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'SuperPCB, Gerbers, and Windows 95'
1999\03\30@122502 by Andy Kunz

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As you all know, I've not been bashful about my use of SuperCAD and
SuperPCB from Mental Automation.  Up until the last few months things have
been great.  Now it seems that Dave Duley may have been right after all
(Cut the "I told you so!" Dave! <G>).

Anyway, since the version of SuperPCB I'm using is having trouble
generating Gerber output from my file, but it prints to my laser just fine,
I was wondering...

Does anybody have/know of a Gerber "printer driver" for Win95?  I would
like to fool SuperPCB into giving me Gerber (RS-274-X preferably) output.
I think that if I can get a printer driver that will write Gerber to a
file, then I'll be able to get these boards made.

Thanks.

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@130019 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
Well, you are lucky in some aspects. :)

We have a workstation that uses ExpertPCB for Windows3.x (bought in 1995
by the first owner), it runs nice, prints nice, generate nicely the
gerber files... but then, we needed to migrate that machine to
Windows95, and it prints no more. The ExpertPCB can't even find the
printers list...
Talking to the producers, they said "oh, that printer driver was done by
a third party company, and we don't have any support for it, you need to
migrate to our new software... cost $1,200.00, it works fine in
win95/98"... probably he said that with a nice smiling face... isn't
that funny? I think I will laugh during the next three days... because
this is what I am, right? a dumb stupid clown!  I believe that Mr. Bill
Gates said all Windows3.x software would run in Win95, isn't that true?
I don't recollect receiving a clown red nose along with the Win95
package... it was sent later on.

You are right. Perhaps we can put into a blender our ExpertPCB and your
SuperPCB, blend and shake it, and luckily we could have two versions;
one that can not output any gerber or printouts, and another that can do
both :)  then we could take off our clown's red ball noses. :)  I will
start to take an eye over programs named somethingPCB...

1999\03\30@133539 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 12:23 03/30/99 -0500, Andy Kunz wrote:
>Does anybody have/know of a Gerber "printer driver" for Win95?

unluckily no. but i remember that gc-prevue (a freeware gerber viewer and
tool) imports hpgl -- maybe it exports gerber from it?

ge

1999\03\30@134637 by Andy Kunz

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>unluckily no. but i remember that gc-prevue (a freeware gerber viewer and
>tool) imports hpgl -- maybe it exports gerber from it?

Good idea.  I'll look into it.

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@134850 by Andy Kunz

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face
>Windows95, and it prints no more. The ExpertPCB can't even find the
>printers list...

It probably did it's own printer I/O.  Remember, 3.1 stuff was just moving
out of the DOS world when everything had it's own printer driver.

>this is what I am, right? a dumb stupid clown!  I believe that Mr. Bill
>Gates said all Windows3.x software would run in Win95, isn't that true?

Billy the kid lied to you.  Things that don't support logical printers
properly won't work.  Sounds like your CAD package was done by that sort of
programmer, which is also why it can't see the printer list.

>start to take an eye over programs named somethingPCB...

So I take it you don't have a solution?

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@135049 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 3/30/99 9:25:04 AM Pacific Standard Time, spam_OUTmtdesignTakeThisOuTspamFAST.NET
writes:

<< As you all know, I've not been bashful about my use of SuperCAD and
SuperPCB from Mental Automation.  Up until the last few months things have
been great.  Now it seems that Dave Duley may have been right after all
(Cut the "I told you so!" Dave! <G>).

Anyway, since the version of SuperPCB I'm using is having trouble
generating Gerber output from my file, but it prints to my laser just fine,
I was wondering...

Does anybody have/know of a Gerber "printer driver" for Win95?  I would
like to fool SuperPCB into giving me Gerber (RS-274-X preferably) output.
I think that if I can get a printer driver that will write Gerber to a
file, then I'll be able to get these boards made.

Thanks.

Andy
 >>
Hi Andy,
I TOLD.....  Nope not gonna go there!

Seriously, what kind of problems are you having?  What version of SuperPCB are
you using?

Dave Duley

1999\03\30@143005 by Andy Kunz

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>I TOLD.....  Nope not gonna go there!

Thanks!

>Seriously, what kind of problems are you having?  What version of SuperPCB
are
>you using?

Version 3.1 (32 bit).  What do you have?

The printed output looks fine no matter what printer I select.

The Gerber output is missing many of the lines.  I figure that it was
probably from using a metric part on a standard grid.  I went and manually
changed some line lengths (in non-grid mode) and repositioned them so they
would be in the right place clearance- and connection-wise.

