Simulating circuits with the Altium Designer

Some notes:

  • The circuit design interface is simple and easy to use. Just need to learn some keyboard shortcuts:
  • – p p to place a part
    – spacebar to rotate a part
    – x or y to flip along x or y axis.

  • The libraries containing the parts required need to be opened.
  • circuit documents can be easily copied into new projects from other projects from explorer.
  • the installer does not offer any choice of drive target
  • the messages pane can be docked into the left pane area.
  • some useful voltage sources: PWL, VSIN, VCO-Sqr
  • Some issues:

  • Error messages can be very cryptic and the system does not do much to help with making resolution easy.
  • You cannot attach a netlabel to GND. It seems to cause spice simulation problems. The system will just return a cryptic error if you do.
  • Some problems necessitate manually removing the .NSX netlist file within Altium’s output folder to resolve.
  • If a circuit document is removed, any previous simulation plots that were based on the circuit that remain in the project are not automatically cleared. Had me scratching my head for a while wondering why my simulation wasn’t working.
  • stray wires may be difficult to find, and can cause compile errors. I am not sure how to find items based on position, when errors report them.
  • coloring of waveforms in simulation plots are difficult to figure out and change.
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