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Block generator

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#1 Block generator

Is there any information  on add connectors to the a block generator.

Please let us know how it goes.

Thanks for posting on the forum.

Using V1.3.26 or later, you can select terminals in the block generator, then choose Assign to Connector from the Block Generator tab.

A dialog box will be displayed, where you can select to which connector of the component you want those terminals assigned. 

If you don't have any connectors added yet, go to the Create/Add tab and select New Connector.

Please let us know how it goes.

P.S. We're in the process of creating an updated tutorial.

I'm trying to wrap my head

I'm trying to wrap my head around this new functionality - 

Show tab - Terminals per channels shows a column for the terminals of the block indicating what connector they are assigned to per the above. However, Show tab - Connectors and Connector pins does not show any pins assigned to the connectors. I can Create/Add tab New connector pin, or insert a pin symbol and assign it to the connector, but the pin seems to be unrelated to the Terminal (which has the Port symbol in the Terminals per channels view)?

For example, I can wire Terminal 1 of connector J1 of block Alarm to Pin 1 of connector J1 of block Alarm and the wire list shows the source and destination as "Alarm-J1-1" and "Alarm-J1 - 1", with some whitespace characters present in the terminal name but not the pin name.

What's the utility of assigning terminals to connectors when the terminals (ports?) don't become pins? 

I have devices which require populating a connector to interface to them (no terminal wiring). Right now, "sticking" pin symbols to the terminal symbols of a block seems to waste the functionality of a block (the device is not listed as the "mating" connector, for example). The block generator gives a nice box with lines of terminal descriptions, but without pins intelligently following matching terminals around, it's just a box with text.

What am I missing?

Adding connectors pins in

Adding connectors pins in this context is not necessary, since the connection ports (which have been assigned to connectors) can be directly considered as the connector pins. 
We know that may be a little confusing...

We have some revised block generator tutorials in production which should help hopefully.

What's the utility of assigning terminals to connectors when the terminals (ports?) don't become pins? 

Those are the two main goals which users had that resulted in us making it possible.

This feature is specifically to accommodate embedded connectors.
It's not intended to allow the block generator to be used to create independent connectors.

Please let us know if that helps or not.

I am unable to use any of the

I am unable to use any of the features of connector pins with ports(terminals) - I cannot assign part numbers, the connector table is empty, the harness wire list is empty, etc. What am I missing?

Am I misunderstanding what you mean by "embeded" connectors? Obviously the connector features permanently contained within the device (the built-in connector) would not need pin information, as it's immutable as delivered. However, the only way to interface with the built-in connector is with the appropriate mating connector/pin assembly. This appropriate mating connector, as mandated by the use of the device (but you can un-click and walk away with), is the connector I'm concerned with pin functionality.

Currently, I'm manually creating the mating connector (belonging to the project), and inserting its pins with the business-end connection point coincident with the terminsl a block port on the schematic. I then need to manually ensure the pin number and terminal number match, and I must either manually maintain the pin usage information on both the block and the mating connector (so I can see which pin I need for some purpose during a pin swap), or leave the mating connector pin usage blank and constantly refer back to the block.

It doesn't make sense to me to create catalog parts of a physical connector, but also include the pin usage information. If we have six blocks with the same type of built-in connectors, all their mating connectors are the same part number, but there are 6 different pin use cases.

I can create connectors belonging to a block, and create pins for those connectors, but as mentioned above there is no link between the terminals and pins. I'm maintaining a duplicate list of pin function, etc. between the ports and pins (maybe slightly more conviniently within the block editor than with a connector otherwise belonging to the project). I still manually have to place and maintain the pins on the schematic with respect to the terminals and block symbols (drag and stretch functionality doesn't work, etc.)

The best way I can see this functionality working is when you insert a connection to a terminal on a block (when the terminal is assigned to a connector) SkyCAD knows the only way for this connection to actually exist is via a connector through a pin, and all the pin functionality works, matching this reality automatically.

Is this currently possible?

Thanks

 

Are we doing something differently to you? 

I am unable to use any of the features of connector pins with ports(terminals) - I cannot assign part numbers, the connector table is empty, the harness wire list is empty, etc. What am I missing?
It seems to work for us, besides the fact that the connector table does not reference the embedded connector in the block generator component:

Are we doing something differently to you? 

Let's start with that to make sure we're on the same page, then we'll discuss more from there. 

P.S. Just in case there is any misunderstanding, we will re-iterate the most important point:
The block generator should not be used to create independant connectors (i.e. the mating connectors you refered to), but it can be used to create components which have embedded (built-in) connectors. 
We have a new block generator tutorial. At 4:00, it briefly describes what is meant by embedded connectors. 
 

After viewing your example

After viewing your example above, I'm now certain what you mean by independent connector, and can articulate the following:

I think the block generator should create independent connectors automatically to mate to the embeded connectors.

If terminals 1 & 2 of your AS1 symbol above are pins of an embeded connector, you must interface with them using pins 1 & 2 of the mating independent connector. Maintaining the pairing between embeded and independent connector pair pins now is a slow, error-prone manual process.

You cannot connect to pins 1 & 2 of a 10-pin embeded connector using pins 3 & 4 of the mating independent connector, nor could you connect to a 10-pin embeded connector using an 11-pin mating independent connector. 

