This has happened on the last five boards that we have run - all of a similar 
complexity. Protel 98 succeeds everytime whereas the other two have been a big 
dissapointment in this area. 

The `mess' left behind with 99 appears to be the hardest `mess' to tidy up (not 
surprisingly) yet we can pop that file back in to 98 and bobs your uncle.

Although it is messy moving between 98 and 99, we set the same design rules for both 
versions and try to make any other settings the same.
Our process to date is to createthe schematics in 99SE, do the initial component 
placing in 99SE and then export the whole lot to 98. Autoroute in 98 several times 
using the results to optimise component positions until we get what we consider a 
workable route.

Then its back in to 99 and finish the board off - manually! we would NEVER run 
autoroute again because 99 will ALWAYS screw up the board and take a long time in the 

If there is a secret list of `set this' and `don't set that' then I would be really 

O/S is Win 2000. Would you expect to see a MAJOR improvement with more RAM After all 
we are talking about (a) reducing a 15hour route to 15 minutes and (b) a 90% 
completion rate to 100% ------ just with a bit more RAM???

Best Regards
Laurie Biddulph
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax 
  To: Protel EDA Forum 
  Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 8:04 AM
  Subject: Re: [PEDA] Stock Components/Joining nets - now autorouting

  At 01:45 PM 10/28/2003, you wrote:
  >On another topic. We have a 4-layer board (nothing unusual mix of analog 
  >and digital components) which routes on Protel 98 in around 15-30 minutes 
  >and always achieves 100% routing. If we run the SAME artwork in Protel 
  >99SE it takes over 7 hours and only achieves around 90-95% completion. 
  >Protel DXP is taking around 5 hours and again only 90-95% done. Does 
  >anyone have an explanation as to why the newer packages are having such a 
  >hard time? Are we missing some `setup' trick that allows these versions to 
  >run as well as Protel 98?

  There may be something unusual about that file which tricks 99SE and DXP, 
  while P98 escapes. I haven't used the autorouter in quite some time, and 
  there are setup options that might be different, for example, what were the 
  layer bias settings? The same for 98, 99SE, and DXP?

  >I could understand a longer runtime (say 2-5 hours) if we finished with 
  >100% routing and a `good' route (as opposed to one that needs cleaning up 
  >like Protel 98 usually gives) but so far the results are VERY poor.

  I've seen that when routing is not completed, a mess is left. It might be 
  possible to finish the routing by hand and then run the router again to let 
  it clean up. That *might* fix it. Someone else who uses the router more 
  frequently may have better advice.

  >I am running on a Pentium 4 with 256MB RAM and a 1GHz processor so don't 
  >see that the machine is the problem.

  Actually, 256MB might be a tad thin....

  Operating system?

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