On 06:52 PM 10/09/2001 -0400, Bagotronix Tech Support said:
>Hello, all:
>When manually routing, the shortcut key '/' does not work.  Therefore, I
>cannot place a via connecting to an internal plane.  Yes, I do have the
>layer stackup with GND and VCC planes defined.  What gives?
>Best regards,
>Ivan Baggett
>Bagotronix Inc.
>website:  www.bagotronix.com


The '/' key is used to place blind and buried vias - so you need to set up 
blind and buried drill pairs (using the Drill Pairs... button on the Layer 
Stack dialog.)  I did not know this, I tried it and as you say it didn't 
work until I had set up a blind drill pair from an outer layer to the 
relevant plane layer; then '/' suddenly came alive.  I just read the 
relevant section of the OLH and it is not clear that the '/' key is only 
active when drill pairs are set which include the relevant internal layer 
but if you read it upside down standing on one leg facing away from the 
text then you might be able to convince yourself that that is what was meant...

The '*' key will place a via connecting to the plane but also change the 
current routing layer which is not always what is wanted.  I could 
certainly use a function like the '/' that places a via connecting to a 
plane (when the current net is associated with a plane or split plane) but 
keeps the current routing layer.  It is useful in some RF and analog 
routing to be able to stitch to the plane as you go.

You can sort of get this by using the nice feature of Protel that stacks 
commands.  So as you are clicking about manually placing tracks you can 
type P-V (place via) and then click to drop the via on the track vertex, 
then hit <Esc> to exit via placement mode and you are back to placing 
tracks with a track segment ready to place.  But .... if you have Loop 
Removal *on* the via gets removed when you complete that track sequence. 
Rats!  So it nearly works.

You might be able to make a macro that 1) turned off loop removal, 2) 
Place-Via and then associate this with a hot key.  I am not sure if Client 
Basic would allow you to read the state of the Loop Removal to allow you to 
re-instate the original value  ... an exercise for the reader.  Using the 
PCB add-on that permits the current cursor coordinate to be read you should 
be able to create a single key stroke that places a via at the current 
location without entering the interactive via placement.  this could then 
be associated with the '/' key.

I await with interest the most elaborate script...

Ian Wilson

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