Project Editor for Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox

project-editThe Project Editor is a simple Windows Software that helps to create Project Files (.etb4prj) for Electronic Toolbox or RF-Toolbox from your PC instead of your iPhone and iPad.

Further below, there is a short description on how to install and use this software.

(Please note: So far, this is only a Beta Version and will likely have some issues.)

Requirements and installation

Project Edit needs at least Windows 7 but  also runs on Windows 8 and 10.

It needs .NET 4.5 to be installed on your PC which should be already the case most of the time. In case .NET is not installed on your PC already, you can download it from Microsofts website.

The Project Editor can be downloaded by using the link above (Download and install). This will download the installation file called SetupProjectEditor.exe. After this file has been downloaded, it just needs to be started in order to install the Project Editor Program on your PC. After the installation, SetupProjectEditor.exe can be deleted.

Once the installation has been completed, you will find a shortcut to the Project Editor on your desktop. Use this to start the software or use the program menu or search function as usual.

Using the Project Editor

The Software provides the usual File New/Open/Save/Save as… user interface which is probably not worth further explanation.

The most convenient way to edit Project files and to share those files with Electronic Toolbox or RF-Toolbox is to use iCloud Drive which is explained further down.

If you can not or don’t want to use iCloud Drive for data exchange, you can use all other methods to exchange the files between your PC and your iPhone/iPad like sending Emails back and forth with the project file attached, use iTunes or DropBox. All these methods are explained in the help text of the Apps.

The main screen of the Project Editor consists of four sections each one for the specific content of a Project file such as:

  1. Components
  2. Documents
  3. Notes
  4. Links

You can use the buttons on the right side (Edit,Add,Remove) to maintain the individual content sections. This is pretty much identical like inside the App.

You can also double click on an entry to open an entry for editing.

You can also sort a section by clicking the appropriate header section. If you click again, sorting will be reversed.

Maintaining Components, Notes or Links is probably self explanatory and identical to the App.

In Documents, you can add different file types which are explained here. To add a file, just press the Import button to open a file browser and to select the file you like to import as Document.

Once a file has been imported, certain but not all files, can be viewed by pressing the View button. Some file types such as 3D Files and CTB Circuit files can only be viewed from inside the App.

iCloud Drive

In order to use iCloud Drive for Project files, you need the following:

  • Enable iCloud Drive on your iPhone or iPad. This means, you need to enable iCloud AND iCloud Drive. There is a separate setting under iCloud for iCloud Drive which also needs to be anabled.
  • Install iCloud Drive on your PC. A very good description from Apple can be found here.
  • In Electronic Toolbox or RF-Toolbox go to settings, Miscellaneous and enable “Use iCloud Drive”
  • Tap on “Projects” at the bottom. Depending on what you have used before, you might get asked whether you like to copy all your locally stored projects to iCloud now. You will see an error message if iCloud is not switched on or not working correctly.
  • Now, the Projects list should be headlined with “Projctes (iCloud)” instead of “Projects (local)”.
  • To test iCloud Drive, create a new Project or import a Project from the Online Projects. Then, go to your PC and locate iCloud Drive in your file explorer :
  • Once you open iCloud Drive, look for the Project folder:
  • Inside that Project folder, you should find all Project files (.etb4prj) you currently see in Electronic Toolbox or RF-Toolbox.
You can use the Project Editor Software to open, edit or create those project files as if they are located on your local hard drive.

iCloud is sometimes slow in synchronizing. Sometimes, you need to wait until your changes or new files have been synchronized between your PC and your iPhone or iPad.

Supported file types

Project Edit and Electronic Toolbox or RF-Toolbox support the following file types for Documents:

Type Extension Comment
Image file *.png, *.jpg, *.jpeg, *.gif
Text file .txt Simple ASCII content
HTML file .html HTML content, will be rendered when viewed
PDF File .pdf PDF Document
SVG File .svg Vector graphics file
Math ML File .mml Used to display formulas
Circuit diagram .ctb My own proprietary file format for circuits. So far, this can not be generated by yourself.
C3D 3D Scene file .c3d Apple Scene kit compatible 3D file.

The purpose of the .c3d file type is to be able to add 3D rendered circuit or case layouts. Such files can be viewed in Electronic Toolbox and RF-Toolbox even with the possibility to rotate the objects. However, such c3d Apple Scene kit files are difficult to create. I successfully converted a DesignSparc Mechanical 3D model to a c3d file but that required two separate conversion steps with different programs. The first step was to create the Circuit with DesignSpark PCB. Then I generated a DesignSpark Mechanical IDF File. From DesignSpark Mechanical, I exported the Model as .STL file. I did then use the Mac Software Cheetah3D to create a regular COLLADA .dae file. Finally, I did use Apple Tools included in Xcode to convert the .dae file to a c3d Apple Scene Kit file.

If somebody knows an easier way how to create these files, please let me know. I even didn’t test this so far with Eagle but as Eagle supports a wider range of export formats, this might be an easier approach.

There are two 3D files (as well as other sample files) included in the Project Editor setup.