Net ports

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Joined: 29 Jun 2014, 13:01

Net ports

#1 Post by techie66 » 29 Jun 2014, 14:26


among the features I think are missing in Dip Trace are ports for connecting wires and pins to nets on the same sheet or across sheets. I know this can also be accomplished by simply assigning wires to specific nets and by use of schematic symbols that are defined as net ports. However, I find these a poor substitute for the real thing.

Here is how I think they should work. See the attached file for examples. Altium may also be used to a degree as a reference.
- The port symbol should be a frame that contains the associated net label.
- The frame would not point at all, point toward the wire, away from the wire or in both directions for: unspecified, input, output or bidirectional signals.
- The pointer has no electrical significance but is simply an aid in visualizing the signal flow
- When placed on a schematic and connected to a wire, the port should assume the net name of that wire. When another name is typed in, that name should be assigned to the wire (also see this post for reference: ... =net+ports).
- The port frame should be initially wide enough to accommodate the label text. But in addition it should be resizable to allow making a column of ports all the same width, despite differences in text length.
- It should be possible to align the text left/center/right
- It should be possible to rotate the port so that it can point left/right or up/down
- The port symbol should be just tall enough to allow connecting ports to wires that are just one grid increment apart, without the port symbols overlapping. But they may touch, thus using the maximum space available to allow for readable text. Note that this may require some dynamic sizing of the symbol height based on the grid type used (0.1"/2.54mm or 2.5mm and perhaps others).

Using net port symbols is really awkward in comparison. In addition, with these it is hard to make a schematic look tidy, because text uses the symbol (or wire in case of displaying the net name) as baseline, rather then centering on it. Also text does not like to align horizontally. Tiding up thus requires setting an ultra fine grid and then placing text by eyeball.

Making a frame that way is just impossible, because symbols cannot be resized, plus the text will always be placed outside and then needs to be moved once the symbol is placed on the schematic.

lots of extra work...
Net port samples
Net port samples
NetPorts.png (19.78 KiB) Viewed 2292 times

Posts: 48
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 01:24

Re: Net ports

#2 Post by Gigatrek » 19 Nov 2014, 02:01

Hello Thchie66,

once time i use a lot of net ports in my schematic, now, as like in Orcad, i use this system.

I place a wire and end it up in the air (on sheet) selecting "ENTER" in the mouse right button drop down menu.

I select in the same menu with cursor on the wire, the name of the label, a window with an entering space preload with the Net name will open.
I change the name and confirm.

I select in the same menu with cursor on the wire "DISPLAY NAME".

I think it would be usefull, in the "Net" window to have a button that open a drop down menu to choose a net between all just used in the schematic.

Nice day.

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Joined: 22 Dec 2019, 03:59

Re: Net ports

#3 Post by an79881 » 22 Dec 2019, 04:57


even this is an old thread but I would like to add my findings regarding net ports and net names. Basically I do not use net ports at all due to several reasons. The main reason ist that it blows up the schematics. Basically I use the method to assign net names. This works well. I have had also the issue that after trying to rename the net name only at one node it re-named also the other nodes with the same net name. This can be avoided by ticking the box for "rename related wires only" option.
Ok, I've got everything to work, but a wire ended in the air looks a bit strange to me. At least I'm strongly missing an alignement option. E.g. in Cadence there is an option to mark the end points of the wires and to align those (the group), so that the wire ends are well aligned. Currently you have to align visually, which is more then frustrating.

Maybe one workoraund would help: add components (e.g. resistors) to the wire ends, connect them, select all resistors and align those. After alignment process the components have to be disconnected from wires and finally they can be deleted. Yes, it works, but common this is annoying! We are now end of 2019 and my desired feature request should be standard feature. This is nothing special. I wonder that nobody from the developer team has recognized the lack of such feature!

Regards Andreas

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Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 12:17

Re: Net ports

#4 Post by FalconFour » 27 Jan 2020, 20:51

+1. Net ports are confusing and broken as heck. I came here Googling this specific problem. I'm finding most of my frustration with Diptrace currently centered around how to take a segment and join it to another one, where wires are "hidden" for a specific connection - and Schematic editor doesn't allow you to connect wires to a point that has wires hidden - so it's near impossible to take an existing net and be like "now I want to connect this net to that net".

I try doing it with a Net Port, but the Net Ports are completely flaccid and useless - they can't seem to be assigned to a net themselves, they only inherit a net by being connected to one. So, again, if you connect it to a net that doesn't have a wire, it now forms another "dead endpoint" that you can't connect anything to - a self-referential piece of nothingness.

Net ports are horribly broken and the schematic editor leaves so much to be desired in that department. There's significant room for improvement there.

1) let me connect a wire to a point with wires "hidden". Just pop the wire in there and extend the "out-arrow" from a new node out from where it started. I can't really visualize it well (with forum software from 2004 that doesn't allow inline images or image-pastes), but just imagine what would naturally happen if you want a wire to terminate into a connector that already has a "hidden wire" arrow/label popping out of it.
2) net ports ought to be their own type of component with a selector for its net name. Some things I read through The Google while browsing for this issue seemed to indicate that there used to be a "Type" selection for a net port, where you could enter a net name and have it connect to a net by name. That no longer seems to exist. It'd at least be a band-aid solution if this were made to exist again.

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Re: Net ports

#5 Post by fluxanode » 24 Apr 2023, 06:07

Has there been any additional work done in this area?

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Re: Net ports

#6 Post by ReverseEMF » 28 Apr 2023, 10:51

fluxanode wrote: 24 Apr 2023, 06:07 Has there been any additional work done in this area?
It appears those of us who would very much like this feature to be added, have been summarily ignored.

In fact, it would be great if it was possible to select a wire/trace, and then change the net it's associated with. As it is, certain "mistakes" cause wires/traces to be joined to a net, leaving the only, apparent, solution to either Undo, or go about deleting every trace that wound up on the wrong net, and then rerouting it == PITA!!!
If left to evolution, would this PCB ever design itself, and what would the lead time be on that?

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