Topic: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

Hello QET Community,


First of all – a massive thank you to everyone involved in developing QET over the years - Bravo et merci à tous! nomicons/smile


I have a little in-depth experience using KiCAD – for creating electronic schematics and PCBs (of course) – and more recently for creating wiring diagrams for light aircraft. After discovering all of KiCAD's shortcomings for wiring diagraming, I went hunting and discovered QET.


After the last four days learning and playing, there's a lot to like about QET that makes me want to persevere, support and promote it within the general aviation wiring and avionics community, yet I can't help feeling a little torn between QET and KiCAD – and not just because 'the latter is what I'm most familiar with'.


I've attached a few files to show the kind of diagramming I want to achieve with QET, along with my first attempt at creating a multi-connector, multi-pin (multi-terminal) QET element. I hope they collectively help better understand the somewhat industry specific requirements – and help explain how best I can use QET's features more efficiently, ultimately to generate BOMs (and netlists). If I need to use python to create elements outside of the built-in element editor, for example to convert CSV to QET .elmt format, I'm happy to give that a try too.


I really appreciate the quality of diagrams QET is able to produce for industrial and domestic diagraming requirements and hope that I might just need to rethink my approach so far, so here's a brief summary of my initial experience with QET vs KiCAD:

The single biggest advantage I saw in using QET over KiCAD was in its ability to add data to wires. To do that in KiCAD requires inserting a pseudo-component; it works, but moving wires around a diagram then becomes hugely time-consuming – and every wire becomes two connections in a netlist.

Having created the attached gtx328_transponder.elmt (a light aircraft transponder) I can't help thinking I'm either missing something about QET terminal interconnect philosophy, or there's a lot of potentially error-prone double data entry required in order to name terminals and then separately describe their function in another, otherwise disassociated text box. The other aspect of creating an element in QET (0.100-dev) that I found time consuming is text alignment: the reference point of each text block (x,y) position doesn't appear to update to reflect a change to the 'Alignment' option; the text box location remains referenced by its upper left corner, irrespective of its assigned Alignment option.


There's plenty more to discuss, but I hope the above is a constructive starting point in beginning to understand and adapt my thinking.


Many thanks in advance for any advice, suggestions or questions,


Hamish
Ledbury, UK

Post's attachments

Attachment icon gtx328_transponder.elmt 24.68 kb, 78 downloads since 2023-06-17 

Attachment icon Light Aircraft Radio Wiring Diagram - KiCAD Example (mono).pdf 55.21 kb, 122 downloads since 2023-06-17 

Attachment icon Light Aircraft Transponder Wiring Diagram - manufacturers example.pdf 271.69 kb, 118 downloads since 2023-06-17 

Attachment icon Light Aircraft Wiring Diagram - KiCAD Example (colour).pdf 121.31 kb, 103 downloads since 2023-06-17 

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

Hi Hamish,
thanks and welcome.

For the moment the name of terminal added in an element with the element editor is not yet linked to the QET engine, but we can find the uuid and the name of the terminal in the XML of the project by opening your project .qet, it must be possible with a Python script to create a table that lists the wires and the elements connected to this wire as well as the name of the terminal by uuid.

Best,
Laurent

"Le jour où tu découvres le Libre, tu sais que tu ne pourras jamais plus revenir en arrière..."

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopi … 925#p12925
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopi … 817#p14817

"Le jour où tu découvres le Libre, tu sais que tu ne pourras jamais plus revenir en arrière..."

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

Mise au point:
Qelectrotech est destiné avant tout pour dessiner des schémas développé selon  IEC 61082-1 ou des schéma unifilaire et les documents attenant.

KiCAD et un logiciel de conception de schémas électroniques et de de circuits imprimés.

Donc à mon avis, KIcad n'a pas sa place dans ce forum!

Electricien spécialiste, automaticien, dessinateur DAO; Electrical Foreman, Automation Engineer, CAD Draughtsman
Elektrospezialist, Automatiker, CAD-Zeichner.
API, PLC, SPS; Siemens S7-1200 & TIA PORTAL 12; Siemens LOGO

5 (edited by hairy_kiwi 2023-06-18 18:12:57)

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

Bonjour Laurent!

Many thanks for your replies.

I couldn't find any recently updated roadmap for QET, but I'm beginning to get a feel for where QET development is hopefully going; especially:
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopi … 337#p18337  uuid of terminals – which leads to both:
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopi … 024#p13024  terminal names
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1743  connection list export


While a native netlist generation feature would be nice to have, I can't help thinking it's of secondary value to a robust yet adaptable .elmt schema for the user being assigning data to terminals, at terminal level and subsequently display (or hide) that data in a diagram.


You suggest in this post:
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopi … 925#p12925 that:

Terminals informations need  {element type=?}, {terminalblock=X11}, {label name=DIOO} and {pin number=1} Input/Output, Power, etc ... properties, it's time to think about it for the future ...

Which all seem useful additions, however I would suggest another field {pin/terminal function=} would also be useful – with the ability to display any or all those: terminal number, terminal function, terminal label, etc – in order to make QET more flexible, adaptable, robust and especially, less data-entry error prone.

I don't think the degree of flexibility I'm describing is too far removed from some of the flexibility I see already implemented in QET, especially considering the existence of the feature 'Custom properties folio tab' on page 55 of the Rev 0.8 pdf manual.

