Dear Will Schmidt,

Will Schmidt <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> on 2001-04-26 07:53:42 PM grumbled
about the autoplacer:
>But when I launch the Auto-Placer, What I get is
>clusters of superposed components, mainly outside the Room (they should be

Is the perimeter of your board drawn on the keep-out layer ?
See the attached bug report.

It seems that the Auto-Placer is still not very useful.
>And last : is it possible to open another design while the autoplacer is
running ?

There are 2 distinct ways to get multiple ".ddb" files open at the same time.
One way (by using "File | Open" twice inside Protel) activates only one
``instance'' of the Protel program (only one "Protel" button in the Windows task
bar at the bottom of the screen). You switch between the ".ddb" files using
Protel's "Windows" menu. The other way (by double-clicking on ".ddb" files from
the File Explorer) opens multiple ``instances'' of the Protel program. You
switch between instances by clicking on the Protel buttons in the Windows task
bar (or holding down Alt and hitting Tab multiple times). Since these instances
are completely independent, you can run the autoplacer or autorouter in one,
while you edit a completely different design in another instance. (Of course,
the autorouter eats a lot of cycles and makes the machine act slower and less

David Cary

Bug report sent 2000-05-15
Summary: Auto Placement bounding boxes are too big.

The auto-placer
"Tools | Auto Placement | Auto Placer"
uses bounding boxes that are much bigger than the actual part.
I think it is using a bounding box that not only includes the metal pads and
silkscreen cartoon of the part, but also the full "comment" field of the part
and the reference designator. I think I can understand that I might want to
leave space on the board for the reference designator 

? but all my comments are
set to "hidden", so it?s silly (overly conservative) to reserve space for them.

I work around this by globally setting all comments and reference designators to
use 1 point font and having a relative offset of 0 from the local origin of its
component just before auto placing. This seems to work better. Then later I
manually fix-up the reference designators.

The auto-placer also fails to pay attention to rules under "Design | Rules |
Placement | Room Definition". So far I?ve worked around this by placing and
locking parts (the "tall parts") that must stay in a particular area (the "tall
area"), even though they don?t really need to be in that exact location where
I?ve locked them.

This might be related to
end bug report

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