On 10:07 AM 13/11/2001 -0800, Michael Elliott said:
>Hi all,
>However, I do have the occasional small low-speed digital board I need to
>do and was wondering if Protel ever offered any kind of supplemental
>shape-based or more advanced type of router for PCB3. I know that they did
>for 2.5 and 2.8, but can't find any mention of such in the online manuals
>for PCB3.
>If they did, it might be useful to me. If anyone has a copy to sell (and if
>it is within the terms of the Protel license agreement to do so), or knows
>where I might buy one, please drop me a note at [EMAIL PROTECTED]
>Best regards,
>Mike Elliott


They did offer Adv Route3.  I bought it.  It was not worth the price.  The 
router did a reasonable job on some boards and a shocker on others. It had 
very poor copper sharing, so it would run a stringer from virtually every 
SM to gnd and a separate pad even if they were right next to each 
other.  Then at other times it would run massive great power nets across 
the board even though it was a multi-layer board (with internal 
planes).  These would block routing channels and it would choke.  I found 
in one design that was moderately complex that it achieved good completion 
but required masses of manual clean-up to look any good at all and to allow 
a few changes.

I have no idea whether I have already upgraded against this license (Protel 
would be able to tell me). If I have it is not for sale. If not I can 
upgrade to the a full current suite on this license.  So the price for the 
router alone would be the discount between a full current version Protel 
and the upgrade price.  This is quite a few thousand.  You can do a fair 
bit of simple manual routing for that esp when you consider that you will 
have to spend a lot of time cleaning up anyway.  You may find that some of 
the very cheap PCB packages have better routers these days, anyway, that 
could be integrated into your design flow.  You may also find that someone 
with a copy of Specctra will run the job for you (for a price) - there are 
companies offering this service. This saves you the considerable learning 
curve and iteration I found necessary to get AdvRoute3 working.   Or just 
lay them out manually.

Ian Wilson

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