This week, we are reviewing Arena PartsList and sharing a variety of ways it makes circuit design, prototyping and BOM building easy. Today we are discussing how PartsList can be used to quickly build out your EDA or ECAD library with interesting parts that you can use for a future design.
Even when you’re knee-deep in design for one project, you might still run across multiple options for a key component or find candidate parts to compare and contrast for future projects.
So how do you keep track of those parts for later?
You could try to create a series of bookmarks in your web browser, or maintain a running list in Excel, but it’s simpler and cleaner to create a "candidate part list" in Arena PartsList using PartSaver.
PartSaver is the nifty feature within PartsList that scrapes detailed part information like manufacturer, manufacturing part number, distributor, distributor part number, cost and component URL from distributor websites. It’s as easy to use as clicking on the PartSaver bookmarklet in your browser while searching distributor sites.
You can use PartSaver to create multiple lists within PartsList such as “interesting capacitors,” “multi-source transistors” or “parts I want to use in my next project.” Once you have completed a list, it’s easy to export to CSV and upload parts—with all the critical component information—to your ECAD or EDA library. Or you can just keep your lists in PartsList and use Autofill to check availability and compare part costs for parts in your list when you’re ready to build.
One Arena PartsList user describes the value of PartsList like this: "when I’m designing a circuit board or designing a circuit, I need to record candidate parts and look up parts. And if I go along and find something better, I’ll need to edit my list. Overall, [PartsList] is a handy place to store all part information, datasheets and such."
With a centralized place to store candidate parts and an easy way to grab part data, PartsList is an ideal scratch pad for engineers. It helps you spend less time hunting down part information and more time designing with the parts you want.