Release Notes for Copper Connection
These are the notes for the current version of Copper Connection.
We welcome additional bug reports and suggestions.
The Home Edition is free of charge and all paid licenses are valid with the current version.
All files created with earlier versions remain compatible.
Therefore, there is no reason not to upgrade to the current version.
None known as of February 1, 2016. Please let us know if you find any.
L1. Limited parts library
Workaround: Easy to add your own parts. Or, drag your ExpressPCB custom component files onto the board window if you are migrating from that program.
Future: The part library will continue to grow. In fact, Copper Connection ships with approximately as many part layouts as does ExpressPCB.
L2. Does not support schematics / no schematic editor
Future: An integrated or separate application can be developed if there is enough interest
L3. Cannot print boards larger than page size.
- Switch to landscape mode for wide board
- Reduce the margins using Page Setup
- Or, print to PDF (or other digital printer) and then print from there.
Note: Being able to print across pages is not likely useful for etching at home, as aligning pieces from separate sheets is error prone.
Furthermore, you probably shouldn't be home-etching really large boards as they will suffer warping inaccuracies from the paper, transparency, or method of transfer.
Future: Printing across pages might be useful for inspection purposes.
L4. Tiny filled polygons, filled rectangles, rectangular pads, and pour slivers that are smaller than the minimum thickness will not be caught by Design Rule Check
Workaround: For pour slivers, erase them with Keep Out areas.
L5. [Limitation removed. Feature added in v3.0 for Design Rule Check to detect and highlight overlapping filled-polygon segments.]
L6. Traces on the same layer that cross over each other but do not have a point at the intersection are not noted in Design Rule Check.
There is nothing wrong with having traces this way, but may be an indication of an unintentional connection by the user.
Future: Yes, if there is enough interest
L7. Continuity tool ignores pours, images, and elements on the inner layers.
Workaround for pours: In the View menu, turn off Show Pours. Connect the desired holes with traces and then turn back on pours.
Future: Yes, if there is enough interest
L8. The reliefs in thermal pads are displayed on screen with rounded ends, but have square ends in Gerber.
Future: Yes, if the difference is found to be significant
L9. Rectangles, text, notes, images, non-circular arcs/ellipses, and some other elements can only be accurately rotated by multiples of 90 degrees, rather than arbitrary angles
Workaround: For rectangles that you want to rotate to an arbitrary angle, use a polygon instead. The right-click menu includes Convert Rectangles to Polygons to speed this process.
Future: Yes, if there is enough interest
L10. [Limitation removed. Feature added in v1.4 to retain rotation angle.]
L11. Arial Unicode MS is the font used to display Unicode characters.
An empty box characters may be displayed in various places on older operating systems (such as XP) or where the font is not installed.
Workaround: Install Microsoft Office (even the trial version) or download the font online. Note: Office 2016 no longer has the font.
L12. The square area measurement for an element with pours is for the full area as if no elements were subtracting from it.
L13. The dot ('.') is always used to indicate decimals in PCB files and when copy/pasted to/from Excel, even in cultures where commas are used.
This is because you are looking at internal data that must stay consistent so that the files and tools are compatible regardless of the country.
Also, Gerber and pick-and-place files are intended to be read by programs, as opposed to humans.
L14. Copper Connection displays smooth graphics, WYSIWYG dragging/resizing, and highlighting by cursor.
As such, large files are slower to display compared to programs that do not include such features.
You can speed performance by disabling Smooth Graphics, Show Pours, and Show Highlight at Cursor in the View menu.
However, if you routinely deal with large complex boards, you should consider a high-end CAD package.
L15. The clearance setting in Board Properties is used to generate gaps between elements and pours.
Design Rule Check does not check the clearance between elements.
See Converting Express PCB Files.
- If any changes are made to export settings, they will now be listed as custom. This avoids a user mistake of exporting to a manufacturer using accidentally altered settings. Save the changes to have the name appear again.
- Clicking the 'Set File Extensions to Default' button now properly updates the screen.
- Will no longer allow you to enter export file extensions that are definitely not correct (png, rrb, zip, etc), to avoid simple mistakes.
- Allow exported files to only be in the .zip. (Technically, the files are written and then deleted after packaging.)
- The exported files now include the name of the manufacturer settings you chose.
- Added some helpful text to the Extensions tab to direct people to the settings that affect file output.
- Added parts: ATtiny88, LEDs, PNP surface mount transistor, Molex 3 screw terminal part, 3339P trimpot, ATmega168, ISP6 surface mount, surface-mount photosensor, surface-mount LEDs, and inductor.
- Added additional example boards (LED Tester Pro, Motor Mount, PCB Etch Test, and Sump Pump Dump).
- Updated license agreement.
- Element X/Y location at the bottom status bar now changes its icon depending on the board origin direction.
- Added conversion tool tips to multiple pull down menus in main ribbon.
- When overwriting a file on a network hard drive, told .NET to ignore attribute errors when the user does not have access permission to update them.
- Added Center on Selected menu item to the view menu.
