Macaos Enterprise User guide

Macaos Enterprise allows you to easily browse, panelize and place orders for printed circuit boards and solder paste stencils. This quick user guide will help you get started.
For more detailed info, use the Help menu in Macaos Enterprise to open the user manual.

Getting started

From the Get Macaos Enterprise page you can order download and login info. Once you receive the download link and your login info, simply download and run the setup program. The setup program will install a starter program which is used to check your connection and configure proxy settings (if necessary) befure updating itself to the latest version of Macaos Enterprise.

Program overview

The Macaos Enterprise main window consists of three main elements: an icon bar (top), a product explorer (left) and product details (right). The Icon Bar is used to access additional modules. These include:

  • The Import module is used to load Gerber and drill files and create (publish) a PCB product which is visible in the product explorer.
  • The Panel module is used to step up one or more PCB product(s) into a panel (array) suitable for automated assembly, and publish it to the product explorer.
  • The Stencil module is used to create a solder paste stencil product and publish it to the product explorer.
  • The Buy module is used to get prices and order the product selected in the product explorer.
  • The RFQ for Assembly module is used to request quotations from participating EMS providers.
  • The Add Masks module is used to add peel-off or other masks to a product after it has been published. This module is only available in the Pro version of Macaos Enterprise.
  • The Partner Manager and User Manager are used to manage contact info and partner relationships.

Product explorer

The Product explorer allows you to find and organize your company's products. The upper portion lists your product folders and the lower portion lists the products in the selected folder. In addition to the standard folders, you can create your own folders and subfolders to organize products however you wish.

Product details

Product details are shown in three tabs.

The Product info tab displays product properties. These include the product name, article number and description; board specifications, minimum tolerances, and board statistics. The board stackup is displayed as a diagram. Right-click on the diagram to view/save the stackup as a PDF document.

The Product view tab displays the product graphically. The check boxes in the layer list control which layers are visible. Right-click on a layer name to change the display color for that layer. The new color will be used for that layer throughout Macaos Enterprise. The current cursor position and board size are displayed below the file list.

To pan: right-click at the new center point, or right-click and drag horizontally or vertically. To zoom in: right-click and drag up to the right to select the desired region. To zoom out: right-click and drag down to the left. To zoom-to-fit: right-click and drag up to the left. The Help tab displays a quick reference for pan and zoom commands.

When no operational mode is selected, clicking and dragging with the left mouse button displays the distance from the clicked point to the mouse cursor. Press Ctrl+U to toggle between inch and mm display.

In some cases, a file list appears below the layer list. These are product data and documentation files which you may view or download. Double-click on a file to view it. Right-click on a file to save it. Right-click on the list to add a document to the product.

The Product history tab lists the order history and production history for the selected product. For each order, the relevant numbers and dates are shown. Clicking on an order number opens a PDF viewer displaying the order confirmation. Clicking on an underlined shipment tracking number opens a web browser with shipment tracking info, if available. Clicking on an underlined pack list number displays shipment details.

Importing Gerber and drill files

To create a product, you need to do the following:

