I wrote an extensive response in this thread last week, and it seems to have disappeared. Last week I started to get back a few Mailer Daemon error messages that the domain "techservinc.com" could not be reached. But some messages did get through and in this case I got no error message.... We'll see if this gets through....

Here is my original response:
At 02:42 PM 12/10/2003, Rene Tschaggelar wrote:


I just wanted to share a tip for a difficulty that I've seen discussed here many times, just an alternative to the solutions presented here in the past.
I needed to make some modifications to a previously laid-out board which had ground pours on both sides of the board. Deleting the polygons and recreating them later was a problem because they had irregular shapes. All I did was to increase the width of primitives in the polygon to 2000 mils (yes, 2 inches wide). That leaves the polygon entirely intact and in place; in fact, I can even click or dblclk where it should be and have the polygon show up in the selection list or open the appropriate dialog box. However, all other "traces" (pun intended!) of it are gone from the board, allowing me to push parts around and lay tracks at will, without green lights lighting up all over. When I'm done, I simply set the width back to the original 20 mils and allow the rebuild. Presto! The polygon is back just like it was, only now with all the right clearances on the new features.

Certainly this works. However, it does have some disadvantages. As Mr. Hendrix points out, "all traces of the polygon disappear." He has deliberately created one of the famous invisible polygons, which can be a real nuisance. This is any polygon which has no primitives except for the polygon record itself, which is not displayed. If there were no easier way, the workaround would be nice. But there is an easier way.

Mr Tschaggelar reported his own practice.

I tend to grab the polygon pour and move it out of the way.
Upon dropping it, the question about repouring comes up.
No, don't repour at the moment.

The problem with this suggestion is that it might be tricky to get the polygon back to its original location. Again, there is an easier way.

Double-click on the troublesome polygon and change the polygon layer to a non-copper layer. (You might enable one of the mech layers just for this purpose). Be sure to uncheck "Remove Dead Copper" or you will create an invisible polygon. Do allow repour, or the fill primitives will remain where they were. Usually it will not be difficult to remember what layer it was originally on, but it there is any doubt that it will be easy, I'd add a text note, it can easily be deleted when the polygon is restored.

With this procedure, you can still see, if you wish, the polygon's original location while you are working in the area.

When you want to restore the polygon, simply re-edit the polygon back to the appropriate layer and allow it to repour. You may wish to re-enable Remove Dead Copper. (Normally, for noise reasons, it is recommended to remove unconnected copper.)

While I'm on the topic of polygons, I'll mention an old tip: set the pour grid to zero. This does not create an endless loop, locking up Protel!!! Instead, it is interpreted as "pour efficiently", i.e., tracks butting up against each other.

---end original response---

And now:
At 01:52 PM 12/15/2003, Mike wrote:
In poured polygons the best solution is to just turn off the fill, this will allow you to move and add entities a lot easier, it also solves a bigger problem when you have multiple polygons and every time you move something you won't get (analyzing net) that takes forever. Simply turn on your final fill (please never use hatch unless you need an open hatch pattern) then re-pour polygons.

I leave polygons unfilled while designing, and only fill them at the end, for the reasons that Mike details. This does not, however, completely solve the original problem, because the outline track present in the unpoured polygon still causes violations. It does not, however, deflect "Avoid obstacle track." That might be considered a bug, but in this case it does make it possible to design through a polygon and repour. This may indeed be a better solution, for the present, than moving the polygon to another layer.

I could not get "Plow through Polygons" to work. Am I missing something? If this worked as I'd expect, you could leave the polygon unpoured and plow through it fairly quickly, since a rebuild would not need to take place. But it is easy enough, after adding track, etc., in the polygon area, to double-click on the polygon, accept the "edit," and allow repour.

As a plotting and design service the solid crosshatch only add un-necessary data for the plotter and creates large files for you, a vertical or horizontal fill with a 1 mill overlap (set your grid 1 mill less than your line size) is the most efficient.

Pour grid of zero is more efficient; I've not seen gaps appear because if it, but very small gaps might be possible with some combinations of plot resolution and design grid, it would take some experiment. Gaps *do* sometimes appear because of what are clearly minor bugs in the pour routines.... Using fil width minus 1 mil does not avoid these, I think. Pour zero might also be more flexible in terms of where the fill track is actually placed, but I'm not sure about that, again, it would take experiment, i.e., time that I can't spare today.

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