- Now allowed to select, copy/paste, and duplicate board edges that are part of a group (usually because they are cutouts in a part).
- Warns you if you try to delete the board edge. It's okay to delete a board edge if you're going to replace it. But, it shouldn't occur accidentally.
- Added Convert to Rectangle (for polygons) to the right click menu.
- Added lowercase lambda to all of the fonts.
- Rounding tolerance in calculated pad ring size during Design Rule Check.
- Polygon outline (and keep-out outline) no longer warns about crossing lines in Design Rule Check, because only filled polygons are ambiguous.
- Polygons with crossing lines now have the crossing lines highlighted one at a time by Design Rule Check. For multiple polygons, you can skip onto the next polygon by clicking the Select Another button.
- Design Rule Check now warns about standalone points.
- Design Rule Check now warns about really short-length traces that aren't just between pads.
- About and update screen drop build number from version
- Increased maximum pad and maximum line/trace thickness to 5 inches.
- Now auto converts 220o into 220ohmsymbol when the items being modified have the schematic designator R (resistor).
- Shows up to 7 characters of the pad/hole description when Show Id Annotations is enabled. This makes IC wiring much easier.
- Margins in the Page Setup were changing for metric customers due to a weird .NET property.
2015/04/05 v2.9 build 5573
- Added Align Edges Horizontal and Align Edges Vertical.
- Hold down the shift key on any of the alignment features to align numerically rather than visually.
- Added many more parts.
- Added S shape on Schottky diodes.
- When cataloging user parts or files, Copper Connection now follows folder shortcuts.
That way, you can store files on drives or locations other than the default paths.
To prevent adding more files than desired, you now need to hold down the Ctrl key to follow subfolders when adding All Files From A Folder in the Gallery.
- Added Clear Recent History to Part menu.
- Added Clear button to Grid and Snap spacing.
- Changed some wording in the View->Measurement Units menus for clarity.
- Added Quick Switch to Inch and Quick Switch to Millimeter to make switching all of the settings back and forth easier.
- Land Pattern Generator and Calculator scratchpad no longer affected by 'Allow Mixed Units to Display' setting.
- Added tool tip on Land Pattern Generator fields showing converted measurement values.
- Inserting an ohm symbol (0x2126) from the edit text or edit description boxes was inserting Greek capital letter omega (0x03A9) instead.
- The pulldown menu in Add Text or Modify Text was inserting a Greek mu (0x03BC) instead of a Unicode micro (0x00B5).
- Displays all board pours when a solder mask or solder paste layer is enabled in the layer window.
- No longer automatically shows the solder mask layers when a board is opened containing elements on those layers.
Still automatically shows these layers on part library boards.
- Update messages now includes a button to go to the release notes page.
- No longer set the default Hole Diameter (maximum) rule to 0.251 on imported boards.
- Design Rule Check Can now catch crossing lines in a polygon.
- Design Rule Check Can now catch extraneous (sequential collinear) points in a polygon.
- Reworded Print 'As Displayed' to emphasize margin over centering, zoom % over fitting to the screen, etc.
- Added Santa Trap sample file.
2015/01/01 v2.8 build 5479
- Added fonts:
- Easy is similar to Anytime, but with a little more whitespace between letters
- Incline is italic
- Script is fancy cursive handwriting
- Teeny is similar to Tiny, but all uppercase and some variation in letter shapes
- Republic is a serif font that also includes Greek unicode letters
- When an otherwise rectangular board (with no cutouts) is slightly askew (<0.1 inch), Design Rule Check explains the issue and corrective action.
If a single edge is at fault, the edge is highlighted for user correction.
- Windows were not remembering being moved if a user moved the window, maximized the window, and then closed or exited.
This was particularly acute to users dragging the window to another monitor.
- Help Contents in the Help menu now goes to the Help section of the main page, rather than the top of the page.
- No longer removes the Product Key value from setting file if it appears corrupted.
- Previously, if you set custom clearance on an element and then switch to None, the saved file still contained the custom clearance value. Now it is properly set to zero.
2014/11/26 v2.7 build 5443
- Printing from Print Preview works again. Oops.
- Added new parts (Tag Connect, PowerPad, LED 1210, ATtiny84A, SOD123, fiducials, 2032 battery holder, SOT23-3, SOT23-5, SOT23-6, ISL21010, TC1047, SG-3030JF, three SMT pushbuttons).
- Added SOT, LCC, PLCC, and QFP land pattern generators.
- Added Polygon Rules example file
- Origin direction now available in the right-click menu.
- Resize points are now consistent between traces, lines, and polygons.
- Resize points stop growing after zoom reaches 1000%, so that small objects are not simply covered by the resize ponts.
- Adding a point to a trace now applies the identical trace clearance for the newly added segment.
- Copying the board and pasting into a paint program now displays the board using the board settings and view options.
- Now, by default, the board outline is only added to the silkscreen and mechnical layers, unless you check the 'All Layers' box on the Gerber tab of the Export window.
- Added a link to the Export window to help with viewing Gerbers.
