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Re: [N8VEM-S100:4347] Re: FreeRouter No longer available. Long term plans for Board layouts

I found a long thread about the various programs here - http://dangerousprototypes.com/2012/09/14/dangerous-prototypes-kicad-eda-experience/

It mentions that DipTrace has issues with paths that make it hard to "bundle up" and share projects, and the you can't important data between KiCad <-> DipTrace.

You could probably the the reduced "non-profit" DipTrace licenses if you tell them what you are doing.

The S-100 connector alone might count as 100 pins.... Add in a few connectors on the edge of a board and the count goes up quick.

On Monday, June 23, 2014 10:17:54 AM UTC-7, monahanz wrote:
So what are we going to do folks? We need a long term solution to make these boards.

I tried the QAutorouter by Mike.  Mine just hung (will contact him to find out why), but no matter what way you look at it he is just starting off and it will take a long time to have a version that works with boards of our complexity.   This is clearly an early work in progress.  We should help but there is no way it will fit our immediate needs.  

I have been reading reviews of various packages, Just Google DipTrace & KiCad for example see here:-

DipTrace generally seems to come out on top.  It is a commercial package, they charge by IC pin count. Up to 300 (apparently unwritten) 500 pins,  are free in demo downloads. You can use any board size you like.    There is a built in a huge library that contains as best I can tell all the chips we commonly use.  Some of our simpler boards could probably get by with 500 pins.   The thing that is impressive is the routing. It (before your eyes) moves all the IC's around and at lightning speed does the routing.  If I also remember correctly (it's been 5 years),  there is no pin limit on the drawing schematic, it just for the routing.  

I  know the price may be too much for  some, but frankly considering the few board we actually get out a year, I for one would have no problem here processing them for others.   I can just set aside an old PC  dedicated box to do it.  May even be a way to let people outside use it...

The one catch is there would be some effort (and danger) in the onetime laying down of the basic S100 board (or others),  getting the dimensions and connector spacing's right.

Way back (about 5 years ago),  I actually helped a guy do a simple S100 bare board where he did all the basic work (by trial & error).  I'm kicking myself because I lost track of him and while I once had it, I cannot now find his library file.

I'm going to find out/try their forum to see if anybody has done a S100 board.  I'm wondering also if one could splice KiCad data into DipTrace, will ask.

Can others please comment on this important issue as it will have potential major impact on our long term plans and direction



-----Original Message-----
From: n8ve...@googlegroups.com [mailto:n8vem...@googlegroups.com]
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2014 6:51 AM
To: n8ve...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [N8VEM-S100:4347] Re: FreeRouter No longer available. Long term plans for Board layouts


This is my nightmare come true.  Some of you will recall my concerns earlier about our almost complete dependence on FreeRouter and my calls for another autorouting solution.  It looks like the time for QAutorouter may have arrived at last.

As soon as I get back tonight I will remove the FreeRouting files on the wiki.  If the copyrights are in question we have to move away from FreeRouting.  Fortunately KiCAD is still usable without FreeRouting.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

On Sun, 6/22/14, yoda <yo...@r2d2.org> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [N8VEM-S100:4339] Re: FreeRouter No longer available.  Long term plans for Board layouts
 To: n8ve...@googlegroups.com
 Cc: mon...@vitasoft.org
 Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014, 9:02 PM
 Ah - thanks for the
 On Sunday, June 22, 2014 7:42:11 PM UTC-5, monahanz  wrote:Perhaps we’re OK  Dave.  It’s just that the “Zuken” (whoever he/it
 is) is accusing the author of copyright infringement  etc.   It may be he will want Andrew to remove the  link as well.  Time to download it/use it,  may be  limited!!!John  From: n8ve...@googlegroups.com [mailto:n8vem...@ googlegroups.com] On Behalf  Of yoda
 Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2014 5:18 PM
 To: n8ve...@googlegroups.com
 Subject: [N8VEM-S100:4336] Re: FreeRouter No longer  available. Long term plans for Board layouts I don't understand what  the problem is ?  The code is here http://n8vem-sbc.pbworks.
 com/w/browse/#view=ViewFolder& param=FreeRouting-net  and works fine?   It is actually easier to run locally  then from their web site.  Am I missing  something? Dave
 On Sunday, June 22, 2014 5:41:53 PM UTC-5, monahanz  wrote:It  looks like the http://www.freerouting.net/  web site for FreeRouter is no longer  available! This leaves us with a big  problem making PC boards with KiCad.  (Fortunately I  happen to have the PC version here for my own use), but it  opens up a general question as to how we do PC boards (S100  and others) in the future.   Personally I'm having a  hard time getting things done with KiCad. The PCBNew program  seems (to me) very "finicy" in making files for  Freerouter. I'm wondering what other  people think about a more "All-in-one" PC CAD  program. I once used a program called DipTrace (they have a  free version for up to 500 pins to try it out).  See  here http://diptrace.com/. The  thing that impressed me was the speed in which it converted  the schematic into an actual board file and Gurber  files.  There was only one program, one  interface.  Personally I would spring for paying for  the 1000 pin commercial version (or heigher) , I and perhaps  others, could run batches for others. The main issue is that  for any program we would have to build a library for  the S100 connector, board dimensions and presumably a number  of other things. I would be interested in  hearing comments by others on a way to proceed.  Has anybody else used CAD programs they like.  Anybody  got experience with DipTrace  John  --  You received this message because you are subscribed to the  Google Groups "N8VEM-S100" group.
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