At 10:46 PM 2/5/01 -0500, you wrote:

>I am working on an RF design which has 2 boards, essentially a "sandwich".
>What is the best way to ensure that the 2 boards mate exactly.  When
>assembled, the top board goes down on top of the relays with the contacts
>sticking through the PCB and is soldered on the top along with the header.

There are a number of ways and variants on each.

But here is the basic idea: photoplot, say, a padmaster and overlay for one 
of the boards. If appropriate, mirror the plots.

Import the two of those to a mechanical layer on a scratch pcb.

Copy that image to the second pcb, in proper register, perhaps according to 
a corner, assuming both boards are the same size. Or whatever.

Now one will be able to use electrical snap to place primitives exactly 
matching those of the other board.

I've done a space flight design which was a sandwich like this with skewers 
connecting a series of boards. I only needed to plot the skewers, which 
were simply single pads on each board.

I think there are other ways, some simpler, if one wants to reproduce a 
series of pads from one board to another. One could just copy them as a 
block with some clear register point. Usually one would want the pads to be 
components rather than primitives, to get the net lists right; flipping a 
block with single-pad components referenced to pad center, one would end up 
with the components having mirrored reference designators, those 
designators (and comment strings), while the block is still selected, 
should then be edited to restore them to right-reading. (Using L to flip 
sides, in this case, would make more of a mess).

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
PCB design, consulting, and training
Protel EDA brokering (resale) services
Sonoma, California, USA
(707) 939-7021, efax (419) 730-4777

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