On Fri, 27 Apr 2001 07:55:37 -0400, you wrote:

>> Bottom line, the format is a netlist as we understand a net list plus the
>> physical location and dimensions of the pads.

I hope it isn't that simple - testers, particularly roving probe testers
only test continuity from each end of a 'net' + any stubs. For testing
non-continuity (shorts) they don't bother looking for shorts between nets
which don't get close to each other. You need more than a netlist and pad
locations to figure out net ends, stubs, and net proximity. 

>>It looks quite simple to
>> write; it would be much easier to generate this from the Protel PCB ASCII
>> file than from gerber; all the necessary data is there in named fields,
>> mostly in the pad records.

>So here is the scoop, a spectra dsn file contains everything-  all of the
>pads, pad shapes, and netlist information, maybe one of you hotshot
>programmers out there can convert the dsn file to a much needed 356 file.

Much needed? 

While Gerber is not an ideal format for generation of connectivity
information at least it is a standard and one that PCB houses are going to
get from all customers. 

If you choose to supply the board house with additional information then it
is your problem if it is wrong - and you are going to be less familiar than
the board house is with the conversion tool and less able to 'tune' it to
suit their tester

I think it would be more useful to be able to check a conectivity netlist
against a Protel design, the PCB house gives you the netlist generated from
Gerbers the way they think they plotted them. That would check the
connectivity netlist and Gerbers and check them before they have made a
batch of possibly bad PCBs. 

 
Cheers, Terry.


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