Tutorials, news, snippets, and other various musings about the electrical engineering industry.

Spot the Differences Contest Insights and Winner!

As you may have seen in our previous post, in celebration of the new OrCAD Capture design compare feature (made available in the 17.2 release) we launched a “Spot the Difference” Contest where one lucky winner receives a Raspberry Pi 3 Board and a 16GB, 10class with NOOBs. In order to enter this contest, entrants were asked to identify 10 differences between two schematics made available through a downloadable PDF and email us their results. In addition, they were also able to earn additional entries by either following us on Twitter or Tweeting about the giveaway.

A big congratulations to our contest winner, Andres S.! Be sure to email us your information to to claim your prize.


With the contest officially over, we were excited to see we received over 1,600 entries. We weren’t surprised almost all the entrants were able to find the 10 differences (although some did admit it was harder than they had thought). What did surprise us was that we started receiving submissions with more than 10 differences, and they were valid differences. This taught us manual inspection of design changes are open to interpretation.


What started as a fun contest and way to promote the new OrCAD 17.2 release turned into a great case study for why a programmatic design compare feature is so important. Not only did it identify the additional visual changes some users caught and we missed (we made the 10 changes manually and were the only changes we THOUGHT we made), but it was also able to identify changes on the backend no one would have been able to identify from a visual inspection of a schematic.


The design differences engine spotted 24 differences in all. Some of them inconsequential, but the important part is it caught ALL the changes—even ones a visual inspection may not catch. 


You can view the OrCAD design difference HTML files here. The HTML is interactive and totally self-contained (no web server or Capture license required) making it a great way to communicate design changes throughout the organization even those that may not be directly involved in design (like supply chain, manufacturing, or test).