On 07:48 PM 11/08/2002 +0800, Katinka Mills said:
>Hi all,
>I am just starting to have problems with P99SE, I have a design, it is a
>simple 2 layer board, but it is having problems :
>#1 Auto Routing crashes protel on this design. (Access violation)
>#2 Routing one net at a time, causes the entire board to be routed and
>crashes protel. (Acess violation) Not sure why it does the whole board when
>all I asked it to do was one board.
>Also does anyone know how to panalise in P99SE (not a gerber as the fab shop
>wants it in P99SE format, but I have to panalise the 2 designs) I tried to
>make an outine of the panel and then cut and paste the PCB's in the panel,
>but all my component ID's change eg R4 may be come R4_3_1 etc.

#2 There is a problem with P99SE router it only seems to do Autoroute-All, 
in my experience anyway.  I have never seen it or heard of it routing any 
single net or region or anything but Autoroute-All.

#1 - Is there a contiguous outline on the keepout layer, made only from 
straight lines (no arcs).  This keepout outline should have the ends of the 
line segments exactly coincident at the vertices.  There is some help in 
the Protel KB dealing with the fussiness of the autorouter.  Not sure it 
deals with crashes but there may be something there.

Panelising in P99SE is possible - I have done it heaps of time but these 
days I try not to do it anymore.

To overcome the designators changing you use Paste-Special and then check 
the desired options (there is one that allows you to keep the designators 
unchanged - forgotten the exact wording).

But this is only the first of the things you have to consider:
1) Once panelised DRC is not hugely useful
2) The design is harder to change
3) ...

What I now tend to do is lay up the panel (on Mechanical Layer 1) in full 
detail including breakoff strips and production strips, showing the 
locations of all the boards in the panel.  I include step-and-repeat 
dimensions on another mech layer.

I design the board in one of the board outlines and then supply the design 
to the PCB maker, in that form, with clear instructions on step-and-repeat.

I leave the actual step-and-repeat (sometimes including a rotation for 
packing odd-shaped boards) to be done by the board house.

When I am providing Gerbers I may do the actual step-and-repeat myself but 
more often than not I also leave it to the board house.

Ian Wilson

* Tracking #: 4BBF6A8BB4D16F47A3ADFA7BDAF4B925AEDDBC52

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