I am currently making independent mating connectors as you are CN1 above. I wish CN1's catalog information was included in the "test" block, I wish CN1-1 was automatically placed when a connection was made to "test" terminal 1 (preventing me accidentally swapping CN1-1 and CN1-2, which is physically impossible), and I wish terminals 1 and 2 didn't look like screws, without chaning the template terminal symbols to look like pins (where now screw terminals look like pins).

Finally, I wish the block generator did not allow the catalog part selection for embeded connectors. As they are embeded, they cannot be separate parts, and this functionality is misleading (this is what led me to believe your embeded connectors were actually independent connectors).

Thanks for the updated block generator tutorial.

 

We believe we have some

We believe we have some helpful suggestions for you to try, but first we'll address some your suggestions.

I think the block generator should create independent connectors automatically to mate to the embeded connectors.
That may be imagineable, but we'd have to give it more consideration. (The devil is in the details.)

If terminals 1 & 2 of your AS1 symbol above are pins of an embeded connector, you must interface with them using pins 1 & 2 of the mating independent connector. 
In most cases yes, but not always. 
For example, with some military connectors other users have shown us, pins 1 & 2 of a component will connect with pins A & B of the mating connector. 
That said, we recently implemented a feature that is handy for most cases (where terminals 1 & 2 connect to mating pins 1 & 2).
In the example above, if you set the Gender property of the embedded connector to Plug and the Gender property of the mating connector to Jack, then run Component Renumbering, the mating connector pins will be renumbered to match the embedded connector. 
That should help make the pairing process much faster for you. 

I wish CN1's catalog information was included in the "test" block, I wish CN1-1 was automatically placed when a connection was made to "test" terminal 1 (preventing me accidentally swapping CN1-1 and CN1-2, which is physically impossible)
If you make a graphical grouping out of the component block and the mating connector pins (after you've defined them properly) that should help a lot, since you'd only have to do that "pairing" work once, and it would be easier due to the plug/jack feature mentioned above.

I wish terminals 1 and 2 didn't look like screws, without chaning the template terminal symbols to look like pins (where now screw terminals look like pins).
There is a way for you to choose how each individual terminal looks. Similar to how you can choose how communication ports look
We'll write some instructions on how to achieve that for other terminals (which is not precisely the same process as for communication ports). 

Finally, I wish the block generator did not allow the catalog part selection for embeded connectors. As they are embeded, they cannot be separate parts, and this functionality is misleading
Sorry it was misleading, but we'll have to keep that functionality, since embedded connectors can sometimes be bought separately and be different types. (Though perhaps "embedded connector" is not exactly the right terminology for that.) 
For example, this PLC module can have different types of embedded connectors, which are sold separately.

Please let us know if the above suggestions are helpful!

Component renumbering for

Component renumbering for pins of mating connectors - This new functionality is great and will make life much easier, thank you

Graphical groupings with block and mating pins - we discovered graphical groupings with pins doesn't work as expected, see https://my.skycad.ca/forums/beta-testing/graphical-grouping-creates-dupl...

Terminal visual style a la different conneciton ports - Very excited to have this option, please do write up some instructions

(as a side note, I've been browser-bookmarking several instructions you've posted on the forum for various use cases which I too encounter, is there a place/plan for an organized list of links to all these don't-quite-fit-a-tutorial-video techniques? Having a list to browse to familiarize myself with the not-obvious functionality, without having to realize I have a specific need and go searching/asking, would be great)

Catalog information of embeded connectors - I suppose you're right, this is a grey area if there's a swappable supplied-with-plc connector which then further mates to a harness connector. Perhaps an option for "embedded" connector which will grey-out the catalog fields, and a "supplied" connector option which allows catalog information would be more clear. Restricting these options to a connector in context to a generated block might be tricky.

Thanks for all the info, it's very helpful to me and I hope to others who are yet to ask the same questions

Glad to hear some of that is

Glad to hear some of that is helpful!

Graphical groupings with block and mating pins - we discovered graphical groupings with pins doesn't work as expected, see https://my.skycad.ca/forums/beta-testing/graphical-grouping-creates-dupl...
Ah, indeed. I forgot about that, sorry. Hopefully the fact that connector jack/plug pins can now match is enough until we can solve that. 

Terminal visual style a la different conneciton ports - Very excited to have this option, please do write up some instructions
Will do. We're in the process of writing a written tutorial for that and will send you link once it is done. 

(as a side note, I've been browser-bookmarking several instructions you've posted on the forum for various use cases which I too encounter, is there a place/plan for an organized list of links to all these don't-quite-fit-a-tutorial-video techniques? Having a list to browse to familiarize myself with the not-obvious functionality, without having to realize I have a specific need and go searching/asking, would be great)
This is a tricky one, since users almost always have different needs, so if we'd have to publish a list like that, chances are that no matter what your needs are, the vast majority of the results in the list wouldn't apply to you. 
That said, we do have a plan to create a more traditional "Help" section of our website, where you can search a term/feature and get a more robust list of results, which will include explanations about a specific feature (instead of having to search for it within a tutorial or forum thread). 
(I browser-bookmark too, which I've found to be quite effective.)

Perhaps an option for "embedded" connector which will grey-out the catalog fields, and a "supplied" connector option which allows catalog information would be more clear.
Perhaps, though it may get tricky as you mentioned.
For now, we'll rely on the tutorial about that (coming soon) and see how it goes. 

Here is the link to the tutorial.

Terminal visual style a la different conneciton ports - Very excited to have this option, please do write up some instructions
Here is the link to the tutorial.