Import utility for PCAD2006

Started by Mike, August 27, 2010, 12:44:23 PM

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A while ago I knocked up a utility to create a TFR file from the pick & place report from PCAD2006.
It sets up all the part locations and rotations, and generates ref points automatically.
Once parts are in the CDF, it allows you to go straight from the PCAD2006 pick/place report to a TFR file ready to load into RV Setup.

Issues :
Can be slow with larger designs when running networked. This is because for each part, it searches the CDF for a match which is inefficent over a network. At some point I'll update this to make a local copy of the CDF to speed things up.

I've not yet investigated exactly how much of the stuff in the TFR file is actually necessary. I just copied what RV Gerber did. For example I don't know if its actually necessary to copy all the CDF data in to the TFR file. 

The default paths are nailed into the source, but can be changed at run-time, and assume a networked drive P:

Minimal comments I'm afraid but might be useful as a basis to others wanting to streamline their setup process.

Files :

Full setup package. Includes VB6 support DLLs etc. Once installed once, updates just need the .exe replacing

VB6 source project and executable Executable will run if you already have VB6 support DLLs installed

Sample PCAD2006 Pick/Place input file


Thanks for this - mighty handy.
I've got a version converted to VB 2008 express, if anyone feels the need to fiddle, and doesn't have an ancient copy of vb6 handy - 2008 express is a freebie download. It's not that it's hard, just a waste of time doing it twice.
At the moment, I'm bodging my Altium pick&place files to look like PADS, rather than messing with the code, since VB makes me whimper...

Does the Versatronic importer actually work in any meaningful manner?



Just updated with a few more features. :
Include or exclude all parts of the same value in one click
Change rotation of individual parts or all parts of the same value
Step & repeat  (avoids issue of repeating panel fids when done in RV setup)  
Makes local copy of CDF for faster speed on networked drive

Attathed zip contains VB source and executable - if you need full setup, run the earlier version above, and when installed replace the .exe in teh install dir with the one in this zip.


Hmmm wonder how easily I can able to use this as a starting point for something to reverse the process, so I can have all my TFR's I created using gerbers and RVPlace into PnP files I can then put into a new machine. Its seems likely its the least painful option, the other ones being,
1) make everyone reopen their old projects and generate the PnP file they did not originally supply.
2)Input all existing projects by using manual teach.

Primary obstacle: VB, I am no programmer but if it were Delphi, Pascal, C, C# or even Java I dabble enough that I could probably comprehend it much quicker :(.


If you know that many languages VB won't be much of challenge to understand...

If converting from TFR to a format for another machine, bigger issues are going to be how well documented the new format is, and mapping component names from your CDF library to the new parts library, making sure rotations are the same.


there is a ready made utility that converts TFR in to Cad Format for the VIVO. Sorts all the CDF and angle stuff out. we use it with our machine. saved loads of time.


I would expect nothing less given it's marketed directly at RV users as a natural replacement. Somehow I doubt he's going to start giving away/selling it separately to those who don't choose Vivo's.


does anyone give anything away these days. crikey look at how much Bill G made out of software.. and it doesnt write  its self and some thing like that is quite specific. Thing is has any one asked him? Lets be honest its got to be worth paying a bit for if it means you get data in the right format whatever machine you use. or of course people can do the work themselves.. its all about how much time u got spare really..


Well I keep meaning to sit down and teach myself a modern language properly and a real project that is not as complicated as the other one I have in mind ( Some kind of MES )  could be just the ticket. But aside from that it could be worth asking and paying for it must be worth an hour per product...