In this article we want to show you one specialty of EAGLE: the DesignLink interface.
If you are designing a schematic and want to check that a component you plan to use exactly fits your needs, EAGLE offers a very convenient tool: DesignLink. This allows you to look up technical data and find out about availability and price. DesignLink works in collaboration with Farnell/element14. An EAGLE User Language Program (ULP) gives access to the Premier Farnell web site and offers information about more than 550,000 components.
Simply click onto the DesignLink icon in the schematic editor and choose the General option.
This opens a new window where you can enter search words in the bottom line. Type in for example ATMEGA88A and click onto the Search button. The result is displayed in the window as shown. You can look into the data sheet (click on the datasheet link) or get information about different variants and about availability and price.
If you would like to order the components directly, click on Add selection to shopping cart.
If you have made your schematic and now want to order all the components, use DesignLink again. Click onto the DesignLink icon and select the Schematic option. Now the DesignLink ULP loops through all the components in the schematic and looks through the existing library attributes to find the Farnell Order Code and Manufacturer Part Number. Then the ULP connects to the web and checks information on availability and price.
If there are components that don’t have the relevant information in their attributes, EAGLE tries to find a matching result via DesignLink online. The value of the component is taken as the search word. DesignLink displays the result and you can decide whether it is OK for what you need. If not, you can initiate a manual search. Type in suitable search word(s) and check the results. If they are okay, click Accept, and the next component will be processed. If you don”t want to order a particular component – maybe you have it already in stock and don”t need to buy it – click the Skip button.
Finally a bill of material will be presented that contains all information you need.
Now you can choose the Number of PCBs you want to order components for. Click Update to refresh the list. To start the online ordering process click Add to shopping cart. Alternatively you can Export your BOM as a text file and forward it to the purchase department. If you activate the checkbox for Save order codes the ULP saves all the information collected in the schematic file. So you have it available for the next time.