  1. Using the CAD system of your choice, generate Gerber and Drill files for your product. See Gerber file generation tips for info on generating files from some commonly used CAD systems.
  2. Prepare for a new product. Open the Import Module, or choose File|New product if you have previously been working with a different product.
  3. Open the data files. Choose File|Open files to open files and add them to the files listed in the Files tab. If a single zip file is added, then this will be unpacked and its contents added to the Files tab. You may select multiple files from the same folder. You can also choose File|Open files again to add additional files to the Files tab.
  4. Link files to their corresponding board layers. If Autolinking is on, and the Import Module recognizes the filenames as matching one of the defined filters, then recognized files will be linked automatically to their corresponding layers. Files which are not autolinked must be linked manually. This is done by clicking on the blue text in the Layer column of the Files tab and selecting the desired layer from the layer menu. The file image is displayed, in order to help select the correct layer. Right-click on a file to view the file as text or change the file type.
  5. Review drill holes. In the Layer overview, set check marks by the drill layers and a copper layer, then go to the Drill tools tab. This tab lists the drill files and drill tools which have been linked. Ideally, the drill holes will be displayed centered on their corresponding copper pads. If not, see the user manual for information on how to make offset or scaling adjustments. Drill tool sizes are listed, rounded to the nearest actual tool size at the manufacturer. If tool sizes could not be extracted from the drill file, these must be entered manually by clicking in the Manuf. size column and typing in the correct size. Be sure to also check/correct plating for each tool, and drill depth for each file.
  6. Define the board contour. Go to the Contour tab. The Active layer (by default, the Board layer) is shown in blue and other layers are shown in gray. Ideally, selecting a segment of the outer contour, causes the entire contour to be highlighted. If necessary, use the + and – icon buttons to select/deselect the remainder of the contour (and no other segments). If the selected segments form a closed loop, then the Outer button in the Contour tab will be enabled. Click on the Outer button to define the outer contour. Select and define any additional cutouts, routed tracks, or scoring lines.
  7. Enter product specifications. Go to the board specs tab. You must specify a product name and select or define a stackup. In addition, you may choose non-standard surface finish, solder mask color and notation color. If the product is to have electrolytic (hard) gold applied to connector surfaces, then the gold area (in cm²) must also be specified. Then go to the board stats tab. Here you must specify minimum track width, clearance and annular ring for the product.
  8. Place the manufacturer's identifier. The manufacturer adds a product/batch number to the board as part of the production process. You may select the position of the identifier by clicking on the No. toolbar button and placing the rectangle at the desired position on the board. The identifier will appear on the Notation Top layer. If you do not place the identifier, then the manufacturer will choose an appropriate location prior to production.
  9. Add symbols (optional). Click on the Symbols toolbar button. Choose the desired symbol by clicking on the appropriate toolbar button. Select the desired layer and then draw a bounding rectangle for the symbol.
  10. Publish the product. Choose File|Publish to Product Browser to publish the new product:
    • Go through each item in the approval checklist to insure that you haven't forgotten anything. Click the OK button to continue.
    • Once the product has been published to the server, the new product number will be displayed. You'll find the product in the Never Ordered folder of the product browser.

Specifying custom buildups in Macaos Enterprise

Specifying custom buildups in Macaos Enterprise

A custom buildup may be specified either as a free build or as a constrained build. With a free build, only the copper thicknesses, the total thickness, and the dielectric material are specified. With a constrained build, the individual dielectric thicknesses and materials are also specified. An aluminium carrier or core may be added to a free build. Use the radio buttons to switch between the two modes. Note: Constrained builds may only be defined for multi-layer buildups.

In either case, there will be one metal specification for each layer, and each layer is separated by one dielectric specification. In addition (for 2 or more layer builds) plating is automatically added at the top and bottom. Additional plating layers may be added (for buried vias or sequential buildup) where necessary (see below).

The total buildup thickness is shown (for constrained builds) or specified (for free builds) at the bottom of the stackup builder. The default thickness tolerance is ±10%. You should not choose a different tolerance unless specifically required for your application, since this can greatly increase manufacturing costs and lead time.

The dielectric material for the build is also specified at the bottom of the stackup builder. This specification applies to all dielectric layers, unless otherwise specified for a specific layer. Select one of the commonly used material descriptions, or enter your own description. If left blank, standard FR-4 (IPC-4101C/21) will be specified.

When specifying a constrained build, if you start at the top layer and work downward, then the stackup builder will automatically help to create a symmetric buildup by inserting the same layer specifications from the bottom layer upwards. These automatic specifications may be changed later, if necessary.

Metal layers

Metal layers are specified as base (unplated/unfinished) thickness, since plating is specified as a separate layer. Plated layers should therefore typically be specified as ½ ounce (20μm) less than the desired plated/finished thickness. The thickness may be specified as follows:

  • select a thickness from the drop-down list
  • enter a thickness in μm as an integer value
    for example: 105 specifies a thickness of 105μm (3 ounce)
  • enter a thickness in mm as a real number value
    for example: 0.105 specifies a thickness of 105μm (3 ounce)


Metal layers are normally copper. A material description for the layer should only be added if some other conductive material than copper is to be used.


