> If you keep consistent design practices geared around 99SE's DRC
capabilities, yes, some things may take a little extra effort, but, you
should be able to maximize out the built in DRC without having to do checks
with additional tools.

    However, I'm upset to hear that 2004's DRC might be a step down since I
purely rely on Protel's package for all of my DRC needs.<

I am not a perfect designer,   I am pretty sloppy when it comes to antennas.
I can visually check for traces but the  board houses we deal with will call
me in the middle of the night for a "tit" on a pad and small protrusion left
on a trace.  A few years ago they couldn't find this stuff, now their DRCs
are better and they can find  a trace embedded inside a trace.  Several
years ago, we  analyzed our 10 most FAQ's from fabricators and came up with
a new set of Fabrication notes and guidelines based on the number of calls
we received.   We reduced our communication by about 95 percent.  We are
down to two questions.  Hanging traces and tented vias. We used to work with
a manufacturing engineer with one eye.  He could find any   hanging trace.
He was incredible,  he found a new job as an umpire so we had replace his
ability with software.  Since then we tested then retested DXP ....it did
not meet our requirements to find hanging traces.

Camtastic is a step in the right direction. Again I don't like the
integration. Specifically, I don't like the fact that every time you
generate gerbers it automatically pops up.  Protel this is waist of my time.
No,  you can not disable it , nor can the server be disabled.  (It can be
disabled only if you design using projects of some crap like that).

I use  a lot of  complex routing rules.  My rules include lots of net
classes, independent clearances for paired wiring, with each set of pairs
having different clearances to other nets.  Add matched lengths and classes
assigned to layers and layer pairs.    This chokes both 99SE and will bring
DXP04 to a crawl.  I export these rules to something useful, either ELECTRA,
or SPECTRA. DXP04 does a better job exporting the classes. It is  an
expensive piece of software that I am using for dsn translation.   It does
not export matched lengths ....Does anyone out there know some tricks to
automate matched lengths?
 I ran some testing last night to see how slow DXP04 really is. There is a
strange delay in my design.   The test board has copper fills, mostly
routed, 1000 small components, 10 layers.   I performed 10  quick keystrokes
of various tasks,  on average it took 3 seconds for the screen to catch up
after I hit my last keystroke. What ever the time is ....it is about 33
percent slower than the same board on 99SE.  99SE response is instantaneous
on the same design.   There used to be a song....I Cant Drive 55.  I am
using DXP04 as a translator

Mike Reagan

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