- Added a tool tip to the Solder Paste Included check box in the Export window.
- In the Design Rule Check, if there was more than one hole outside of the board edge, the count displayed was too high.
- When a part has a letter (such as 'R') but no number, the design rule check lets you know.
- Default rules for 0.008 inch thicknesses are now 0.152 mm instead of 0.16 mm.
- No longer display the XP Service Pack 3 error message for Windows Server 2003.
- Except for pads, you can now set the layer to top or bottom solder paste if you have those layers shown.
- When four layers are shown in the main ribbon, they are packed a little more tightly when the screen is 120%.
- Changed the email address on the log/exception message because it was getting caught in the spam filter.
- Show Notes is automatically enabled when adding or editing a note element.
- When adding or editing a note, the tool is no longer switched to the Select tool, because that is inconsistent behavior.
2014/04/06 v2.6 build 5209
- "Text or Note" column has been added to the Bill of Materials.
- Retains the currently selected row on the Bill of Materials when it is updated due to board changes.
- Added the ability to convert ellipsis and filled arcs to polygons in the right-click menu.
- The largest encompassing polygon on the board edge layer is now assigned internal board id 1, because people are creating interesting board edges to replace the standard board outline.
- Print now honors page range.
- Print can fit both the front and back of the PCB onto a single sheet of paper, if desired.
- Print can now reverse colors for all print choices.
- Print can now hide the board background, to save ink when inspecting.
- Added Higher Contrast to the View menu, which uses a darker font on the ribbon and the Windows Theme (Personalization) on the main menu.
- The mouse scroll wheel will no longer zoom the board when outside of its window.
- Dragging a file onto the gallery when the file was already in the gallery will now select the file in the gallery.
- Items with custom clearance weren't being set on native file load.
2014/01/30 v2.5 build 5143
- Wasn't able to edit points in polygons
- Too small of a zoom (usually less than 10%) was not allowing the mouse scroll wheel to zoom back in, depending on the speed setting.
- Rotation wasn't changing the angles of pads when the pads were connected to traces
- To avoid ripping a pad from its part, traces are no longer allowed to move a pad that belongs to a group when the trace angle is changed. That means if you connect a trace to two pads on a part and you try to rotate the trace by itself, nothing will happen, because the trace can't move.
- Design Rule Check (and everywhere else in the software) now rounds off floating point errors when doing comparison checks.
- Design Rule Check is now clearer about the name of the layer it is referring to, rather than just 'that layer'.
- Align Ends now uses a slightly looser floating point check to see if two line ends are already touching. Avoids claiming it performed some alignment when nothing moved visually.
2014/01/27 v2.4 build 5140
- Added Scroll Wheel to the View menu to control the scroll wheel zoom speed.
- Fixed a bug where pads were rotating away from their groups if connected by a trace.
2014/01/26 v2.3 build 5139
- Added additional circular pad sizes to the pad pulldown menu.
- Dynamically hides some pads sizes in the pad pulldown menus if they *aren't* present on the board and the window screen isn't tall enough. Of course, you can still type values manually.
- Control-shift click on a value in a pulldown menu in the ribbon will now select elements only on the visible layers. As before, ctrl (without shift) selects on all layers.
- Numeric conversion tooltips for text boxes in main ribbon were showing the same unit repeatedly when View→Default Measurement Units→Convert Display was checked.
- Arrange ribbon buttons now hide the text if the window is not width enough. If the window is still too narrow but tall enough, the arrange buttons appear at the bottom of the left ribbon.
- Can now convert lines to polygons.
- Can now convert rectangles and polygons to lines.
- Can now align lines and arcs by their end points.
- Changing X or Y in the ribbon for a polygon wasn't working.
- Can now use the ribbon and arrow keys to adjust a selected line in a polygon.
- Setting the angle of a single line or single trace will no longer rotate about the center. Instead, a line will rotate about the start point (X, Y). A trace (as opposed to a line) uses the following priority to determine the
fixed pivot: a non-selected end, the end attached to a group, the end attached to a pad, or finally the start point (X, Y).
- To help guide you, Copper Connection assumes you mean to click on a point when you get very close to it, even if there is another element directly underneath. In the unlikely event that this make it impossible to get to a trace underneath, zoom in further or uncheck View→Points→Always Show Trace Points.
- Added: Molex Barrier Terminal Block Strip 4 position 38720-6304, several new diode packages (plus cleanup of others), and relay T90
- Added Rocket Launcher v2.rrpcb
- If you make changes to a file on the disk but the unmodified file is currently displayed in Copper Connection, opening the file again will re-read it from the disk.
- Electrified traces (from the continuity tool) no longer show electrification during printing, except if you choose 'As Displayed'.
- Continuity was not catching overlap of thin lines when zoomed out.
- Zooming in and out with the mouse is now more proportional and the zoom focusing on the cursor position.
- Remembers window position for improved multimonitor experience.
- Replaced a few inconsistent metric holes with their imperial counterparts on some parts and boards.
