At 03:26 PM 11/14/01 -0500, Watnoski, Michael wrote:
>I would hope that the output format
>from protel would be an industry standard so that a conversion would not be
>necessary to use a common viewer.

It is an industry standard Excellon drill file (the .txt one), the .drl 
file is a binary form of the same thing. Protel puts it there to be 
complete, but any fabricator should be able to read both kinds. Frankly, 
I'd dump the binary file, since it is better to be able to look at the file 
itself with a text editor. But Protel has not given us this option, except 
we can delete it from the CAM file set after it is generated.

>   I usually prefer to check the outputs
>with a viewer from a nonrelated vendor for a confidence check.

Sure, but CAMtastic, really, is from a nonrelated vendor which Protel 
subsequently purchased.

Loading gerber files into CAMtastic is really easy; basically, CAMtastic 
opens with a default CAM file. Select Import from the file menu, navigate 
to the directory to which you have exported your CAM files (you *do* have 
automatic export set up, don't you?), and used the auto-gerber feature, it 
will automatically identify all gerber files in that directory and load 
them. You don't need to set the formats.

But drill files, I think, will require some settings to be right.

Nevertheless, I have never found it necessary to check drill files, it is 
easier to use the drill drawing output: I have it write the hole size, 
since drill drawings are no longer bombsighted, this makes the drawing very 
easy to read. I usually make the text size very small, like 36 mils, with 
tight via spacings, one might go below that.

I have a vague recollection that there are some conditions that might 
produce drill file or drill drawing errors. Anyone remember what that is?

[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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