Plating is automatically added to the outer layers of buildups with 2 or more layers. For buildups with plating on inner layers (i.e. for buried vias or for sequential buildup), plating layers should be added by right-clicking on the word Metal and selecting whether the plating should be added above or below the metal layer. Plating should always be added to the "outside" of the set of layers to be plated.

If plating is not correctly specified for inner layers, then buried vias will not be correctly drawn in the product stackup drawing.

Note: When specifying plated inner layers, the inner layer (foil) thickness should be specified as 20 μm less than the desired layer thickness.

The plating thickness may not be specified. For IPC Class 1 or 2, plating shall be at least 20 μm thick. For IPC Class 3, plating shall be at least 25 μm thick. Note that actual plating thickness can vary greatly from one place to another on the board, subject to plating process conditions. It is therefore not advisable to use a plated layer for impedance critical signal paths.

Dielectric layers

Dielectric layers are specified as a thickness or as a combination of prepreg plies (sheets). The thickness may be specified as follows:

  • select prepreg(s) or a thickness from the drop-down list
  • enter a thickness in μm as an integer value
    for example: 250 specifies a thickness of 250μm
  • enter a thickness in mm as a real number value
    for example: 0.250 specifies a thickness of 250μm
  • enter a prepreg combination, such as 1x7628 or 2x2116+1x1080


A prepreg is specified as qty x type. Valid prepreg types are 106, 1080, 2112, 2113, 2116, 2125, and 7628. To specify a combination of prepreg types, separate the prepreg specifications with a + symbol. There should be no spaces in the prepreg specification.

The dielectric material for individual layers should only be specified in cases where the material differs from the overall material description specified at the bottom of the stackup builder.

Note: The finished thickness of a prepreg dielectric layer will often be less than the nominal thickness listed in the stackup builder. This is due to the fact that epoxy in the prepreg layer will flow into the spaces where metal has been removed (etched) from the inner layers. The actual thickness reduction is a function of the metal layer thickness and the metal coverage of the layer. See Prepreg Thickness Chart or Multilayer Dielectric Thickness Calculation for a more detailed description.


Aluminium is sometimes used (especially in LED lighting applications) to improve the heat dissipation of a board. An aluminium carrier or core may be added to a free build with the check box (near the Help button). An aluminium carrier is added to the bottom of the build. An aluminium core replaces the dielectric of a 2-layer board.

In most cases, you must fill in desired layer thicknesses before you may select Aluminium carrier or core. After selecting aluminium, the appropriate dielectric will be replaced with a combination of dielectric and aluminium. The exact dielectric thickness will be chosen by the manufacturer.

Panelizing a product

To panelize a product, you need to do the following:

  1. Locate the product to panelize. Select the product in the Macaos Enterprise
    product browser and then click on the Panel button to open the panelization module.
  2. Specify the array. Click on the Panelize toolbar button to create an array. Adjust the board quantity, frame width and instance spacing as desired. You can also specify scoring and copper fill in the frame. Be sure you are satisfied with all specifications on this tab before moving on to any of the following steps.
    Add boards to the panel (Pro version). Press Ctrl+R to show the product chooser. Drag or Double-click on a product name to add it to the panel.
    Move and rotate boards (Pro version). Select a portion of a board contour to move or rotate the board. Right-click or press the space bar to rotate. Press Ctrl to disable snap when moving. Click to place the board or press Esc to cancel.
  3. Specify break-off tabs. Break-off tabs are automatically generated when panelizing. If desired, click on the Tabs toolbar button to modify the default style and placement of Break-off tabs.
  4. Place fiducial marks (optional). Click on the Fiducial marks toolbar button. Specify diameters and location, and then click on the Place button.
  5. Place frame holes (optional). Click on the Frame holes toolbar button. Specify diameter and location of tooling holes and/or diameter, spacing and location of break-off holes, and then click on the Place holes button.
  6. Place text (optional). If desired, the Text toolbar button may be used to place text or bar code in the frame of the panel.
  7. Place bad marks (optional). Click on the Bad marks toolbar button. Specify the side and style of the bad marks. Specify the location of the panel mark and the board marks, and then click on the Place marks button.
  8. Add special masks (Pro version). Click on the Masks toolbar button. Specify the mask layer, side and fill mode; and then click on the Place Mask button. Draw a selection rectangle around the area where the mask is to be placed.
  9. Publish the product. Choose File|Publish to Product Browser to complete panel creation. Specify the product name, article number and description in the dialog box.