Applying a similarly degree of flexility to element and terminal nomenclature ought only help grow the appeal of QET to an even wider audience, and thereby potentially attract more potential users - and development funding - over the longer term, no?

By comparison, KiCAD offers such flexibility of data field nomenclature at component level, but I can see similar advantages to extending that philosophy to the terminal level.


Finally, another nice to have feature would be the ability to mirror elements. Looking through QET's vast library, there seems to be a fair amount of asset duplication, due to lack of such a mirror transform. End pieces of terminal blocks especially come to mind, but I imagine for my own diagraming requirements without a mirror transform I will end up creating east and west (maybe even north and south) facing versions of a number of elements, with the potential future maintenance hassle that doing so creates.



I hope the above is taken as constructive feedback; especially as I'm keenly aware how long open source software (rightly) takes to mature.

My development skills are unfortunately quite limited to (slowly and painfully) bashing the odd python script together and perhaps being able to contribute to improving or extending documentation; but I look forward to contributing in what ever small way I can to the progress and wider adoption of QET.

I have already accumulated a small collection of (the composite text) variables that don't appear to be in the on-line or pdf manual. Is there a way to submit document change proposals via the git interface?


Hamish

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

bernard_andre wrote:

Mise au point:
Qelectrotech est destiné avant tout pour dessiner des schémas développé selon  IEC 61082-1 ou des schéma unifilaire et les documents attenant.

KiCAD et un logiciel de conception de schémas électroniques et de de circuits imprimés.

Donc à mon avis, KIcad n'a pas sa place dans ce forum!


Bernard writes:
"Focus:
Qelectrotech is primarily intended for drawing diagrams developed according to IEC 61082-1 or single-line diagrams and the accompanying documents.

KiCAD is a software for designing electronic diagrams and printed circuits.

So in my opinion, KIcad has no place in this forum!"


Bonjour, merci pour votre avis Bernard – and forgive me the title of this thread, however my reference to KiCAD (not meant to be in any way disrespectful at all) was simply to highlight:
- my previous experience,
- how I came to discover QET by KiCAD's shortcomings for my particular diagraming requirements, and
- some of the structural improvements KiCAD has adopted itself over the period of its development, for the benefit of it's particular user base.


I do fully agree with you that QET should not try, and does not need to be another KiCAD, yet the later shows a degree of robustness and usefulness at it's direct equivalent to the terminal level, that I believe all QET users could ultimately benefit from.

Finally, after a little more time on this forum, I see I am certainly not the first to enquire or draw comparison between those aspects of KiCAD that show how QET might undergo further relatively straightforward improvement. Improvement that has nothing at all to do with end use (IEC 61082-1 etc) and everything to do with time-saving, error-free diagramming - which has to be desirable by any industry participants using - or investigating using QET - no?


Respectfully,
Hamish nomicons/smile

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

After visiting the IEC's page on the production of graphics and figures to IEC 61082-1:
iec.ch/standards-development/graphics-figures

Prepare electrotechnical diagrams using graphical symbols from IEC 60617 and in accordance with IEC 61082-1.

https://www.iec.ch/system/files/inline-images/Figure9%28Diagrams2%29.png


..it's interesting to note some of those components are mirrored rather than simply rotated. So I don't feel any long-time user of QET should feel at odds with the mere mentioning of another softwares capabilities in order to stimulate conversation or enquire about possible future improvements QET, especially when it be for the benefit of all users, long-time and new-comers alike - that is after all, one of the greatest benefits of OSS to all of society.


Sincerely,
Hamish

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

For mirrored or resize elements see this topic:
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1946

"Le jour où tu découvres le Libre, tu sais que tu ne pourras jamais plus revenir en arrière..."

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopi … 338#p18338

"Le jour où tu découvres le Libre, tu sais que tu ne pourras jamais plus revenir en arrière..."

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopi … 294#p18294

"Le jour où tu découvres le Libre, tu sais que tu ne pourras jamais plus revenir en arrière..."

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

scorpio810 wrote:

For mirrored or resize elements see this topic:
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1946 build now gg

Great! I am seeking a way to resize elements for so long.

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

Mikasa wrote:
scorpio810 wrote:

For mirrored or resize elements see this topic:
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1946 build now gg

Great! I am seeking a way to resize elements for so long.

You can flip and mirror also... nomicons/wink

"Le jour où tu découvres le Libre, tu sais que tu ne pourras jamais plus revenir en arrière..."

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

Great! I have been looking for a solution to resize things for a long time.

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

hairy_kiwi wrote:

The other aspect of creating an element in QET (0.100-dev) that I found time consuming is text alignment: the reference point of each text block (x,y) position doesn't appear to update to reflect a change to the 'Alignment' option; the text box location remains referenced by its upper left corner, irrespective of its assigned Alignment option.
Hamish

The mentioned text alignment works in a completely different way. It has nothing to do with how the text field snaps to the grid. That always happens with the top-left corner of the text field. Unfortunately ...

This alignment only determines where the text will expand in case of changes to its content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REBUNoBYwic
I can't imagine what use this could have.

Re: Transitioning to QElectroTech from KiCAD - Newbie Questions

scorpio810 wrote:

For mirrored or resize elements see this topic:
https://qelectrotech.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1946

This way of mirroring is going in the wrong direction. An elegant solution is to have a single component with interpretations changing accordingly.