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. PartQuest currently offers the following features:
- The ability to create schematic symbols for use in Designer Schematic
- The option to link to a Dropbox account to save part data for later use
- The ability to quickly and easily search for parts
- A sandbox for storing search results during a login session
There is a PartQuest Flow Map available to help guide you through using PartQuest.
PartQuest currently has over 350,000 Digi-Key part numbers provided with footprints and symbols. For a list of manufacturers whose parts contain this data, refer to this spreadsheet: Manufacturer Part Number Count
Logging Into PartQuest
Logging into PartQuest with your single sign-on Mentor.com account allows you full access to all of PartQuest's features, most notably the sandbox feature, which allows you assign symbols to parts and download them to a Dropbox folder for use in Mentor software. The first time you log into PartQuest, you will be prompted to link to your Digi-Key account. When you first log in, you can also link to your Dropbox account, or wait until you are prompted when you first add parts to the sandbox. Provided that your browser is set to accept cookies, your Digi-Key account and Dropbox account will remain linked upon subsequent login sessions.
If you already have an account at Mentor.com, click Sign 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 Sign In at the top right corner of the page, then click the Create an Account link at the bottom of the popup (or, since you're here, you can 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.
Linking a Digi-Key Account
Your Digi-Key login enables Digi-Key’s part search engine, which is backing PartQuest, to serve you parts. To link your PartQuest account to a Digi-Key account, follow the prompt that appears upon login.
This will take you to your profile page, where you can link your Digi-Key account as well as your Dropbox account, all in one location.
Syncing with Dropbox
If you don't sync to a Dropbox account using the profile page, then you will be prompted to do so the first time you access your sandbox. 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 in your PartQuest sandbox 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.
Once you have synced with your Dropbox account, PartQuest will create a folder in your Dropbox (found in the Apps subdirectory) called "PartQuest."
Searching for Parts
There are two ways you can begin your search for parts:
- Type keywords into the search field on the front page and click Search
- Click Browse Categories below the search bar to access a list of all categories. Click on a category/subcategory to be taken to the relevant search results page.
Narrowing Search Results
The options 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. Most of the options come in the form of a checkbox, though some, such as capacitance, allow you to select a range of values using a slider bar. After setting all of the desired parameters of your search, click apply to view the narrowed search results.
After you click apply, the list of search filters will narrow to contain only those filters that apply to the narrowed search. Because of this, it best to select all filters in each set and apply them before moving on to the next set of filters.
If you would like to view all available options for the search in checkbox format, select show all.
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.
The Adobe Acrobat icon will take you to the PDF datasheet for the part.
The Digi-Key logo will direct you to the part listing on the Digi-Key site. Hovering over the price will display the price break table.
To select parts and place them in the sandbox, click on the row for each part. The selected rows will turn grey, and can be deselected by clicking again. Then, click the sandbox icon at the top of the list of results to send all selected parts to the sandbox:
The Lead Free label indicates that the component contains no lead. If the label is red , the component contains lead. If it is absent, then 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 red , the component is not RoHS compliant. If it is absent, then there is no information available pertaining to its RoHS compliance.
Managing Parts in the Sandbox
The sandbox allows you to collect the parts you have found in your search in one location. From the sandbox you can attach symbols to parts and send them to your Dropbox for use with your preferred Mentor flow (Note: Currently PartQuest only supports the Designer product flow). To access the sandbox, click My Sandbox at the top right of the page. You must be logged in with your single sign-on Mentor.com account to access the sandbox.
The sandbox displays and organizes content in most recently used order. Clicking All in Progress in the left sidebar will take you to a list of your recent searches, organized primarily by the supplier category, then by search sets within that category. Search sets are divided by the filters that were used when the parts were added to the sandbox.
For example, if you searched for 100pf, selected the Votage-Rated filter of 16V, and added 3 parts from the available search results, you would have a search set for 100pf and 16V that contains 3 parts. If you changed from 16V to 25V and added 4 parts, you would have another search set in your sandbox for 100pf and 25V that contains 4 parts.
Assigning Symbols to Parts
To assign a symbol to one or more parts, select the part(s) you would like to assign the symbol to and click the Add Symbol icon:
Then select from the menu the symbol you would like to assign to the part(s):
In the future, more options will be available in this menu.
Once you assign symbols to parts, an icon will appear in the listing of those parts next to the Manufacturer Part Number.
Storing Parts in Dropbox
You can add parts to your Dropbox from your sandbox by selecting the parts, clicking the arrow icon at the top of the page, and selecting the relevant category. Selecting a category will make the part searchable using that category. Note that when parts are saved in the Dropbox, any unsupported characters found within the properties will be converted to one or more supported characters (+ and -, for instance, will be converted to "plus" and "minus").
Adding the PartQuest Dropbox Directory to the Designer Parts Library
To access parts in your PartQuest Dropbox folder (provided you have downloaded the Dropbox desktop application) from a project in Designer Schematic, you can add the location of the directory by going to Tools > Settings > Symbol Libraries and clicking the dotted box icon to add a path to the list of libraries (more information on this process can be found under Adding a New Library Path). Simply add the path to the Designer folder in your Dropbox. By default, the Designer folder will be located at C: > Users > (user) > Dropbox > Apps > PartQuest > Designer.
Note that you can change the alias of the library when selecting the path. By default the name "Designer" will be filled in, but we recommend changing it to "PartQuest" to make it easier to locate.