Waheed,
        whether or not you realize it at the moment, you are entering a
complex world of detailed design issues. It is a bit overwhelming at first
but the key to success is knowledge. Study everything that you can get your
hands on, talk at lengths with your intended PCB fabricator. The details are
not that complicated once the basic understanding is established. I would
suggest that a tour of a PCB fabricators facility is called for, a designer
has to build an understanding of how a PCB is fabricated. This knowledge
will allow you to understand the decisions that you make and how they will
impact the manufacture of the PCB board. One tour will start you on the
path, many more hours of study and probably several more tours will prove
fruitful.

General Process flow.

1)      Identify components to be used.
2)      Create schematic symbols, create PCB footprints (land patterns)
3)      Design schematics, connect symbols to represent circuit
connectivity.
4)      Run ERC (Electrical Rules Check) on schematic, correct errors.
5)      Port netlist (footprint and connectivity information) over to PCB
design.
6)      Configure DRC (Design Rules Check) according to technology being
utilized in the PCB fabrication.
6)      Place PCB Footprints in desired PCB locations.
7)      Route (connect with traces) the connections between all pins of the
components.
8)      Run DRC (Design Rules Check) to assure design conforms with the
rules configured.
9)      Configure & generate CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) files,
multiple Gerber layers and drill files.
10)     Document PCB fabrication details for the fabricator either in a
ReadMe text file or a Fab drawing.
11)     Zip all CAM and documentation files for transfer to PCB fabricator.

Additional steps for uninitiated PCB designers.(All in fun!)
12)     Cross fingers and toes in the hope that your PCB is usable upon
arrival.
13)     Pay a significant chunk of money to fabricator.
14)     Receive your first PCB.
15)     Hit head against wall with sufficient force to knock oneself
unconscious when you discover stupid mistakes or failures in your design.
16)     Consider another profession because it seems that there is too much
to designing PCBs for your to ever fully comprehend it.
17)     Find out that your friendly CAD vendor is not so friendly when you
talk about returning their software for a refund so you can go take a course
in Rocket Science.
18)     Resign yourself to the fact that you will eventually perciveer in
understanding this PCB design stuff and put your nose back in place at the
center of your monitor and get back down to business.

The above steps are a general guide to the process, the details for each
step could cover chapters in a book. Some books which take a stab at
defining all of these issues are 400 - 600 pages, they are not absolutely
complete. I would suggest that you obtain a book called "Printed Circuits
Handbook - 5th Edition"  by Clyde F. Coombs, Jr.. It is almost the defacto
standard new designers guide. Amazon.com has a listing for a used version at
$23.13 USD.


Waheed, if you could enlighten us as to you general location. Any number of
subscribers would aptly share with you all known locations of courses and
seminars where you could increase your knowledge at an exponential pace
verses self learning. Are you doing this as a hobby or as an intended
career? What is your electronic background? Are you aware of the IPC design
guides for PCB design? Are you aware of what the IPC documents cost, they
aren't cheap?

Hope all of this helps you somehow!

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

Visit us at Booth 2G2-09 at CommunicAsia 2002 in Singapore June 18-21.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Waheed Bajwa [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2002 4:31 AM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: [PEDA] New to Protel and PCB Designing
> 
> 
> Hello all,
> 
> I am new to PCB designing and Protel (99 SE with SP 6)...  I have just
> started on the training manuals of protel. I am getting the 
> grasp of it but
> what i have noticed during this period is that i lack the 
> basic cycle flow
> involved in PCB designing so please could some one guide me 
> in this? The
> cycles that are involved in PCB designing from conceptual to 
> the realization
> of PCB (as a material thing)... Please use simple 
> terminologies or try to
> explain them as I said that I am new to it and words even 
> like footprints
> dont make sense to me right now :(
> 
> Thanx,
> Waheed Bajwa
> 

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