> 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.

For the most part, I agree.  It was worth the price ($1K) for me, however,
because I had a job at the time (1996) that simply could not be done
manually in any practical way.  I would have grown old before completing it
manually, it was so big.  I found the the AR3 router worked best on complex
boards, and didn't work very well at all on simple boards.  I guess it might
have something to do with the fact that if the algorithm couldn't do a
thing, it couldn't choose to do that thing.  Since a complex board has many
constraints, the router's choices are limited to alternatives it is capable
of deciding between.  A wider open board presents the router with too many
alternatives, which it's limited judgement cannot decide between wisely.
That's my theory, anyway.

This sort of router behavior can be worked with.  After all, if a board is
easily routed manually, what do you need an autorouter for?

The AR3 router could be coaxed to provide acceptable results if you tried
many different options and rules until you found the "right" mix.
Fortunately, AR3 was so fast that you could try things out and quickly
determine if they were going to work.  That big job I mentioned was routed
to 100% completion in 44 minutes, as I recall, after I spent all day
"tweaking" it in trial runs.

Best regards,
Ivan Baggett
Bagotronix Inc.
website:  www.bagotronix.com


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ian Wilson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2001 4:54 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Old v3.1 PCB Question


> 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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