Creating a solder paste stencil product

  • Locate the PCB product for which you wish to create a stencil and then click on the Stencil button. If you wish to create a stencil product directly from Gerber files, then click on a folder name (so that no product is selected) before clicking on the Stencil button.
  • Click on the Stencil and frame data toolbar button. Specify the layer(s) and frame to use for the stencil.
  • Click on the Placement and fiducials toolbar button. Specify the placement of data within the frame. If desired, top and bottom data may be placed side by side on the same stencil. Indicate which data are fiducials, since these will be etched rather than cut through the stencil.
  • Click on the Shape manipulation toolbar button. Specify opening size adjustment for all openings. If desired, select individual openings to further refine the opening adjustment. All adjustments are specified as a percentage of the reduction/enlargement of the copper pad (if available) or the original pad. Specify the corner rounding to match the nominal solder ball size of the solder past to be used.
  • Click on the Text toolbar button and, if desired, specify the product's name and description and then place the text.
  • Click on the Delete objects toolbar button and delete any unnecessary objects from the stencil data.
  • Click on the Divide large openiongs into smaller segments toolbar button if there are large stencil openings that you wish to split into an array of smaller openings.
  • Click on the Define regions with expanded/reduced thickness toolbar button if you wish to define regions of the stencil that should be built up or etched down to a different thickness than the stencil thickness.
  • Click on the Publish stencil button to create the new paste mask stencil product(s). By default, a stencil product is created with the same product number as the PCB product, plus pt (for top) or pb (for bottom) or just p (for both). If the paste mask product already exists, then the new product will be given a new product number (plus pt, pb or p).
  • Placing an order

    To order a product, you need to do the following:

    1. Choose a product. Locate and select the product in the Product explorer.
    2. Obtain a price quotation. Click on the Buy button to open the Quotation module. Select one or more quantities and one or more delivery times (days) and then click on the Get Price button.
    3. Add to the Shopping basket. Select a quantity/days/price combination and click on the Add to Basket button. After selecting a delivery address for the product, it is added to the Shopping basket. If you wish to order more of the same product, then select a new quantity/days/price combination and click Add to Basket again. Repeat steps 1 to 3 to order additional products.
    4. Place the order. Click on the Check Out button in the Quotation dialog. After selecting an invoice address for the order, select a payment method and enter a purchase order number. Clicking on the Final Ordering button confirms all orders in the Shopping basket. Your order confirmation is displayed and the ordered products are added to the On order folder of the Product explorer.

    Alternatively, you can used Macaos Enterprise to send a Request For Quotation to participating Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers to produce your product for you.

    Generating an RFQ for Assembly

    With Macaos Enterprise, you can send a Request For Quotation (RFQ) to participating Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers. An RFQ gives the EMS provider read-only access to your board product, pick & place (PnP) data, and bill of materials (BOM) list, so that they have the information necessary to calculate their quotation.

    To generate an RFQ for assembly:

