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A handy netlist conversion utility for ExpressPCB!

NetCon (for Windows)

A netlist converter for moving schematic and PC board files from OrCAD/PADS to ExpressPCB format.

NetCon (for Windows) screen

Description
NetCon (for Windows) is a computer-aided engineering (CAE) software tool that converts printed-circuit (PC) board netlist files from one format to another. This version of the NetCon (for Windows) software supports the following file formats during netlist conversion:

from PADS-PCB to ExpressPCB
from PADS2000 to ExpressPCB
from PADS-PowerPCB to ExpressPCB

NOTE: PADS-Perform is not supported.

View the latest NetCon (for Windows) software interoperability list.

Future versions of the NetCon (for Windows) program may support additional netlist file formats as well.

The NetCon (for Windows) program is a terrific software tool for electronics engineers and hobbyists that wish to convert their schematic diagrams into PC board assemblies. Using NetCon (for Windows), a netlist that was created in a schematic drawing tool can be easily converted to ExpressPCB format.

The free PC board layout software ExpressPCB is available from Engineering Express. The ExpressPCB software and services provide a very convenient means for cost-effective rapid prototyping (PC board fabrication). Bookmark the Nat Radio Co. website, then visit the ExpressPCB website for more information.

The schematic drawing software Allegro or OrCAD is available from Cadence Design Systems, Inc. and the PC board layout software PADS-PowerPCB is available from Mentor Graphics Corp. as additional CAD tools.

Features
Converts ASCII text netlist files that are created in OrCAD Capture or other schematic drawing programs from PADS-PowerPCB to ExpressPCB format
Reports file conversion progress
Shows full path of source and target files
Treats source file as read-only
Provides an easy-to-use, intuitive user-interface
Sufficient system memory allows more than 2.1 billion lines, parts, nets, or connections
Incorporates extensive file format error checking

Operating Systems
The new NetCon (for Windows) runs on Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP, and later operating systems.

Requirements
The following items are the minimum computer system resource requirements.
80486 or better microprocessor
8MB of RAM
5MB of hard disk drive space
VGA or higher resolution video display and card

Release Dates
NetCon (for Windows) v1.00 was released on 2/12/04, and NetCon (for Windows) v1.02 was released on 2/8/05.

WARNING: Please read the important notes below, before downloading the NetCon (for Windows) software!

The latest version of ExpressPCB allows the same PADS formats as NetCon to be imported directly, so the NetCon software is no longer needed for most people. However, the NetCon program still works properly with the latest version of ExpressPCB also.

The NetCon program only outputs PC board netlists in ExpressPCB format. The NetCon program simply reads text-based data from the original text file, and places re-formatted data into a new text file. It does not provide automated component placement or autorouting during the design of a PC board layout, nor does it provide PC board artwork, fabrication drawings, or any other form of graphic image, or plotted data.

Importing the newly converted netlist into ExpressPCB (or even importing the original PADS netlist directly into the latest version of ExpressPCB), does not automatically provide a usable PC board layout. The imported netlist in ExpressPCB is simply used to help during the creation of a layout within the ExpressPCB tool. You will have to do placement and routing manually within the ExpressPCB tool, if that is the PC board design tool you plan to use.

Consider that the NetCon program may be more efficient (faster) during the data conversion process, allow more flexibility and interoperability with other programs, have fewer limitations, offer additional and improved features, or provide better, more extensive error checking algorithms than the direct import feature within the latest version of ExpressPCB software. However, performance comparisons between the two file importing techniques have not been verified at this point in time.

The NetCon software is available for free now. The program offers an alternative solution for certain people, especially users of earlier ExpressPCB software releases. Avid users of ExpressPCB may want to add the NetCon program to their collection of PC board development tools.

Q&A

1. I exported a netlist from PADS-PowerPCB, and the converted netlist from NetCon does not import into ExpressPCB successfully. What could be wrong?

Some newer versions of PADS programs output a completely different netlist format (by default), which has additional data in it that the NetCon and ExpressPCB programs do not require. Although this newer file format is not supported by NetCon presently, you can simply export your netlist again (from the PADS program), but this time select an earlier netlist format (PADS-PCB version 1.0 for example). For specific version information, you can refer to the program help, or view the latest NetCon (for Windows) software interoperability list.

ENJOY! Following its 7th year anniversary, this software is now available for FREE!

Try It Free! $0.00 US
www.natradioco.com Products
Software

NetCon (for Windows)

NetCon (for Windows) icon

Use this engineering software to convert your schematic diagram or netlist file from Allegro, OrCAD, or PADS to ExpressPCB format for your next printed-circuit (PC) board layout.


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