> I've never have used autorouters. I'm from the old school, where I cut my
> teeth with hand taping.

Fortunately, I never had to use the mylar tape layout.  But I have manually
routed quite a few boards.  Until the Protel AR came along, I never did
autorouting, because the few autorouters I had access to were all useless.
Really useless, not just marginally useful.  I never worked for any employer
that would spend the money on a useful router - they were all too busy
blowing money on the Mech guys for Intergraph workstations in the 5 and 6
figures.  Never mind that Autocad ($3K) on a fast PC ($4K) could do that
stuff (circa 1990).  Even though the Mechs had all that fancy hardware, they
seemed to be more interested in what us "spark chasers" (EEs) were doing.
Once one of the Mechs asked what software I used to connect the pads
together on the CAD system.  I told him I was using the "Bago-router".  He
thought I was being serious and asked what the Bago-router was.  I replied
"It's a 100% completion, rip-up-and-retry router" (this was before
push-and-shove).  "Wow, that's cool!  I wish we had CAD technology like
that", he said.

So when I say that the Protel AR is useful, remember that I have never seen
or used the pricier ARs, such as Specctra.  I am sure I would love Specctra,
but I can't compare it to Protel AR.  All I can tell you is that the Protel
AR is useful, but takes patience to use properly.

After I started my own business (1991) I went without an autorouter until
the Protel router came along (1996).  It was the only affordable ($1K) AR at
the time.  I didn't have $10K+ to spend on AR software.  I do enough PCB
design work to justify having an AR, but not enough to justify $10K+ for
Specctra.  So, for me, the Protel AR is the only router for me at this time.
I am aware that there are better ARs out there, but the cost is not
justified for my organization.  When good folks like Abdul, bless his heart,
assert that Protel is a good value even at $8K, they should keep in mind
that some organizations do more than PCB layout for hire.  My company has
had to acquire not only CAD software, but expensive test equipment, parts
inventories, business software, employees, etc.  The money I have to spend
on that other stuff is money I can't spend on Protel/Altium price increases.

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

----- Original Message -----
From: Sean James <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: Protel EDA Forum <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Autorouter

> I've never have used autorouters. I'm from the old school, where I cut my
> teeth with hand taping.
> Sean James
> PCB Designer
> Telecast Fiber Systems, Inc.
> 102 Grove Street
> Worcester, MA 01605
> (TEL) 508.754.4858 x33
> (FAX) 413.541.6170

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