    1. Import the board. If you have not already done so, use the Import Module to import your Gerber/Drill or ODB++ files to Macaos Enterprise.
      • PnP data should be imported together with your board data files. Link the PnP data file to the Pick&Place data layer. If necessary, PnP data may also be imported or created in the Assembly Manager module.
      • For best results, BOM data should be added to the product in the Assembly Data Manager module. (See step 4 below.)
    2. Panel and Stencil. Normally, you should not panelize the board or create a stencil. The EMS provider will do these steps in the manner best suited to their production processes.
    3. Choose the product. Locate and select the board product in the Product explorer.
    4. Open the Assembly Data Manager module. Click on the Assembly button to open the module. This module has tabs for processing PnP data, BOM data, remarks and the RFQ.
      Pick and place data
      Check that pick and place data is correct.
      PnP data for individual components may be created, edited, or toggled active/inactive.
      Bill of Materials
      Import and process the BOM.
      The BOM processor attempts to categorize information from each entry in the BOM and match it to known component data. BOM data is not visible to bare PCB manufacturers, but only to the EMS providers with whom you share your product.
      If desired, remarks may be added to the board by drawing a circle around the area in question and adding the remark text. Remarks are generated as an extra board documentation layer, which is visible to both PCB manufacturers and to EMS providers.
      Request for Quotation
      Fill out the necessary information, select EMS provider(s) and then click on the Submit RFQ button.
    5. Quotations and ordering. You should receive quotations within 2 working days by e-mail from the selected EMS provider(s). If you are satisfied with a quotation, you will need to contact the EMS provider directly to place your order with them.
    6. Make sure your selected supplier has access to your product. Generating RFQs automatically shares your product with the EMS provider(s) for a period of 10 days, but only for the purpose of viewing and quoting your product.
      You will need to change the product share for your selected supplier so that they have Order or Manuf scope, and so that the share does not expire until after they are finished with your product.
      • The product share expiry may be changed by right-clicking on the product and choosing Share|<partner name>|Make permanent or Share|<partner name>|Edit.
      • The product share scope may be changed by right-clicking on the product and choosing Share|<partner name>|Change scope to <scope>.

      See the user manual for more info about editing product shares.

    Assembly Data Manager - Pick and place tab

    The Pick and place tab displays a list of all components in the pick and place (PnP) data file(s). In the graphic display, each component is shown as a small cross at the "pick-point" with an arrow indicating rotation and with the component designator nearby. The Top side/Bottom side check boxes may be used to show/hide components in the list.

    For each component in the list:

    • A check mark indicates that the component is active. Inactive components will not be included in the pick and place data used for automatic placement by the EMS provider.
    • The icon indicates whether the component is top side or bottom side.
    • The component designator, rotation and description are listed.

    You can do the following:

    • Double-click on a component in the list to zoom the display to the component.
    • Right-click on a component in the list to edit the layer, designator, rotation and/or description.
    • Check or uncheck a component to activate/deactivate the component.
    • Select multiple components and then right-click on the list to toggle the active state of all selected components.
    • Right-click on the list and choose Make all components active to make all components active.
    • Click on the Import (open file) button to import a PnP file.
    • Click on the Save changes button to save any changes you have made to the PnP data.
    • Click on the Align button to enter Align mode.
      1. In the viewer, left-click and draw a selection rectangle around a PnP symbol (cross with
        arrow). A rubber-band line stretches from the component to the mouse pointer.
      2. Left-click and draw a new selection rectangle around all pads of the selected component.
        The component will be moved to the center of a rectangle exactly enclosing the selected
      3. Check that the PnP data is correctly aligned. If not, repeat with a different
    • Click on the Add component button to enter Add component mode.
      1. In the viewer, left-click and draw a selection rectangle around all pads of the component. The component will be placed at the center of a rectangle exactly enclosing the selected
      2. In the Add Pick and Place component dialog box, specify the layer, designator, rotation and description of the component. Clicking the OK button creates the PnP component.
      3. Repeat for each additional component to be added.

    Assembly Data Manager - Bill of Materials tab

    A Bill of Materials (BOM) is a list of the components that are to be used with the printed circuit board. The BOM is used to select and purchase the correct components as well as to specify where each component should be placed on the printed circuit board.

    Frequently, a BOM generated by a CAD system or inventory system may not contain enough information for an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider to accurately select the correct components. This can lead to delays, as additional communication between the EMS provider and their client becomes necessary to clear up any questions that may arise.

    The Macaos BOM Screener helps reduce these delays by processing a BOM and saving it in a well-organized manner. You can quickly see if there are components which are underspecified, and add information where necessary.

