At 11:44 AM 3/13/01 +0000, Terry Harris wrote:

>I am thinking of making a panel with a set of 4 PCBS on it whch to the
>board house looks like one plot/screen charge and a bit of extra routing.
>Any thoughts on the best way to do this?

Sure. Consult with the fab house as to how to place the images so that the 
process of separating the boards is easy.

It may be easier to accomplish this if the deliverable is the whole panel, 
presuming that you can cut it up yourself. This would be the cheapest way 
to go. If you want extensive routing to make the cutting easier (i.e., 
breakaway), expect to pay extra for that.

>I am a bit worried about just copying into a new PCB file. There is
>obviously no valid netlsit for the set and I am worried about plane
>connections which are automatically derived from the netlist - is there a
>danger these will be lost or screwed up? I don't need annotations so
>component renaming is probably not an issue.

Don't do it that way. Yes, plane connections will be a serious problem. 
Instead, merge gerbers.

>At the moment I am thinking of merging gerbers with Camtastic but not sure
>what problems I will run into.

I haven't used CAMtastic to do a merge, but it should not be difficult. If 
you want to make it easy, plan the plot position for each board and use 
your ability to control plot offset (by placement of each original in its 
workspace or by appropriate use of the setting of the origin and plot 
settings). In fact, with this technique you could simply provide a plot set 
for each layer with instructions to the photoplotters to merge the files. 
Sometimes, however, there will be a charge for merging files, so you might 
want to do the merge yourself.

Abdulrahman Lomax
P.O. Box 690
El Verano, CA 95433

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