Ivor,

Camtastic will get your data in verbatim no problem, but it won't be able to 
make any sense out it regarding components etc - gerber simply doesn't have 
that information. Don't forget that gerber doesn't even have any info about 
holes, so you can't expect any linkage in the 'Z' axis.

If you've got a large design, then you'll probably find the tracking quite 
useful but you'll still have your work cut out reinstating the components. 
If you head down this route, you're best to import a netlist into the 
finished PCB and blow away all the elements of the old component as you 
replace it with the new component. In most cases, you'll probably need to 
redesign new components or at least check hole dimensions etc of the 
components from the Protel libraries. If the design is small, then just 
import it into one of the mechanical layers and use it to trace over the 
tracking - you'll need a layer by layer printout to see what's going on.

Out of interest and OT, what put you off the BoardMaker program? I have a 
colleague whose always goading me about it (and the price) - any ammunition 
to throw back at him would always be welcome 8)


Doug

>I have just joined this list and have my first query. We have a huge
>number of PCB designs in Boardmaker (an old DOS package written by
>Tsien of Cambridge, UK) and require to import them somehow into Protel.

>It has been suggested that the Gerbers generated by Boardmaker can be
>imported via Camtastic. How can this method recover the connectivity
>between layers? How can the plot of a pad on one layer relate to an
>identically positioned plot of a pad on another layer? (or is
>Camtastic so fantastic that is knows that such instances are vias?).

>Any suggestions on how to tackle this problem and any general
>solutions to importing designs into Protel from nothing but Gerbers
>would be very much appreciated.

>Best Regards, Ivor Davies Diplomat UK Ltd


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