    1. Load the BOM into the Input BOM grid. A BOM may be loaded by one of the following methods:
      • An Excel .xls spreadsheet may be imported directly to the Input BOM grid. The file must be in Excel 97-2003 .xls format.
      • A Text file may be imported to the Input BOM grid. A dialog box is used to specify how the text file should be interpreted during import.
      • If file of one of the above types was linked as Parts list (BOM) in the import module, it will automatically be loaded.
      • Other spreadsheet formats may be copied and pasted into the Input BOM grid. Open the spreadsheet in your spreadsheet application. Select and copy the desired cells to the clipboard. Right-click on the first empty row in the Input BOM grid and choose Paste row(s) after.
    2. Specify correct column headers in the Input BOM grid. This is necessary to help the BOM screener best identify the contents of the BOM.
      • If there are one or more rows in the Input BOM grid which do not contain component data, right-click on the first row of component data and choose Ignore rows above.
      • If a row of theInput BOM grid contains column headers, right-click on this row and choose Column headers. If the column headers are in English then the corresponding column type should appear in the header row of the Input BOM grid.
      • For each column, as necessary, right-click on the column header and choose the appropriate column type. If a column contains a mixture of different types of information, it should be marked as Description, Comment or Ignore. The Comment and Ignore types are both ignored by the BOM screener, but the contents of a Comment column are included in the Output BOM grid.
    3. Click on the Process output BOM from input BOM button. The BOM Screener will go through each row of the Input BOM grid, interpret the data, and create a corresponding row in the Output BOM grid. If a matching component is found in the Macaos Component Database, its details are also listed and the row is colored green.
    4. For components where there was not a single match (yellow or white rows), you should consider adding additional information to the Output BOM grid. To edit a parameter, click on an empty cell and enter the desired parameter value. Or click twice (without double-clicking) to modify existing text in the cell.
      • If multiple matching components were found (yellow row), double-click on the MACAOS key name cell to open the Macaos Component Chooser with a list of all matching components. This may give an indication of additional parameters that could be specified for this component, if necessary.
      • If no matching component was found (white row), then either the component does not exist in the database, or there is not enough information specified to clearly identify the component.
        • Consider specifying the component more clearly by adding additional parameters to the appropriate cells in the component row.
        • Double-click on the MACAOS key name cell and use the Macaos Component Chooser to search for the correct component.

      If you have made changes to the Output BOM grid, click on the Process Output BOM again button to check all modified rows for matching components in the database.

    5. Once you are satisfied with the Output BOM, click on the Save button.

    Note: The Macaos Component Database is still under development. It contains several thousand common components, but there are still many components which have not yet been added to the database. If you wish, you may contribute by using the Add new part to database function in the Macaos Component Chooser.

    Assembly Data Manager - Remarks tab

    Remarks are comments or information that is attached to a specific position in the product. Macaos Enterprise supports a graphic layer for remarks. This layer is visible together with the other layers in the product viewer. It is also exported as a separate Gerber file when data is transmitted to a manufacturer. In this way, remarks will always follow the product data, so that all parties will be informed about the remark.

    Add remark
    1. Click on the Add remark button to activate the button.
    2. Draw a circle around the area on the board to which the remark applies.
    3. Enter the text of the remark in the Place remark dialog box. Add line breaks as appropriate. The text will be placed to the right of the circle.
    4. Click OK to complete creation of the remark.
    Edit selected remark text
    Only newly added and unsaved remarks may be edited. Click on a line of text to change the text in that line.
    Delete remarks
    1. Click on the Delete remark button to activate the button.
    2. Draw a selection rectangle around all drawing primitives on the remark layer which are to be deleted.
    Save changes
    Click on the Save button to save changes to the remark layer. Once changes have been saved, it will no longer be possible to edit remark text. Saved remarks must be deleted and recreated if changes need to be made.

    Assembly Data Manager - Request for Quotation tab

    Once your PnP and BOM data are ready, you can send a Request for Quotation (RFQ) for purchasing and assembly of your PCB to any participating Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider. This is a quick and easy way to get your PCB into production, since Macaos Enterprise makes the necessary information available to your partners in a reliable and orderly manner.

