Altium Designer Documentation

Harness Connector

Modified by by Admin on Apr 11, 2017
This documentation page references Altium Vault, which is no longer a supported product. Altium Vault and its component management features have migrated to Altium Concord Pro.
All Contents

Parent page: Schematic Objects

A placed Harness Connector.

Summary

A Harness Connector object is an electrical drawing primitive. It is essentially a container to group various signals together to form a Signal Harness including buses and wires. A Harness Connector is defined by the Harness Type.

Availability

Harness Connectors are available for placement in the Schematic Editor only, by:

  • Choosing Place » Harness » Harness Connector from the main menus.
  • Clicking the  button on the Wiring toolbar.

A harness connector can also be defined textually, in a Harness Definition File (*.Harness). Such a defined harness connector can only be placed in the design using the Place » Harness » Predefined Harness Connector command, available from the main menus.

Harness Definitions are automatically generated when a Harness Connector is constructed with Harness Entries. When the Harness Connector is modified, the corresponding Harness Definition is updated to reflect the modifications.
The Harness Definition can be protected by manually locking the Harness Definition. This is achieved by typing Locked; before each Signal Harness Definition. This means that the Harness Definition will not be updated when the Harness Connector is modified, any new Harness Entries added to the schematics will not be added to the Harness Definition.
If a Harness Definition is locked and a new Harness Entry is added to the graphical representation, the Conflicting Harness Definition violation will be displayed upon compilation.

Placement

After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter Harness Connector placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click or press Enter to anchor the tip of the Harness Connector.
  2. Move the cursor to adjust the size of the Harness Connector, then click or press Enter to anchor the corner and thereby complete placement of the Harness Connector.
  3. Continue to place other Harness Connectors or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.

Additional actions that can be performed during placement – while the harness connector is still floating on the cursor, and before its tip is anchored – are:

  • Press the Tab key to access an associated properties dialog, from where properties for the harness connector can be changed on-the-fly.
  • Press the Alt key to constrain the direction of movement to the horizontal or vertical axis, depending on the initial direction of movement.
  • Press the Spacebar to rotate the harness connector anti-clockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in steps of 90°.
  • Press the X or Y keys to mirror the harness connector along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively.

While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up associated properties dialog), bear in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the Schematic – Default Primitives page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows you to select a placed harness connector object directly in the workspace and change its size, shape or location, graphically.

When a harness connector object is selected, the following editing handles are available:

A selected Harness Connector.

  • Click and drag A to resize the harness connector in the vertical and horizontal directions simultaneously.
  • Click and drag B to resize the harness connector in the vertical and horizontal directions separately.
  • Click and drag C vertically to change the location of the harness connector's tip.
  • Click and drag C horizontally to resize the harness connector in the horizontal direction.
  • Click anywhere on the harness connector – away from editing handles – and drag to reposition it. While dragging, the harness connector can be rotated (Spacebar/Shift+Spacebar) or mirrored (X or Y keys to mirror along the X-axis or Y-axis respectively).
  • The Harness Connector Type text for a harness connector object can be edited in-place by:
    1. Single-clicking the text to select it.
    2. Single-clicking again (or pressing the Enter key) to enter the in-place editing mode. Sufficient time between each click should be given to ensure the software does not interpret the two single-clicks as one double-click (which would open the harness connector type's properties dialog).
    3. To finish editing in-place text, press the Enter key, or use the mouse to click away from the text.
This feature is only available provided the Enable In-Place Editing option is enabled, on the Schematic – General page of the Preferences dialog.

If attempting to graphically modify an object that has its Locked property enabled, a dialog will appear asking for confirmation to proceed with the edit. If the Protect Locked Objects option is enabled on the Schematic – Graphical Editing page of the Preferences dialog, and the Locked option for that design object is enabled as well, then that object cannot be selected or graphically edited. Double click on the locked object directly and disable the Locked property or disable the Protect Locked Objects option, to graphically edit the object.

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via an Associated Properties Dialog

Dialog page: Harness Connector

This method of editing uses the following dialog to modify the properties of a harness connector object.

The Harness Connector dialog.

The Harness Connector dialog can be accessed prior to entering placement mode, from the Schematic – Default Primitives page of the Preferences dialog. This allows the default properties for the harness connector object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent harness connectors.

During placement, the dialog can be accessed by pressing the Tab key.

After placement, the dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-clicking on the placed harness connector object.
  • Placing the cursor over the harness connector object, right-clicking and choosing Properties from the context menu.
  • Using the Edit » Change command and clicking once over the placed harness connector object.

Via the SCH Inspector Panel

Panel pages: SCH Inspector, SCH Filter

The SCH Inspector panel enables the designer to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active document. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the SCH Filter panel, or the Find Similar Objects dialog - the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind, from one convenient location.

Via the SCH List Panel

Panel pages: SCH List, SCH Filter

The SCH List panel allows the designer to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering - by using the SCH Filter panel, or the Find Similar Objects dialog - it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing the designer to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency.

Tips

  1. The Harness Type option in the Harness Connector dialog defines the type of the Harness Connector. When a Harness Type is used within your project, the corresponding Harness Definition for this Harness Type is referenced.
  2. By default, newly placed Harness Connectors are given the Harness Type Harness.
  3. The Harness Type can be hidden from view or moved to save space in your design. Enable the Hide Harness Type option in the Harness Connector dialog, or select the Harness Connector, open the SCH Inspector panel, or SCH List panel, and enable the Hide Harness Type option. Alternatively, double-click on the Harness Connector Type object (the text associated to the harness connector) and enable the Hide option in the associated Harness Connector Type dialog.

 

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