This is yet another case where the availability of "No-Net" in the design 
rule net drop lists would help.  At the moment it is not possible to set a 
design rule saying that it is OK for a no-net primitive to connect to 
another no-net primitive.  Hopefully this will be fixed soon as it does 
affect things like connecting mounting holes to fills etc.  I find it when 
connecting surface mount connectors with strain relief tabs and the like - 
you want to connect to a significant bit of copper to ensure reasonable 
pull strength.

Ken, in your case I think I would go with others advice about adding the 
"spare" nets to the Sch.  You could even terminate these spare tracks in a 
probe-point component (on the Sch and PCB) which can easily be a single 
thru-hole pad.  Then you get it all nicely documented on the Sch and PCB 
overlay as well and you don't have to remember anything about telling 
Protel to deal correctly with single pin nets.

Ian Wilson

On 12:20 PM 22/08/2001 -0500, Ken Pelic said:
>Protel EDA forum members,
>
>In a P99SE design currently being wrapped up, we have a DRC error that is
>something we want to do that generates an error we would like to not get
>flagged. It would be good to set a very specific design rule to remove this
>DRC
>error, but I want to keep from having this new rule disquise any other real
>errors we need to correct. Our biggest concern in overlooking this desired
>error
>if it is flagged is we may also miss real DRC errors buried somewhere in the
>list.
>
>Here's the scenario:
>
>In BGAs we have in this design, several pads are not used and therefore
>don't
>have any assigned netnames. We want access to them due to this being an
>initial
>prototype design and so we have vias associated with the pads to provide
>access
>to them even though they are currently unused. In the debug stage, we may
>need
>to make use of them and this provides that access if necessary. Of course,
>everything associated with the unused pads is flagged as a DRC error. My
>desire
>would be to set a design rule where anything associated with these unused
>pads
>is not flagged, but everything else is to prevent missing any real DRC
>errors in
>this design.
>
>I tend to think that with Protel's selection capabilities, there is some way
>to
>set this up. Being there are more experienced minds out here than mine with
>Protel software, I wanted to pose this question and see if someone has a way
>figured to do this selection and rule setup. I look forward to any and all
>suggestions. Thanks in advance for your inputs and comments.

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