PartQuest is a search engine designed to provide an easy way to search for parts in the Digi-Key database and incorporate them into the Designer flow. With PartQuest, you can
- Quickly and easily search for parts
- Organize parts from search into custom project folders
- Download part property data for use in Designer Schematic and Designer Layout
- Download symbol and footprint information from Accelerated Designs, Inc.
- Link to a Dropbox account to save part data for later use
PartQuest currently has over 440,000 Digi-Key part numbers provided with footprints and symbols. For a list of manufacturers whose parts contain this data, go here:
Logging Into PartQuest
Logging into PartQuest with your single sign-on Mentor.com account allows you full access to all of PartQuest's features. After logging into PartQuest with your Mentor.com account, you will then need to link to your Digi-Key account and . Provided that your browser is set to accept cookies, your Digi-Key account and Dropbox account, if you use it, will remain linked upon subsequent login sessions.
If you already have an account at Mentor.com, click Log In at the top right corner of the page and provide the email and password you registered with. If you've forgotten your password, you can retrieve it here.
You will remain logged into your account until you sign out. You can do this by clicking on your name in the top right corner of the page and selecting Sign Out.
Creating a Mentor Account
If you do not have a Mentor.com account, click Log In at the top right corner of the page, then click the link to create an account at the bottom of the popup (or you can go ahead and click here to access the account creation page on Mentor.com). Creating a Mentor.com account will allow you to access a wealth of resources in addition to PartQuest.com, including white papers, product demos, online seminars, and much more.
Setting Up Your PartQuest Profile
The following sections contain information on how to set up your PartQuest profile and configure download settings.
Selecting Desktop Integration
There are two methods for downloading your parts for use in your preferred PCB design tool: Dropbox and direct download.
Dropbox is a free file hosting service that offers cloud storage that is accessible through their website or through a downloadable desktop application. Your Dropbox login allows PartQuest to access your Dropbox account in order to make an encrypted transfer of the items from your PartQuest search to Dropbox so that your parts show up in a directory on your workstation. Using the desktop application will allow you to conveniently access your PartQuest library from Designer Schematic and Designer Layout.
Once you have synced with your Dropbox account, PartQuest will create a folder in your Dropbox (found in the Apps subdirectory) called "PartQuest."
The direct download setting will allow you to download your parts through the browser as a .pqz archive file. Before using direct download, you will need to download the PartQuest integration utility.
Select Product Workflow
Select the Workflow for the product you are using. Options are below include other Mentor products. Digi-Key only sells PADS Maker.
- PADS Pro
- PADS Netlist
- PADS Integrated
- PADS Maker
Selecting the workflow will download utilities to your computer. This may take up to 5 minutes so please wait before downloading your first part.
Editing Property Maps
If you need to map Digi-Key property names to names that you define, you can use the Properties Mapping feature to have PartQuest automatically map your parts' property names to what they need to be upon download. The mapping applies to data loaded into xDX Databook and to the property names included in the symbol files.
To set up property mapping, go to your profile page and find the Properties Mapping section. Provided that you have selected your desktop integration method and selected a design flow, you should have access to the Edit Property Map button.
Clicking this button will activate the menu shown below.
Select Add New Property Map, fill in the mapping information, and click Done.
Repeat the process for subsequent properties. You can edit and delete the properties you have mapped using the Edit and Delete buttons shown above.
By default, the mapping applies to all partitions. If you change a mapping to a specific partition, then only parts you send to that partition will use the defined mapping. Note that a mapping for a specific partition will override a mapping for “All Partitions” of the same Digi-Key property name.
Searching for Parts
To quickly begin your search, simply type keywords into the search field on the front page and click Search. You can use the checkboxes below the search bar to ensure that the parts you search for are RoHS compliant, lead free, or in stock.
Click All Categories beside the search bar to access a list of all categories. Categories with an arrow beside the name will display subcategories when clicked. Select a category/subcategory to be taken to the relevant search results page.
Narrowing Search Results
The options under Filters on the left sidebar of the search results page will help you narrow down your search and more easily find the parts you are looking for. Clicking the name of a filter brings up a menu where you can set your search parameters. After selecting the filters you want, click Done and they will be applied.
Once you start selecting filters, you may notice that the list of available search filters starts to decrease. PartQuest automatically removes any remaining filters that would bring your search results to 0. If you would like to change this, click "Show all Filters" at the top right of the Filters menu.
After clicking Done, the filters you have applied will appear in the left sidebar under Filters.
The Lead Free label indicates that the component contains no lead. If the label is absent, either the component contains lead or there is no information available pertaining to its lead content.
The RoHS Compliant label indicates that the component is compliant with the EU's Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive. If the label is absent, either the part is not RoHS compliant or there is no information available pertaining to its RoHS compliance.
Working with Search Results
Once you have found components that meet your search criteria, there are several actions you can take from the search results page. Select More on the right side of the page to access more information and available actions for a particular part.
Accessing Detailed Part Information
The Adobe Acrobat icon will take you to the PDF datasheet for the part.
The Digi-Key Part Number will direct you to the part listing on the Digi-Key site.
Assigning a Symbol to a Part
To assign a symbol to a part, click More to expand the search result view, then select Choose Symbol.
This will open the menu to select symbol information. If there is AD part information available, it will be listed at the top. Otherwise, you may select a standard symbol to assign to the part.
If you have selected a standard symbol, it will appear next to the Choose Symbol button so that you can remember which symbol you assigned.
Assigning a Footprint to a Part
Similarly, to assign a footprint, click More to expand the search result view, then select Choose Footprint.
This will open the menu to select footprint information. If there is AD part information available, it will be listed at the top. The option to select a standard footprint will soon be available.
Downloading Part Data
Once you have assigned the desired symbols or footprints to a part, you can download the part information by clicking More to expand the search result and selecting Download.
Saving Parts to Favorites
If you'd like to save parts that you've found in your PartQuest search for convenient access later, you can do so using the Favorites feature.
To add parts to your favorites, you have two options. To add a single part, you can click the heart in the top left corner of the search result.
If you have multiple parts to add, you can use the batch actions to add them to your favorites. Just select all of the parts you would like to save, then click Favorite in the top right corner of the listing of search results.
To view your favorite parts, click the Favorites link, found under My Parts, on the search results page. From the favorites page, you can add parts to projects or download them using the same methods as the search results page.
To remove a part from your favorites, select the part and click the Remove from Favorite button in the top right corner of the page.
Managing Project Folders
Project folders allow you to organize parts found through the PartQuest search. To begin adding parts to a project, you must first create a project by clicking Edit Projects in the right sidebar. Click Create New Project, enter a name for your project, and select Done.
You can now add parts to a project by selecting Add to Project under the expanded search result view.
You can now view parts added to your project folder by clicking the name of the folder in the right sidebar. All actions that can be performed from the search result page can also be completed in the project folder.
If you have any further questions about PartQuest or want to start a conversation with other PartQuest users, visit the PartQuest community on the Mentor Graphics community pages.