    Generating an RFQ for assembly does 3 things:

    1. If one does not already exist, a partnership is created between your company and each selected EMS provider.
    2. The product is shared with each EMS provider. If not already shared, then the product is shared with Quote scope for 10 days.
    3. A message is sent to each EMS provider informing them of your RFQ. The message is also visible in the EMS provider's Macaos Enterprise, together with your product data.

    You must confirm creating partnerships and shares (where necessary), specify quantities and delivery times, and enter contact information.

    Once everything is in place, click on the Submit RFQ button to send RFQs to each selected EMS provider. They should respond by mail within 2 working days.

    Creating a "Bed of Nails" test fixture

    Test jig - click for a larger imageA test jig is an apparatus which into which a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) may be inserted, so that appropriate contacts may be made for in-circuit testing. Typically, the test jig holds the PCBA between an upper and lower test fixture. When the two fixtures are pressed together, test pins make contact with test points on the PCBA.

    A test fixture is a plate with holes where test pin receptacles and guide pins may be inserted. At each test pin point, a pin receptacle is inserted. A spring-loaded test pin (or Pogopin) is then inserted into each receptacle so that it will make contact with desired test point on the PCBA. The PCBA is placed on top of the pins and then pressed down so that the pins make good contact with the test points.

    Creating a test fixture

    Creating a test fixture in Macaos Enterprise involves several steps:

    1. Select a test jig style and fixture style. Select or specify a fixture material and other dimensions, as appropriate. Set a check mark if you wish a protective cover.
    2. Click on the Redraw fixture button to view the fixture and jig.
    3. If desired, annotation text may be added to the fixture plate. Enter the desired text in the Text to place edit box, select a rotation, and click on the Place text button (so that it is down). Then click at the desired location to place the text. Right-click on the edit box to load texts such as the product number or company name.
      To delete text, click on the Delete text button (so that it is down) and then draw a selection rectangle around the text to delete.
    4. If you have chosen a box-style fixture, then you may place connector openings in the side walls of the fixture. Select a connector style and click on the Place connector button (so that it is down). Then click at the desired location along the edge of the fixture top plate.
      Note: The vertical position of the connector in the side wall is not adjustable.
      To delete a connector, right-click on the connector in the list of connectors and select Delete.
    5. The piston offset should be set to the actual position of the handle piston of the test jig. (For the Macaos standard jig, this would be 32mm plus 8mm for each spacer plate used when mounting the handle on the jig.) Use the green Offset buttons to adjust the piston offset from the back edge of the active area. The press point offset buttons will move the press point down or up 10mm per click. If you press the Shift key, then the press point will move 1mm per click.
    6. Use the blue Rotate and Offset buttons to place the board within the active area, as necessary. The board offset buttons move the board right or up 10mm per click. If you press the Shift key, then the board will move 1mm per click.
      Note: If all of your test points are on the top side of the PCB, you may use the blue Flip button to turn the PCB upside-down in the test fixture editor. This mirrors the board, and allows placing test pins at pads on the copper top layer (rather than the copper bottom layer).
    7. To place pins, go to the Pins tab. Select the type of pin to place and click on the Place pins button (so that it is down). Then click at the desired location to place the pin.
      • Press/support pins may be placed at any location.
      • Guide pins (used to align the PCBA on the fixture) may only be placed at a hole of suitable diameter.
      • Edge guide pins may be placed at any location along the edge of the PCB. A hole with the specified diameter will be placed one pin radius from the board edge.
      • Test pins may be placed at any hole or pad.

      When placing a test pin, the following should be specified:

      • Signal name
      • Connector name and pin number

      The signal name and connector pin number are used to generate a wiring list for the test fixture.
      Although this is not recommended, you may also modify the pin location and/or hole diameter, if desired.

