Thanks for the straightforward answer, Ian! I usually find that my manual
routing gives me the results I'm seeking, while the autorouter that came
with Protel v2 through v3 did amazingly odd things. 

You wrote, 

>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.  

Which I find intriguing. I assume that I'd need to re-create my pcb
component library to work with one of these other pcb programs. But would
any of them work with the Advanced Schematic 3.2 netlists?

Mike Elliott

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 11/14/01 at 8:54 AM Ian Wilson wrote:

>On 10:07 AM 13/11/2001 -0800, Michael Elliott said:
>>Hi all,
>><..snip..>
>>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
>
>Mike,
>
>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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