- Pasting text (rather than a text element) now uses the last used tool font, rather than not assigning a font.
2013/12/29 v2.2 build 5111
- Added the Compare feature for visually comparing printed circuit boards (Studio Edition or better).
- Ignores full circles (filled or not) on the silkscreen layer when calculating centroid data for pick and place. That way, a polarity mark doesn't mess up positioning.
- Pick and Place, Excellon, and Gerber files were being written with Unicode byte-order-mark (BOM) at the beginning of the files. They are now strictly ASCII.
- Old settings files contained extra slashes in the list of most recently used parts, leading to duplicated parts being displayed in the part library. This is now corrected.
- Right-click drop down menu had stopped working in the Bill of Materials due to some spurious advice from Microsoft's static code analysis.
2013/12/19 v2.1 build 5101
- The "Export to Gerber and Excellon" window has been expanded to include preset configurations, better tooltips, and the ability to change file extensions
- Export moved to the File menu, which is reorganized slightly.
- Order menu reorganized and renamed to Data.
- Added Open Folder in Windows Explorer to File menu.
- Opening folders in Windows Explorer now also selects the file (if one is specified).
- After saving the Hole Locations or Pick and Place data, the folder containing the file is opened in Windows Explorer.
- The Open Folder and View buttons in Board Properties are now enabled and disabled depending on whether there is content in their associated fields.
- Added comments to the top inside of certain files (application settings, export configuration, rrpcb) to indicate what they are.
- Saving the settings file now writes the entire file to a temporary location before swapping with the existing file, to avoid loss or corruption of settings.
- Adding text labels below a part now centers the text horizontally (like it was using align) without regard for other existing labels or the snap.
However, the vertical position of the label takes into account the bottom-most existing label (if any) and the snap.
- Parts should not have been taking into account their linked text labels when aligning or generating Pick And Place files.
- Pick and Place will only include parts that have at least one pad on the top copper or bottom copper (or holes if you choose to include through hole).
2013/12/08 v2.0 build 5090
- Added Show Only Selected to the View menu to help you spot the selected elements.
This is particularly useful with Find or Design Rule Check where selected elements may be small or covered by other elements.
- Added Show Pours submenu to the View menu because it was previously confusing to determine whether all of the pours were enabled based on a pair of settings.
- Added Pours Selectable to the Grid menu. If unchecked, the planes (pours and keep out elements) are not selectable.
This makes it easy to edit boards that have pours, without worrying about moving or altering the pours.
- You can now turn on X-ray vision for only the front copper layer or for all layers. Added X-Ray Vision submenu to the View menu.
- Added a Points submenu to the View menu to allow a choice of trace point sizes.
- Added some missing access text underscores for navigating the menus from the keyboard.
- Added a horizontal and vertical crosshair to the Grid menu.
- Print Chooser now includes checkboxes for negative (white on black) printouts. This can be used for negative dry film resist, for example.
- Remembers settings for adding silkscreen to printouts.
- Printing a single-sided board with copper on the bottom and silkscreen on the top was not printing the top side. It was trying to save paper because there were no top copper elements.
- Added ability to link a text element to the group's Schematic ID, Part Value, or Text. Right click on a text element to see the Link With menu.
- For faster links, typing Ctrl-' links and groups the selected text element with a selected group, but only if you select exactly one ungrouped text element and one group.
It tries to pick the correct description field to link with.
If the group already has some text that is different, then the group's text is honored and the text changes to display it.
Turn on Show IDs in the View menu to see what text elements are linked to which label types.
- When importing ExpressPCB files, if the Part ID label is displayed, then the resulting text element is made part of the group and is linked to the Schematic ID.
- Link, Add Label Below, and Auto Convert Symbols now convert Unicode Greek Omega and Greek lowercase m to ohm and micro, respectively
- Added a Calculator Scratchpad to the Grid menu. (There wasn't a better place to put it.) You can type formulas, with or without units, and pressing Enter will solve them.
- When a pad is removed from a board, all its connections are now converted to trace points, so that the traces don't change shape.
However, the points are selected so that you can press delete again to get rid of them.
- When dragging or placing a group with pad holes onto trace points that appear on multiple layers, all layers are now connected to the hole, as opposed to just one.
- You can scroll the board window with the numeric keyboard when num lock is on. For example, NumPad 4 scrolls horizontally, but NumPad ← acts like the left arrow key.
- The Rotate Left and Rotate Right buttons/menu items now rotate from the user's perspective when the board is turned over.
- Rotation angle values are now calculated correctly when rotating a surface mount part on the bottom side of the board.
- Makes an educated guess as to the part rotation values when reading ExpressPCB files, since the rotation information is not contained in the ExpressPCB file.
However, consider it a head start only, as there is not always enough information to be able to make a perfect assessment and users may have not designed their parts
to have pin 1 follow the IPC-7351 rotation conventions.
For example, the TO-92 package in the standard ExpressPCB library has the pin numbers reversed, which causes the rotation to be off by 180 degrees.
