Hi Leo,

I just confirmed everything you described.
Auto placed vias follow the via solder mask expansion rule. The default tenting attribute is ignored.
Manually placed vias have the default attributes including tenting.

Brock Russell

At 01:34 PM 04/03/04 +0100, Leo Potjewijd wrote:
At 03-03-2004 23:35, Ian Wilson wrote:
On 12:28 AM 4/03/2004, Leo Potjewijd said:

I just discovered something strange:

I like my vias tented so I keep the tenting checkbox in the default via settings dialog checked.
While interactively routing a PCB I noticed that the automatically placed vias did not get tented (and the forementioned checkbox is still checked)....
I do not want to end up with a board that has some vias tented and some not, and the global edit on the complete board afterwards is too easiliy forgotten.

I'm sure I'm missing something obvious, but haven't a clue....
Please help me out, guys..

There are two ways to force tenting on vias - or at least there are two places to control the solder mask expansion. The via has a tenting attribute and there is a design rule that controls solder mask expansion. I have no idea which has precedence, I would hope the tenting attribute of the via. However you may want to check, and play with, the Manufacturing-Solder Mask expansion rule. If you make the rule expansion ridiculously big do the auto-placed vias follow the silly expansion?

I just did.
They (the autoplaced vias) did, too.... Seems the rule takes precedence over the default setting.
Only when the mfg rule specifically targets vias it has any effect, a rule specifying expansion for just surface and thru-hole pads does not change the expansion for the vias....

Before we had the tenting attribute you had to apply a large enough negative expansion to force tenting.

The checkbox being tented but the actual via being untented does sound very odd - unless there is a conflict between the rules and the tent attribute. Are the auto-placed vias the same dimensions as the manual placed vias?
Are they both vias?
Again, yep.

The manual ones aren't free pads are they? (Just asking some possibly silly questions.)
Hey, everyone stands the chance to overlook the obvious...

What happens if you save as ASCII and then re-load? What does the ASCII file show for a tented and untented via? The ASCII records are not hard to read.
Ahem....I would not say not hard to read, just not hard to understand..;)

The ASCII file states a neat "tenting=true" for the tented vias; for the non-tented vias there is no such statement..... I would expect 'tenting=false', but its completely missing....

Reloading the ASCII file does not solve the problem.
Further probing reveals no solutions but yet another mystery: the via annular rings are calculated different from pad annular rings... I've seen this one before, but still have no clues.

To top it all off: I'm running a fresh P99SE/sp6 installation on a brand new computer under a fresh installed W2kPro/sp4, all files on local disk.....

I just about had it with P99SE.

Leo Potjewijd
hardware designer
Integrated Engineering B.V.

+31 20 4620700

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