I see this mail didn't go out when I wrote it.... so here it is.

At 03:16 AM 10/30/2003, Website Visitor wrote:
I have not found a way yet to disable, or stop, Protel from routing GND traces. I have a GND plane and all of the components are connected to it via thermals. However, when ever I use the AutoRouter the program begins routing GND traces.

My comments are for P99SE. This may not fully apply to DXP, I don't know.

Let me see if I understand. You have a through-hole component board, not surface mount (since you did not mention track and vias, but only thermals).

You have a GND plane; it has been assigned the GND net in the Stack Manager; you can see, when you open the Stack Manager, "(GND)" after the name of the internal layer in question.

You have a Power Plane Connect Style Design Rule with Scope Board, Connect Relief, and appropriate values for expansion, width, gap, and entries (such as 20mil 10mil 10mil, 4).

You have completely routed the GND net and you have checked "Lock all Preroutes" in Autorouter Setup.

I just took the Protel sample board "LCD Controller.pcb" and deleted all track except for ground track and all vias except for ground pads -- that board appears to use free pads for plane connections. The board includes both through hole and SMT components.

Then I ran the autorouter on the board. No new connections were made for ground pins, neither through-hole nor surface pads. I unrouted, placed a surface pad, assigned it to GND, and ran the router again. As would be expected, the router placed a via next to the pad and connected it to GND. (with a thermal, which is not preferred, I'd set a rule to direct-connect GND vias to GND, and I wouldn't use free pads for ground unless I needed to name them for some special rule).

I don't see the phenomenon our visitor describes. But it seems to me like I did at some time in the past, and I don't remember the conditions. What version Protel is being used?

I have created classes that have all the signals and trace widths associated with them but this did not help. I have disabled the system board routing layer and only enabled mine. But again that did not help.

It is possible that some routing class/Design Rule setup would cause the spurious routing. Does it do this without all those class setups? Or there is some other unusual Design Rule set?

How do I stop Protel from routing GND traces when I have a GND layer that the components are already connected too?

It shouldn't be necessary. What is wrong with this picture?

Please respond via the following email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Thanks in advance,

Posted from Association web site by: Brad Epperson

If I had my druthers, I'd not allow "Website visitor" to post without joining. Here's why: a question is asked, and then everyone who wishes to answer it is being asked to specially address the mail to the visitor instead of simply sending it to the list. If a writer does do that, and does not also post the answer to the list, other writers may waste time giving the same answer. In this case, I cc'd Mr. Epperson.

I can understand, however, that delay in joining the list and a need to get an answer quickly would make it desireable to post as a visitor. That problem could be solved, but I do think it would take using an Association list instead of the Techserv list.

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