e.g. when library building the user moves
to uncover the symbol, then the next window retains the
current dialogue position.
- New dialogues for complex setup
arrangements such as Bussing (bus?)
and Find (find?) -
Items enclosed in ( ) denotes typed
- Other new dialogues include,
- Dimension (dim?)
- On-line Clearance
- Set Units (unit?)
- Set Increment (inc?)
- Hatch &
- Extensive rework of the Optimise facility includes:-
- Reversing direction of signal path fragments where
appropriate, providing more optimal sequencies for Standard
styles, and better suppression of shared metal
for PLOT optimisation.
- Handles heaps of mixed types of
points more efficiently and with greater
- Partly routed
interconnects are usually left
untouched in order to preserve user created VIA stalks on
BGA (Ball Grid Array)
and similar layouts.
- Optimise Edit is much more aggressive, re-assessing the
sequencing and joining of every track segment in a
sequence to minimise duplicated segments.
- Settings for BUS and INC functions are saved in the graphics file.
- Specifications for Powerplane Annular and Broken Rings
are checked for adequate ring
thickness, clearance to the drilled hole,
and that there are no centre offsets. When the display
scale makes such powerplane pads very small, Draft tries
to maintain some
indication of the presence of a broken ring.
- Analyse Circuit from
(Analyse) (wiregen+) warns of
text positioned so that it might appear to label an
automatically named signal.
Compatibility Warning: Existing drawings may produce real
or spurious warnings when re-analysed.
- Cycle Layers from (View) (show+) introduced to provide a
convenient way of viewing every layer used in the
drawing or layout.
- The Pin
Information (info) command
(primarily used for requesting information about component
pads) also provides additional
analysis of VIAs and Nodes, and warns of
any items counted that are not currently in the list of
- Custom commands User Command <n> from (Options > User
Command), or an assigned
Toolbar button, can be provided with
user chosen prompts for
parameters, a title (including Tooltip) and Hint text.
can at startup recognise user
selected extensions and select
an alternate mode, Merge or Read library files, or
initialisation actions required.
- The Hierarchical selection
commands (draft> and draft<) stored without folder
names first look in the current directory, and if the
is absent look in the directory of the current file.
- Text Edit (usually text/) now determines the style of
editing automatically (choosing one of Silk, Value, Signal
Name, Label, Data
point or plain text). Command '/' (forward slash) is
a short form for
- Layer change commands PICK LAYER, BOX LAYER, LAYER, and SEG
LAYER all accept options to
control the propogation of layer
changes (Z, X and A options).
- ERASE, SEG ERASE, PICK ERASE, BOX
ERASE, and all variants
of BREAK, remove redundant points they may create.
print schemes GDI Print
Boxed and Clipboard Boxed
from (File > Print
Graphics) can be used even
when using 'View-Only'
- Introduction of the PADSHAPEDEFAULT
directive to permit re-allocation of pad shapes, used in
the embedded footprints such as
SMSO, & SMLCC, generated via the new Library
Management feature. Rats Nest generation also supports the
new Library ID
- Previous issues of DESRULE
checked that the drilled hole did not exceed the
diameter or minimum width of the pad. The new default
state performs this check with a tolerance so that even
with normal mis-centering of the drill the edge of the
pad is not violated.
- DRILL LIMIT
Defines how close a hole may come to the edge of a
pad without complaint.
- MINIMUM DRILL GAP
Defines how close two holes
may be (to avoid breaking drills due to slight
- Differing Pads and VIAs at the
same coordinate are examined to ensure that they do not
unintentionally connect Blind or
Buried VIAs to one another, or to through-holes.
Futurenet Pin List import (D2WIRE)
- This converter is now integrated
with the main system and documented in the TOOLBOX
section along with CONNECT. New options
replace some ad-hoc pre-processing facilities provided to
Long names are truncated
Alternate Format for file formats where DATA,4
provides device name instead of DATA,3.
- The parts list generator now
supports both 'by pack
quantity' and 'by item quantity in nominated 'multiples'.
- Commands DEL, ERASE and ERASEDIR by
default now place what they remove in the Windows Recycle Bin.
DIR command with /J option
will place quotes round names containing spaces. (No
impact on standard Vutrax operation).
- FULLPATH produces an additional environment variable
FNSHORT -you can obtain the dismantled 'short' name if required
interfacing to 16 bit or DOS based utilities.
- The COPY and XCOPY commands
now accept options to control file overwrite, which
override both the contextual decision and any
COPYCMD environment option:-
- Three new highlighting features
based on file type determined from the file extension:-
- Spell checking on appropriate fields.
- Format Highlighting (e.g. Rule keywords, comments)
- Bracket matching in C & C++ language files.
- Find and other text input
mechanisms support line editing, Cut (Ctrl+X), Copy (Ctrl+C)
and Paste (Ctrl+V).
- The Caret and Window Scroll
positions are automatically restored to those at the time
of the Save.
- When a new file is started from
within See using Open from
(File) or Ctrl+O, you have
the option of displaying it in another window
rather than replacing the existing file.
- The default selection for some
message boxes has been changed to better reflect normal
Computamation Systems Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)1525 261 381
Vutrax is a registered trademark of Computamation Systems Ltd.