This is a mistake in ExpressPCB, but cannot be accounted for because the user may have made their own TO92 or corrected the numbering themselves before importing.
Note: Screaming Circuits has an excellent white paper (with pictures) entitled "Understanding the Centroid File" if you want more information on pick and place rotation angle.
- Added a checkbox to the Pick And Place Data window which can pad the schematic IDs with leading zeros. This causes the Ref column to be sortable in Excel and similar programs.
- Parts with numbered pads and unnumbered holes are now considered surface mount, not through-hole.
- The dropdown menus in the Font, Shape, and Hole and Pad sections of the main ribbon have the ability to select elements instead of modify them.
If you hold down the control key when you click a value in the pull down menu, it selects the elements that match that value.
If nothing is initially selected, then elements from the entire board are considered.
If something is already selected, then only elements in that selection are considered.
For example, if you choose a thickness of 0.012 in, only elements with 0.012 in thickness will be selected.
Tool tips display a reminder.
- The dropdown menus now display mixed units that are mathematically identical if they are present in the selection or board.
For example, if one trace is 0.012 in and another trace is 12 thou, both values will be listed in the thickness menu.
This feature is disabled if View->Default Measurement Units->Convert Display is checked, because then all measurements are displayed with identical units.
- Fixed a bug where filenames or folders that begin with lowercase n or lowercase r could not be automatically found when Copper Connection started up again.
- Find now has the ability to find by internal id, which is valuable when you want to edit something after seeing the data in the rrpcb file or spreadsheet.
- Send to Back and Bring to Front now support Undo/Redo.
- Send to Back and Bring to Front no longer alter the internal id. The goal is to keep the internal id unchanged whenever possible, so that source control of boards shows fewer unnecessary alterations.
- Design Rule Check will note traces that don't seem to connect to other traces, holes, or pads. This may indicate a trace that you forgot to connect.
- Added Convert Trace to Line in the right-click menu because you'll want to switch unconnected traces to line when they are intended as guidelines or notations, to avoid the design rule check warning.
- Prevented a crash when a line or trace has the same start and end point, which can happen with user generated/altered files or where the metric and imperial values are identical after conversion.
- Pads are no longer permitted on the solder mask layer. They are moved to the silkscreen layer where you can delete them.
- Pasting plain text (not text elements) now places the text at the cursor location or the center of the window, rather than the upper left.
- Options appear in a dropdown menu on the Trace Tool button. You can now decide whether the element layer and thickness are used when you start a trace by clicking on that element.
- Fixed text wording and text crop when you don't have Ultimate Edition, but you do have a lower edition, and you click on an Ultimate feature.
- At startup, when update news is read from the website, the technical support information is transmitted. Now the update text can be tailored for the client.
- In the Gallery and Parts Library windows, ctrl-F now moves the text selection to the Find field.
2013/07/28 v1.9 build 4957
- Added Swap Silkscreen Layers to the right-click menu.
- Copper and silkscreen layers are enabled automatically as needed when choosing Move To Other Side and Swap Silkscreen Layers.
- Prevented a crash from occurring when exporting a file with a lot of holes of the same diameter.
- Previously, when you set the Hole Pad Margin (minimum) in the Board Properties to less than the default value, the display of the hole pad was always using the default value.
- The custom pad width entered for the pad was not being honored, as it was overwritten with the pad height when the pad is placed.
- To hopefully allow installations in Wine, the installer program's requirements have been set to "all processors" and "all operating systems".
2013/05/22 v1.8 build 4890
- Added Edit menu to copy all text in Bill of Materials.
- Bill of Materials now lets you view parts combined or individually.
- In Bill of Materials, when only a single schematic ID is present, you can edit the id right there.
- When you start to edit a cell in Bill of Materials, the parts are selected and shown on the board.
- Added Color Image to Layer to the right-click menu to set the image pixels only to the current layer color or transparent.
- Added Convert Image to Polygon to the right-click menu.
- Arrow keys can now nudge a selected point on a polygon.
- Changing the size of a polygon with mixed units (say it was originally imperial but you type a new metric width) now works correctly.
- Can now resize a group of polygons.
- Added Images to the help menu.
- Land Pattern window slightly rearranged so that the quantity of pads are entered first.
- Added Default and Wide buttons to set starting dimensions in the Land Pattern window.
- Added Etching (black and white) as a color set choice in the Layer window.
- Color changes immediately update the editor thumbnail icon.
- Added Include Silkscreen checkbox to the print window.
- Added a slight overlap to the pour routine during printing to prevent very thin white lines when printing to PDF.
- Can now duplicate, copy, and paste board outline if it is the only element selected.
- Non-text silkscreen elements completely outside of the board bounds are no longer flagged in the Design Rule Check if they are part of a group.
This permits the outlines of connector parts to hang off the board without complaint.
- When you have a category selected in the Gallery or Parts library, and find does not show anything, it will recommend you switch the category to 'All'.
- Added 74595 serial chip, ultra-miniature snap-action switch, Pololu motor mount, and 1/2 AA battery holder to parts library.
