Jason,
        did you actually design this board? Because I have a feeling that
what you're describing means that your vias are actually free pads. Is that
a possibility? Normally vias don't show on a solderpaste layer. Other
possiblity is that you have loaded a padmaster back in as a pastemask.

I have assumed that in your original message you were trying to say
"...tented vias have solder paste on them from the paste mask layer."

Sincerely,
Brad Velander.

Lead PCB Designer
Norsat International Inc.
Microwave Products
Tel   (604) 292-9089 (direct line)
Fax  (604) 292-9010
email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
http://www.norsat.com

See us at Booth 323 at Satellite 2002 in Washington, DC March 6-8.



-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2002 10:58 AM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] URGENT HELP REQUIRED: Paste Mask


In a message dated 2/18/2002 1:42:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


> As normal we load the gerbers back into protel to check they look right,
> I've noticed that
> the tented vias have solder on them on the paste mask.  Why, and how do I
> get rid of it?
> 
> I've never noticed this before but can't say it hasn't happened.
> 
> We're just about to spin the boards and want to know if this will affect 
> the
> mask manufacture.
> 

If so, I'd consider that a bug in Protel. But you may have been covered (so 
to speak) by the board house in the past. The board houses I've dealt with 
routinely mask the silkscreen with the soldermask layer, so you don't get
ink 
on the exposed pads. The assembly house may well do the same thing between 
the soldermask and the paste mask, to avoid getting past on top of the 
soldermask. If so, that would explain why you haven't seen a problem in the 
past.

Steve Hendrix

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