    8. Ideally, the press point should be located over the centroid (geometric center) of the fixture pins. Click on the Centroid button to move the board so that the pin centroid is aligned with the press point. Note: If pins fall outside of the active area or test fixture, then you will need to adjust the press point offset and/or adjust the position of the board. (If you change the press point offset, then you will also need to click on the Centroid button again.)
    9. Go to the Z-axis tab to check the z-axis spacing for the jig and fixture. Specify the dimensions as necessary, and select guide pin and test pin types. Use the radio buttons to view spacing with the jig handle up and down.
      When the handle is down, if there is too little or too much spacing between the fixture plate and the PCBA, then a warning message is displayed in the diagram.
      Note: Test pin dimensions are based on the test pin connecting to the surface of the PCBA. In cases where the test pin will contact a solder bump or component lead some extra space will be needed. It is therefore advisable to have 1-2mm of deflection space available when the handle is down.
      Note: The most recent view of each Z-axis diagram (handle up and handle down) will be included with the fixture data when the fixture is published. If you do not view a diagram, then it will not be included.

    When you are finished placing pins and positioning the press foot and board, click on the Publish or Save button. This generates a drill file for the fixture plate, as well as a wiring list and documentation.

    Note: The minimum allowed edge-to-edge spacing between receptacle holes is 0.4mm.

    See the user manual for more information.

    Getting help

    The User Manuals give more detailed info about using Macaos Enterprise. You can access the user manual for each module from the Help menu in the main window, Import module or Panelization module.

    If, after looking through the manual, you still have questions, then check our forums or contact us at

    Using Macaos Enterprise on Linux

    Macaos Enterprise is designed to run on Windows, but will run pretty well on Linux. Since Macaos Enterprise is built and compiled for the Windows operating system you need to fake a windows environment through a tool like Wine.

    We have tested Macaos Enterprise on Ubuntu Linux 10.10 using Wine 1.2 Gecko.

    If you experience any problems or have questions that are not answered on these pages, please contact us by mail or use the forums and we will try to answer as best we can.

    If you have something you would like to add to these pages, please use the add new comment function.

    Before you begin


    1. First you need to install Wine. The various distributions usually have Wine available in their package repository. You can also download Wine version suitable for your distribution.
    2. You now need to replace the two built-in wininet.dll and comctl32.dll libraries with the native versions from Microsoft. We recommend using the winetricks script and the command sh winetricks comclt32 wininet. However, you may choose to do this by manually obtaining the dll's from an existing Windows XP installation, and copying the dll's into .wine/drive_c/windows/system32
    3. In the libraries tab of wine configuration, add wininet and comctl32 to the list of libraries. Click edit on each one and select native (windows)
    4. The user manual depends on Adobe Acrobat being installed in wine. If you want it to work then you can install Acrobat Reader 6.0.x into wine.

      wine AdbeRdr60_enu_full.exe

    5. There seems to be a problem with order confirmations not being displayed properly.
      If you have an Windows XP installation, simply copy the ttf files from Windows/fonts to ~./wine/drive_c/windows/fonts.

    Installing Macaos Enterprise with wine

    1. Download Macaos Enterprise from the URL received in the mail.
    2. Create a directory for Macaos Enterprise, i.e. in ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/MacaosEnterprise and copy the downloaded file into it
    3. Open a terminal window, cd to the that directory and run:

      > wine macaosenterprise.exe

    4. Go through the install program as on Windows.

    If you get access violations in comctl32.dll or errors when opening the product viewer make sure you did all the steps in the before you begin section. If you get other errors be sure to check out the troubleshooting section, to see if the problem has been solved there. If you have a problem that is not mentioned here please post in the forums or send us an e-mail and we will try to help you out.

    Troubleshooting Macaos Enterprise with wine

    Problem: Loading user manuals gives error. Solution: Please look in the before you begin section on how to solve problems with adobe acrobat Problem: Loading order confirmations take a very long time. Solution: Please look in the before you begin section on how to solve problems with order confirmation Problem: The "PCB Alliance" tab displays nothing Solution: The internal web page display in Macaos Enterprise does not appear to work properly under wine. You will not be able to view the advertisements on this page, but that should not limit your use of Macaos Enterprise. If you find problems not documented here, please leave a comment, here or in the forums. Or mail us about it so we can update these pages.