- Added new example boards, Back And Forth Mark II and PCB Layout Tips.
- Default metric and imperial values are included in Grid and Snap menus, regardless of locale.
- Description fields with ampersands (&) no longer display as underlines.
- Added tiny vias to pulldown menu.
- For ExpressPCB files with 0.008 vias and 0.026 pads, now reads them precisely instead of setting the pads to 0.025.
- Now reads the default via in older ExpressPCB files.
- Pads with thermal reliefs where either the width or height (but not both) are too narrow were causing an exception during Gerber export.
2013/04/22 v1.7 build 4859
- Automatically creates a zip file for you upon Export.
- Erases additional Gerber file extensions on Export, to avoid the user including obsolete files.
- Displays folder upon Export.
- Now prints boards whose left side is not aligned with the internal origin.
- Now takes the scroll bar position into account for printing "As Displayed".
- Now erases thermal reliefs when printing.
- Added Tented Vias to Board Properties to not erase silkscreen and solder mask over vias.
- Can now add solder mask to the solder mask layer, not just remove it.
- Solder mask and internal layers now draw board the outline (rather than erase) when negative, so the operator always sees a PCB outline.
- Corrected a comment inside the Gerber solder paste file.
- Cursor changes to wait when exporting, so users with slower computers will know to wait a couple of seconds.
- Displays information upon a crash.
- Worked around a ManagementException (crash) in the Microsoft.VisualBasic.Devices.ComputerInfo.get_OSFullName (aka Computer.Info.OSFullName) that prevented Copper Connection from starting up.
- Upgraded some example files.
- Increased the size of the pads in 1/8 watt resistors.
- Added part (DS1307).
- Now sets the via Board Property for ExpressPCB files with small vias (31 thou and 26 thou).
2013/04/11 v1.6 build 4849
- Added directional arrow symbols to fonts.
- Added parts.
- Added a sample file, Log Board.
- In the parts and sample files, switched connector ID designators from N to J (which represents "fixed jacks").
- If you type a new height for a board with the origin in the lower-left, the origin will now move with the new board height.
- Ctrl-A selects all in the Pin Names field in the Land Pattern window.
- The buttons above the Pins Names field in the Land Pattern window no longer add a blank line at the end of the pin names.
- Changing a category in a board property, such that the category no longer exists, will cause the Gallery to switch to All if it was previously showing that category.
- To save board space, Add Part Number Text Below Part now removes a space (if any) before µF, nF, pF, Ω, kΩ, and MΩ.
- The text element is selected after adding part number or ID below part.
- When adding a new text element (rather than editing an existing one), typing and then pressing enter will create the text, move down a line, and start new text.
- Fixed an error in Gerber export where thermal reliefs disconnected or reduced the diameter of connecting traces.
- Undoing a change in origin now restores the origin direction.
- Selecting the Zoom By Mouse tool no longer deselects elements.
- Removing a file from the Gallery, then immediately opening the file, was not adding the file back into the Gallery.
- Adding a part now snaps it to the grid (if applicable) more consistently
- Pads without holes are displayed even if that layer isn't available on the board. Instead, an error message is displayed during design check.
- Design check text no longer suggests setting the board to single sided if no elements are on the bottom copper layer.
2013/03/29 v1.5 build 4836
- Added Land Pattern generator in Part menu in the Tools ribbon.
- Added new parts, such as connectors, SOIC, and two terminal SMDs.
- Searching for a part and not finding it now says "No parts found" instead of "No boards found".
- Parts Library displays faster.
- Parts Library uses wider thumbnails.
- Added automatic conversion of o and u to ohm and micro symbols when part value text is entered.
- Can add ID and Part Number text by either right clicking or choosing from the menus in the Description section of the main ribbon.
- Added Copy Pin Names to the right-click menu.
- Recognize 'C' as pin 1 for cathode.
- Pad IDs were not being shown if they didn't have a hole.
- Gallery images are crisper.
- Fixed a bug where having only one category (besides 'All') wouldn't properly select the category in the Gallery.
Also, if there was text in the Find box you couldn't select a category that didn't include an item with that text.
- Bill of Materials now includes images or notes with ids and part numbers, so that you can include external items in your Bill of Materials.
In other words, if you include the image of something, give the image an id and part number, then it will be included in the Bill of Materials.
- Double clicking on a row in Bill of Materials selects all of those parts on the board.
- Typing note text and then changing the icon was changing the note text back to the way it was previously (potentially empty).
- Was not identifying the layer of through-hole items in Pick And Place Data.
- Added tool tip to Pick And Place Data menu item.
- Added new samples files: "Pieces", "Magnifying-Glass-Light", and "Bits-Per-Second".
- Removed the term "Mirrored" from the Print Chooser window except for Transfer Etch, because the term was confusing.
- Set the installer to a minimum of 256 MB memory, because it was complaining even on systems with enough memory available.
2013/03/12 v1.4 build 4819
- Now reads top and bottom solder mask elements in ExpressPCB files.
- Can edit the solder mask layer.
