Hi Abd,

I appreciate your time to add more details about
Protel's features compared to PCAD's.
Besides, my intention wasn't to advertise PCAD, or to
compare it with Protel or any other CAD tools.
I just wanted to say that it's one of the competitive
tools as Protel is.

I don't like editing the manual routing in both PCAD
and Protel. Orcad and Allegro are much better.

As for placing a part on top of a wire and getting the
wire disconnected... I don't see it in Protel99SE. I
don't see a wire name at all unless I place a net
label. Even with a net label on the wire, I still see
a diode's pins shorted. Yes, I have a junction but
both pins are shorted.
Am I missing any thing obvious here?

If the word comes about autorouting, it's always one
and the same. Who cares if it's Protel+Specctra,
PCAD+Specctra, Allegro+Specctra, Orcad+Specctra or ...
just name the rest.
We will be comparing jobs done in Specctra and
eventually how experienced the PCB designer is to
operate with it.

I agree that customers always want to get the job on
the next day and after they manufacture thousands of
boards and see they are not working, they look for
another designer to fix the problems. For simple
digital designs autorouting works well. For mixed
designs you have to do many things manually and
eventually finish the rest with Specctra. It can vary
from design to design and person to person but most of
the time you can do the job manually as fast as you'd
do it with the autorouter.
Yes, there is a small difference here. You can watch
TV or drink coffee while your PC is doing the layout,
which you can't do if you route it manually.

Mira

--- Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> I'm not entirely certain that I'm not missing some
> context here, but, for 
> the record:
> 
> At 04:27 AM 5/15/2004, Mira wrote:
> >[re PCAD] Wires? Oh, that's one of the coolest
> things. You can
> >just place the components pin to pin and they are
> >connected.
> 
> This is also true for Protel. In 99SE, place two
> pins in hot spot contact, 
> they are connected. Drag one of them, a wire is
> created. I think this was 
> true before Protel bought PCAD.
> 
> >  Net name is automatically assigned but you
> >can change it anytime.
> 
> Ditto.
> 
> >  The 2-pin components
> >(resistors, capacitors) can be placed on top of a
> wire
> >and PCAD automatically assigns two different net
> names
> >on both sides.
> 
> DXP does this if "components cut wires" is checked.
> 
> >  You can add width & clearance
> >attributes to the nets and they'll be loaded in the
> >PCB, which saves much time to explain or write
> >guidelines to the layout person.
> 
> Protel's done this for a while with Directives.
> 
> >  Components can be grouped in the schematic and
> then
> >you can simply move the components by groups and
> place
> >them closer.
> 
> These are called Rooms in Protel.
> 
> >PCAD2002 Design manager gives you all information
> >about the components and nets in the design. You
> can
> >easily locate the component in the Design manager
> and
> >just move it to the position you'd like on the PCB.
> 
> Protel, it's the Panel.
> 
> >Manual routing is not that bad but if you have to
> >modify it, it sucks.
> 
> That's too bad if true (and I'd expect it to be
> true, coming from Mira). 
> Changing manual routing in Protel, since Loop
> Removal was added (Protel 
> 99?) has been about as easy as I could imagine.
> Usually it simply amounts 
> to placing the new route, the old one is
> automatically ripped up.
> 
> I think there are things the PCAD does that Protel
> does not do, and PCAD 
> has certain flexibilities that may be missing in
> Protel, but Mira didn't 
> list them here.....
> 
> >PCAD has export to Specctra as all other CAD tools.
> >
> >A "good" PCB designer for me is one who can do the
> job
> >as fast as possible and as good as possible, using
> any
> >kind of CAD tool but NOT auto-routing.
> 
> Good, but not best. The best designer can do fast
> manual routing and can 
> also use the autorouter *where appropriate* for even
> faster routing.
> 
> >I used to work for a design bureau and I'm familiar
> >with that kind of thinking - just sprinkle the
> >components inside the board outline, do the fanout,
> >run Specctra and get the money.
> >That's not for me. I do care what kind of designs
> I'm
> >delivering.
> 
> I certainly care as well; however, the customer is
> paying for our work. 
> Good manual routing is almost always prettier and
> may even be more 
> functional in some respects (i.e., lower noise), but
> the question is the 
> cost. A good designer considers the cost to the
> customer. It is 
> questionable design practice to go for pretty at
> substantial cost to the 
> customer. Some design conditions are appropriate for
> autorouting. However, 
> the cost to the customer should generally be lower.
> To charge a customer 
> the same pin rate for manually routed work and
> autorouted work would 
> generally be to charge unfairly.
> 
> If I think autorouting is reasonable for a job, I'll
> consult with the 
> customer....
> 
> On the other hand, if an autorouter is good enough
> that the quality of the 
> work is indistinguishable from good manual routing,
> then perhaps it is 
> worth as much (more likely, however, the arising of
> that situation will 
> represent a devaluation of manual routing labor,
> unless this imaginary 
> fantastic router is *really* expensive.)
> 
> I don't have first-hand experience with high-end
> autorouters. I did 
> purchase Specctra routing once, it was garbage. But,
> to be fair to 
> Specctra, it was garbage because the designer
> driving the program 
> configured it incorrectly, choosing absolutely the
> wrong layer bias, given 
> preroutes. (Unless Specctra chose the bias, which
> would strike me as 
> unlikely; more likely, some standard setup had been
> used without thought.)
> 
> 
> 
> 
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