Altium Designer tips and shortcuts

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This is a list of my most used keyboard shortcuts and actions in Altium Designer. Coming from a much simpler software such as Eagle CAD, some of them took me a while to figure out. I will keep updating this post periodically with new stuff.

Keyboard shortcuts (PCB)

  • J , L : Jump to location, press intro after introducing the coordinates.
  • Q : Switch between mm/inches.
  • Ctrl + M : Measure distance between two points.
  • 2 / 3 : Switch board view to 2D/3D mode.
  • G : Pop up Snap Grid menu.
  • Ctrl + Click on a net : Select everything connected to that net.
  • Tab : Pop up properties dialog of the placing component/routing line.
  • Space / Shift + Space : Rotate components and cycle through routing options.
  • Shift + R : Cycle routing modes (ignore, avoid or push obstacle).
  • + / - : Switch to previous/next layer when routing.
  • M , C : Select a component from the list to move it.
  • L : Flip component.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Left Click : Set current mouse position as the dx,dy center.
  • Ctrl + Mouse wheel : Zoom in/out.
  • Shift + Hold Right Click : Move to rotate board in 3D view.

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LPC54102 LPCXpresso board tutorial

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Yesterday I received a brand new LPCXpresso54102 evaluation board, and after playing with it for a while and going through the documentation, I thought it could be useful to write down how to set up the environment and work around a few quirks that I found are not completely straightforward.

The board contains the new LPC54012 ultra-low-power dual-core ARM Cortex-M4F/M0+ microcontroller, targeted at always-on sensor-processing applications, that can run up to 100Mhz each core. The main idea is to use the Cortex-M0+ core for sensor listening, data collection and aggregation, and then wake up periodically the Cortex-M4F to perform complex data processing tasks.
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STM32F3DISCOVERY on Mac OS X using Eclipse, GCC ARM and OpenOCD

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A few months ago I received an STM32F3DISCOVERY evaluation board, similar to the STM32F4DISCOVERY that I’ve used for prototyping at work, but for the new STM32 F3 series Cortex-M4. Since ST doesn’t provide a development environment like TI and NXP do, and the commercial packages available are expensive and windows only, I’ve decided to put up a step-by-step tutorial on how to setup an opensource environment for Mac OS X based on eclipse, GCC ARM and openOCD.

All the packages are multi-platform, so it should be easy to configure a similar environment for Linux or Windows.
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Hello world! New blog and github account

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For the past three years I’ve been working as an electronic engineer at emxys, a company that designs embedded instruments mainly for the space industry.

Before joining this company, my job was developing web and mobile platforms and I kept a blog in spanish with several tutorials and screencasts about web development. Since my move away from the web towards hardware, I stopped updating it due to lack of time for posting and staying current.

To reflect my new interests, I’ve decided to put up this website to share some personal projects and a few things I’ve learnt along the way. Also, I’ve recovered my unused github account to upload my libraries and snippets that might be useful to someone. So far there are only a bunch of Eagle CAD components/footprints that I needed and couldn’t find anywhere, but I hope to contribute with more things in the future.