- Made the color of the top solder mask slightly red so that it looks different from the bottom solder mask.
- Added top and bottom solder mask in Layer Colors and Visibility window. The layer itself is not shown by default, unless there are elements on it.
- Renamed the Show Inner Layer Board Pours to Show Automatic Board Pours to reflect its control over other layers.
- Reordered the View menu to group similar commands.
- Outputs solder paste Gerber files for making stencils.
- Added top and bottom solder paste in Layer Colors and Visibility window. Not shown by default. Cannot add elements.
- Adjusted the color of the bottom silkscreen slightly toward green so that it looks different than the top silkscreen.
- Removed Info box layer in Layer Colors and Visibility window.
- Fixed rotation and flip issues with pads, text, and some other elements.
- Retain angle information for elements when rotated by user.
- Retain angle information for pads when read from ExpressPCB files.
- Added Establish Orientation to Angle menu (in Size and Position section of main ribbon) to set an angle for pick and place or any other purpose.
- Moving text to a different layer retains its position when the text is automatically flipped horizontally.
- Added Convert Rectangles To Polygons to the right-click menu when clicking on one or more parts.
- Converted all rectangles in parts library to polygons, so the parts can be rotated to arbitrary angles.
- Rotated a few parts in the library to put pin 1 first.
- In the Layer menu in the right-click menu, added "Move to Other Side" to move elements (parts, traces, etc) to the opposite side of the board than they currently reside.
- Changing the layer of a pad without a hole that is connected to a trace will now add a via.
- Added Pick-And-Place Data menu item.
- Avoided a cross-thread error by starting the check for updates in the UI thread.
- Show darker colors for polygon drag points.
- Show polygon drag points for filled polygons.
- Set a minimum size for the Hole Locations window.
- Micro (µ) is converted to the letter 'u' in ASCII-only output.
2013/02/28 v1.3 build 4807
- Added "New User-Defined Parts" button in parts library. When saving for the first time, the user will be directed to the User-Defined Parts folder.
- Added "Save to User-Defined Parts Folder" to the File menu.
- Automatically refreshes parts library upon saving to a parts folder.
- For new users, the parts library will sort by name by default (existing users simply need to sort by name in the part library to change their existing setting).
- Saving a file in a parts folder or opening it from the parts library window will not add the file to the main gallery.
- Removed right-click menu items that opened specific parts folders. No longer needed with the Save to User-Defined Parts Folder menu item.
- Can now read your ExpressPCB custom component files (.p)
- You can drag your ExpressPCB custom component file (one at a time) from Windows Explorer directly to the location on the board where you want to place it.
- New boards and newly imported boards have pad connection layer labels that default to - for upper and + for lower.
Previously-existing Copper Connection boards retain the previous settings (+ on upper, - on lower) for backwards compatibility.
- Pad connection layer labels can be changed by right-clicking on the layer name in the Layer Colors and Visibility window.
- Added "Pad Connection Examples.rrpcb" file to Example PCBs.
- Clicking the same tool button again or clicking a new tool deselects all elements so that you can change the ribbon properties without affecting the most recently placed element. Deselection does not occur when switching to the Select tool.
- Shows dragged/move element location on bottom status bar.
- Can type new coordinates for polygon point in Size and Position section of ribbon.
- Can delete selected polygon point with delete key (if there are at least three remaining points).
- Includes polygon point location in Info at Cursor.
- Shows polygon point in Selection color when dragging or creating.
- Shows polygon line in Selection color when dragging to resize.
- No longer able to create polygons with only two points.
- When specifying a file location during a save, the location is remembered for future use.
- No longer can set pour clearance for Board Edge items using the Pour Clearance window. Instead, use Board Properties→Rules→Edge Clearance.
- Installer now replaces previous version. No need to uninstall first.
2013/02/22 v1.2 build 4801
- Can now edit inner layers.
- Can now set clearances on individual elements.
- Text elements can have a rectangular clearance, if desired.
- Added Keep Out Outline. This can be useful for split planes and isolated planes in a pour.
- Can now fully read ExpressPCB files that include the above characteristics
- Can show the automatically-generated inner layer board pours.
- "Fill With Clearance" has been renamed "Pour" to match industry terminology.
- Now includes an outline file (.gm1) with Gerber export.
- Changed inner layer file extensions from .gp1 & .gp2 to .g1 & .g2 since they are more than just planes now and so OSH Park will recognize them without any renaming.
- Double-click on point selects X coordinate field in Size and Position section of ribbon. (Tab key then moves to Y position field.)
- Default minimum hole diameter now 0.008 inches.
- Maximum hole size now 5 inches (if you change the Board Properties rule to allow it)
- Maximum trace size now 1 inch. Let me know if there are use cases for larger traces.
- Default clearances now 0.012 (instead of 0.015) for older file format ExpressPCB boards.
- When the continuity tool is chosen, the board is checked for connected pours or inner elements and a warning is displayed.
- Clearance around pads is no longer removed from the solder mask layer (but, as always, the solder mask swell is).
