Altium Designer Documentation

Configuring Multi-board Schematic Connection Object Properties in Altium Designer

Created: October 18, 2019 | Updated: April 10, 2021

Parent page: Connection

Multi-board object properties are definable options that specify the visual style, content and behavior of the placed object. The property settings for each type of object are defined in two different ways:

  • Pre-placement settings – most Connection object properties, or those that can logically be pre-defined, are available as editable default settings on the Multi-board Schematic - Defaults page of the Preferences dialog (access from the  button at the top-right of the design space). Select the object in the Primitive List to reveal its options on the right.
  • Post-placement settings – all Connection object properties are available for editing in the Properties panel when a placed Connection is selected in the design space.

The Cable Connection object default settings in the Preferences dialog and the Wire (Connection) mode of the Properties panel The Cable Connection object default settings in the Preferences dialog and the Wire (Connection) mode of the Properties panelThe Cable Connection object default settings in the Preferences dialog and the Wire (Connection) mode of the Properties panel

A Connection is the general term used for the four types of physical interconnections that may be applied between child board designs (modules) in multi-board schematic documents. The Connection types are Cable, Direct, Harness, and Wire.
In the below properties listing, options that are not available as default settings in the Preferences dialog are noted as; 'Properties panel only'.

Properties

  • Designator – specifies the schematic identifier for this Connection.
    • Use the button to toggle its visibility in the schematic and the button to toggle the value's ability to be edited.
    • Select the font link to access and edit the Designator's font settings, attributes and color. Select the Other link to set auto-positioning (Designator centrally alongside the Connection line).
  • Number of Connections (Properties panel only) – reports the number of individual connections in the currently selected Connection.

Entries (Properties panel only)

This region is available for Cable and Harness type connections only.

The Entries section defines the physical attributes for each terminating end of a Cable/Harness connection.

  • Entry column – sets the Designator visibility () and style (male/female) for the Connection end.
  • Designator column – specifies the schematic identifier for the Connection end point.
  • Part column – the specified physical part (component) used for terminating the Connector end. Click the button browse to and select a suitable Library component part, such as a plug, socket, header, etc.
  • Mated column – the connection on the target board design (represented by a Module Entry) to which the Cable or Harness end is mated. The associated drop-down list offers other available connection targets – generally, that occupied by the other connection end.

Connections (Properties panel only)

The Connections section is a tabular list of the individual, mapped Net connections within the placed Connection, including their Module Entry terminating points.

For simpler type Connections such as a Wire or Direct Connection, the available fields are as follows:

  • # (number) column – the designated number assigned to the individual Wire/Pin in the parent Connection.
  • Net column – the net name assigned to the connection in an aggregated form that combines the From and To Net names at their respective Module Entries.
  • From column – the registered details of one terminating end of the individual connection, which includes the parent Module, Module Entry, Pin/Wire number, and Net.
  • To column – the registered details of the other terminating end of the individual connection, which includes the parent Module, Module Entry, Pin/Wire number, and Net.

For grouped type Connections such as a Cable or Harness, the available fields are as follows:

  • # (number) column – the designated number assigned to the Cable or Harness based on its Designator.
  • Net column – set to group for this type of Connection indicating that a collection (group) of pin-to-pin Net connections are hosted by the parent Connection.
  • From column – the registered details of one terminating end of the connection based the Module Entry name and the Cable/Harness and Entry designators (see Entries above).
  • To column – the registered details of the other terminating end of the connection based the Module Entry name, and the Cable/Harness and Entry designators (see Entries above).

Graphical

  • Line – displays the current Connection line pattern style and color.
    • Line pattern – the pattern style applied to the Connection line. Use the drop-down -to choose from a range of line style presets.
    • Line color () – click to open the outline color selector drop-down, which includes options for preset colors, HEX/RGB color values and the graphic selection of color shades.

Parameters tab (Properties panel only)

Parameters that are associated with a Connection are accessed under the Parameters tab of the Properties panel. All other properties are accessed under the default General tab.

  • Name – the Parameter Name of the listed parameter entry.
  • Value – the Parameter Value associated with the listed parameter Name.
  • Options
    • Use the button to toggle a Parameter's visibility in the schematic and the button to toggle its ability to be edited.
    • Select the font link to access and edit the Parameter's font settings, attributes and color. Select the Other option to set auto-positioning (Parameter at the bottom of the Connection rectangle), and the visibility of the Parameter Name.
  • Add/Delete – click to add a new default Parameter entry to the list. Click to remove the selected Parameter from the list.
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