Welcome to the world of Protel.

If you are only waiting 6 seconds for each "Analyzing GND" session, consider
yourself extremely lucky. I have done boards that would take several minutes
each time it would go "south for the winter" on an "Analyzing" session.

This is my all time favorite Protel "tie the computer in a knot" trick.

This is where I have even gone into the "Task Manager", only to have it tell
me that Protel is "not responding", and then have Protel reemerge fine and
still operatring properly after I walked away and took a very long coffee

According to the Protel people that I talked to a little over a year ago,
there is absolutely nothing that you can do about this one, except get up,
and take a walk around the building each time it happens.

I have had people make the suggestion to rename all of the nets, and I think
that I may have even tried to do that, all to no avail.

I have also had people tell me to turn off all "on line" DRC checking, but
if I remember correctly, that didn't work either (or possibly it did, but
left me to make such mistakes that I gave up on it).

This is the one real time consuming bummer that I could never get around,
and the one place where my systems would be most prone to crashing.

The only answer that I have ever found was to delete all of the Polygon
Planes, and always make them the last thing I do (although I do not think
that that would not be the answer in your case with your 35 plane segments).

I often wondered whether or not transferring all of the plane segments to  a
mechanical layer (or possibly just any "different" or "unused" layer) while
working would allow me to skirt the problem, although every time I got to
the point in the project where this became a problem, I never had the time
to experiment with it.

I have also wondered whether or not changing the resolution of the internal
"segments" of the plane would have any effect, since it seems to go thru all
of the small line segments of the plane and check them all, which I think is
why it may take so long. This would in itself take alot of time with 35
plane segments.

A faster machine is the closest I ever came to solving the problem, but even
on a 2 GHz P4 with a 400 MHz bus, the problem is still there, although not
as bad.

This is one of those things that has even been brought up several times not
only here (PEDA), but if I remember correctly, also in the DXP forums, all
to no avail (Again, if I remember correctly, this is one of those posts that
never gets answered by the boys down south in Oz).

I know that Protel / Altium is aware of the problem in both P99 and PDXP,
and I am pretty sure that they are trying to find a work-around or some
other kind of fix for this in PDXP.

Respecting a "fix" for PDXP, I would suggest that they somehow "tag" or
otherwise "identify" all of the internal "fill" type "segments" of a plane
on the first pass thru DRC, and then only if the plane changes (is
"repoured") do they have to "recheck" or "reanalyze" the whole of the
"segments" of the internal plane. This would mean that they only have to DRC
the outline of the plane against any other traces, which should be much
faster (they may be doing this already).

Another possible fix for PDXP would be to have a DRC mode that would go in
and somehow "tag" or otherwise "identify" everything in the board that has
already passed DRC, so that it would not be rechecked. Possibly the inverse
of this would be more practical, in which any "new" additions or changes
since the last DRC check would be somehow "tagged" or "identified", and then
a DRC could be run on just those items alone, so as to not recheck the
entire board, which appears to be what is happening now.

Yes, I still want my Service Pack 7 for Protel 99 SE, but even if they gave
it to me, I don't think that there would be any improvement in this area.

Respecting PDXP, I think that there should be at least some minor fixes or
improvements in this area in the real SP3, if it ever gets here. Protel /
Altium have taken enough time with working on the Pre-Release of SP3 and
Pre-Release SP3.5 to completely rewrite the whole program from the ground
up, so it will be interesting to see whether or not this works any better.

It seems that whenever I or someone else really "bad mouths" some issue in
PDXP, that it gives the people in Oz a little extra "incentive" to fix the
problem. Maybe this will have some effect on future releases.

Anyway, by the time you have read this, you will probably have completed the
board, so this won't be a problem anymore, at least until the next time.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry Creer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 4:09 PM
Subject: [PEDA] Analysing...

> Hi all,
> I've just been handed a rather large board with quite a few
> individual GND polygons on it (35 to be exact). I've been asked to clean
> up so we can have a prototype made. Every time I make a change to the
> (ie, move track, delete fill etc..etc..), after the edit, it sits there
> about 6 seconds with " Analysing GND" in the status bar at the bottom, and
> then all is well until the next edit.
> I've turned off all online DRC checks, and anything else I could
> think of, to no avail. I'm pulling my hair out trying to get this done
> there's a lot to do...).
> Any ideas?
> Thanks!
> TC

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