- Optimized to no longer output erases at the start of a Gerber file. Although my preference is to leave all erases (clearance, keep out) in for completeness, some Gerber viewers were displaying the file incorrectly.
- Was not outputting an aperture with a board outline of zero. Instead, it was generating a fill.
- Properly removes the edges of automatic inner pours of non-rectangular boards.
- No longer check for minimum screen resolution at install. If you choose to install on a computer with less than 1024x768, it is not officially supported, but you can decide for yourself if it is acceptable.
- In Edit menu, Find no longer disabled when editing a ribbon text field.
- The resizing outline of Keep Out and Pour (when the pour is not shown) now stays skinny even when zoomed in.
- Easier to grab/click text elements.
- Pours now a lower priority to grab/click compared to other elements.
- Slight clean up on menus and window titles (spell out, alt keys, dividers).
- Only the first tool or dialog window was updating.
- When a duplicate schematic ID is found in the Design Rule Check, the Board Properties button changes to a Bill of Materials button.
- When a clearance property is less than the rule minimum, it is detected by Design Rule Check.
- Design rule check note if hole is connected to both inner layers.
- Design rule check note if hole has zero clearance.
- Catches a non-rectangular board where the first point and last point do not have a value in common.
- Considers a board rectangular if the difference in points is less than 0.00001.
- No longer show solder mask layers in layer tool window, as drawing the solder mask onscreen is not a current feature. (But it does output to Gerber.)
- Closes all tool windows before calling Application.Exit (else Microsoft will close all tool windows but not the application. Nice.)
2013/02/09 v1.1 build 4788
- Prevented an exception caused by a Microsoft bug in Application.Exit. (Displaying a Save, Don't Save, Cancel form modifies Application.OpenForms, which Application.Exit was iterating through.)
- Added a helpful warning when opening ExpressPCB files that aren't completely compatible. Selects the offending elements.
- Doesn't move inner layer elements to the top layer on incompatible files.
- Checks for those inner layer elements during a design rule check.
- Now runs in languages where decimal points are specified with the comma character (France, Germany, and so on).
- Changing the description of a group from the Bill of Materials was incorrectly setting that description on all elements of the group.
- Points no longer inherit description information. Point description information (id, part number, note/purpose) is now automatically removed when the file is read.
- Removed extraneous separator from Arrange menu.
- Notes and images are not considered conductive elements by the continuity tool. Updated tool tip as well.
2013/02/07 v1.1 build 4786
- Added additional parts to library.
- Added additional example PCBs (Bipolar-H-Bridge.rrpcb, Pulse-Width-Modulation.rrpcb, DPDT-Bidirectional-Motor-Switch.rrpcb, Joystick-Robot.rrpcb).
- Dragging a file from Windows Explorer to an editor window will open that file in a new window (or bring the existing window to the front).
- Standard mouse scroll wheels (as as opposed to smooth scrolling mouse wheels) now zoom/scroll more slowly. Also, zooming below 250% is in even 5% increments, stopping at 10% zoom.
- Prints only a single page for etching if the board is single sided.
- The bottom layer is now the layer for single-sided boards, as opposed to the top layer. This favors through-holes designs, which are preferred by hobbyists etching at home, which are the most likely users of one-sided boards. Nothing to stop you from making a double-sided board and only using the top layer.
- Note elements are no longer considered part of any layer for the purpose of checking for bare layers during design rule check.
- The top layer is now checked for lack of elements or containing elements during design rule check (in regards to whether the number of board layers are set correctly).
- Changing the number of layers in the board properties now automatically changes the hole plating if switching to/from a single-sided board.
- Changing the hole plating now indicates that the file needs to be saved.
- Can now bring up larger edit box by right clicking on cell in Part Number or Value column of Bill of Materials. This provides easy access to symbols.
- Honors case-only changes for recently used files.
- Changing properties in the Text editing window now changes the tool settings as well, so that the next Text tool click uses those settings.
- Minimizing a window with empty content can no longer cause an exception.
- Selecting two elements (commonly pads or holes) now shows the delta x/y and distance apart.
- Computes the area for pads (minus holes) and full (360 degree) ellipses. Shown in the Size and Position section of the main ribbon.
- Dragging more than one element now merges point and pads at the destination. For example, deleting an old part (leaving the ends of traces) and dragging a new part on top will now connect those trace ends to the new part.
- Pasting elements from the external clipboard (such as from Excel) now detects #NAME? and displays a warning.
- Changing the diameter or width of a round or square (not rectangular) pad changes its internal height value as well. Subsequently switching it to rectangular now shows that the width and height are equal.
- Corrected the part numbers on Molex KK parts with more than 2 pins.
- When placing a part, the first square pad with a hole is assumed to be pin one, if other pin tests do not locate pin 1. This allows you to use short pin names, rather than numbers.
- Fixed a scroll to the wrong horizontal location when the board is turned over.
- Added shortcut key of Ctrl+I for Board Properties.
2013/30/01 v1.0 build 4779
First public release