At 11:51 AM 9/10/2003, Brian Guralnick wrote:
> I mentioned this because I know that a designer might be approached by
> someone who wants to make such a thing. He might provide a photo of an old
> board and say that he needs to reproduce it, the originals have been lost,

I guess laziness has no-bounds.

I'm not sure that I understand what Mr. Guralnick means here. The situation described can be legitimate, i.e., a manufacturer may have lost the fabrication data for an old pcb; I encountered this situation with a large elevator manufacturer who need to make a board that was last made ten years before. The old design worked fine, they did not need something new, and all they had was one of the PCBs. It was clearly theirs, it had their name etched on it! They paid me to, essentially, copy the design. It was, in fact, one of my early Protel jobs. I photographed the board with a digital camera, and brought the image into Protel with one of the graphics-to-Protel-track utilities that are still available. I then created footprints and drew new track over the old (the old was on a mech layer). It would have been just as easy to design the board anew, but they specifically did not want a new design, they wanted something exactly like the old.


As part of the process, I did discover some errors in the original design, one or two floating inputs, which can be in practice harmless but which can bite you when you least expect it.

As a step further down the path to disrepute, another potential customer came to me one time and claimed that a designer working for him had abandoned the project in mid stream and all he had was a prototype board.... This gets pretty dicey, but it would also be difficult, in practice, to confirm or deny the truth of the story.



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