On 07:47 AM 7/01/2002 -0500, Sean James said:
>Does anybody know of a routine that would completely "flip" a board to help
>with laying out bottom mount smt components? For all you old timers out
>there, this is similar to flipping the whole artwork in order to tape the
>solder side etch.
>Sean James
>PCB Designer


Sean,

Protel does not allow flipping of the board.  Flipping sections with the X 
and Y shortcuts while moving a selection is a recipe for disaster - don't 
do it unless you are very careful and have experimented before hand.  It 
can exercise a bug in Protel where some entities become sort-of 
invisible.  Also, flipping sections does not preserve the relationship 
between tracks and components - components are flipped in place rather than 
moved with the tracks - but this is a nuisance, it is not the bug.  (The 
bug does not seem to be destructive in that, at least from memory, you can 
save the file and open it again and the invisible entities re-appear.

Geoff Harland and I were working on a PCB flipping server that would take 
the whole database and flip it.  It was while developing this that we found 
the above bug.  There are difficulties with flipping the drill-pairs (from 
memory) that we never did solve.  Also, due to "issues" in the SDK 
different sort of move operations had to be done for different sorts of 
entities.  Theer were also issues with getting the undo stack operating 
correctly. It was messy but we did have something that was inverting most 
of the entities relatively bug free.  This development has pretty much stopped.

I wrote a screen utility that shows an inverted always-on-top window on 
your screen of the region around your cursor.  I use this for placing 
bottom side designators (mainly).  It is available at:
http://www.considered.com.au/Protel01.htm

It is the CSFlipViewer server.  You can set up menu items to allow X and/or 
Y flips.  Some combinations of which can cause interesting oscillatory 
patterns when the mouse cursor approaches the floating flip window.  Also, 
under some video card drivers and some versions of Windows you can get 
video noise when the mouse moves close to an edge of the screen.  Win2k 
seems to be much better behaved in this regard than Win98 - possibly due to 
better multi-monitor support.

Ian Wilson

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