Schematic Capture

Schematic Capture is the process of creating your schematic inside an EDA.

3. Place Components

Last week you hopefully created a parts library for this design.  Now it's time to open it and place the parts. 

But before you do, I want to take a moment to jump forward in time. 

Once the schematic is complete, you will create a PCBLayout.  And many of the EDA programs used in this course initially explode parts onto the page.

PCB Land Patterns

A random part placement created by DipTrace

Some programs are better about part organization than others.  But usually, after the schematic is made, you've got to organize the parts -- put bypass capacitors near their respective ICs, placed programming headers near the parent IC, etc... 

Little things you do to organize the parts now will save you a great deal of time later.

RefDes Manipulation Option

Unique Reference Designators must be assigned to each part.  If you accidentally assign the same reference designator to two parts, you will get a DFA hold from your assembly shop, and they will require you to redesign your schematic to correct the error.  One option is to index the part numbers by 50, 100, etc... for each page of your design -- effectively assigning a prefix to the numerical descriptor.  That way, you can collect all the part numbers that have values 1xx, 2xx, 3xx, etc... and know they belong together on the PCB.  You can assign the numbers manually, or set a page index in your EDA software.  Look for something that refers to RefDes renumbering

Parts Organized by RefDes

All of the parts from one design block can be easily identified by part number

Other Software Options

Your specific EDA  software might have other tools to deal with the issue.  Altium uses Rooms, DipTrace offers RefDes Renumbering, etc...  You likely don't have to worry about the numbers until the schematic is fully drawn in your system.