They haven't gotten back to me on this even though they've been informed
for over a month.

Kinda upset, I am!

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@145129 by Max Toole

picon face
In a message dated 3/30/99 1:30:04 PM Central Standard Time, .....mtdesignKILLspamspam@spam@FAST.NET
writes:

> The printed output looks fine no matter what printer I select.
>
>  The Gerber output is missing many of the lines.  I figure that it was
>  probably from using a metric part on a standard grid.  I went and manually
>  changed some line lengths (in non-grid mode) and repositioned them so they
>  would be in the right place clearance- and connection-wise.
>
>  They haven't gotten back to me on this even though they've been informed
>  for over a month.
>
>  Kinda upset, I am!
>
>  Andy
Andy,
I struggled with this for several months.  I remember that, in SuperCAD, the
drawing looked fine but, when you ran the router, it would seem not to see all
of the connections.  Later, I decided to do the layout manually in SuperPCB.
Soon after that, I decided to bite the bullet and have the board layed out
professionally.

I remember, also, that the making of the parts was quite criticle.  You may
want to try re-building the part(s) that are not being picked up in the
Gerbers.
Best regards,
Max

1999\03\30@151225 by Lawrence Lile

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CamCad is a great product that translates between gerber, DXF, HPGL, etc,
etc, you name it.  There is a freeware version that will do everything but
print and export, the real thing costs various amounts depending on what
capabilities you get.  I think basic registration might get you a gerber
printer and that's $50, it seems I needed to cough up $350 to get DXF...

Check my facts - this is all from memory.  http://www.rsi-inc.com





{Original Message removed}

1999\03\30@154335 by Andy Kunz

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>I struggled with this for several months.  I remember that, in SuperCAD, the
>drawing looked fine but, when you ran the router, it would seem not to see
all
>of the connections.  Later, I decided to do the layout manually in SuperPCB.

This was fully manually routed due to tight space.

>I remember, also, that the making of the parts was quite criticle.  You may
>want to try re-building the part(s) that are not being picked up in the
>Gerbers.

It's a library part and the part works fine.

It's the traces that disappeared.

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@155542 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
Andy Kunz wrote:
> >start to take an eye over programs named somethingPCB...
>
> So I take it you don't have a solution?
>
> Andy


Naah, we have other cads here, and for that machine we could use a dual
boot, with win3x.  But I will start to worry about programs named
somethingPCB, it looks like 2 of 2 have problems... :)

1999\03\30@155955 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
Make sure you get the latest version of CamCad. Some previous version
had a nasty problem with some gerber files. It just superimposed
everything in the same place, as a big "target" concentric circles.

Lawrence Lile wrote:
>
> CamCad is a great product that translates between gerber, DXF, HPGL, etc,
> etc, you name it.  There is a freeware version that will do everything but
> print and export, the real thing costs various amounts depending on what
> capabilities you get.  I think basic registration might get you a gerber
> printer and that's $50, it seems I needed to cough up $350 to get DXF...
>
> Check my facts - this is all from memory.  http://www.rsi-inc.com

1999\03\30@160831 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
That's it. I won't answer Bill's phone calls anymore. I had it.
How do I install Linux?  I know that there are plenty of CADS
for Unix already... :)  I never saw DOS crash by itself, except
during some assembler programming loops. Windows... forget it...
I heard that Unix is very hard to crash, perhaps this is the
reason why most Internet servers/providers run under Unix?
How is the world of tools for PIC programming in Unix/Linux?

Andy Kunz wrote:
> >this is what I am, right? a dumb stupid clown!  I believe that Mr. Bill
> >Gates said all Windows3.x software would run in Win95, isn't that true?
>
> Billy the kid lied to you.  Things that don't support logical printers
> properly won't work.  Sounds like your CAD package was done by that sort of
> programmer, which is also why it can't see the printer list.

1999\03\30@163326 by Andy Kunz

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face
>How is the world of tools for PIC programming in Unix/Linux?

My new HiTech C CD came today with "Linux support" on it.

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@184336 by Bob Drzyzgula

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face
For what it is worth, I have had some success getting balky
DOS programs to print under Windows95. I have had trouble
with some programs even if you "capture" a "printer port" in
the Windows95 printer setup. When you set up a printer in
Windows95, it asks you if you ever print from dos programs,
and if so gives you an opportunity to capture an LPT: port
for this purpose. Unfortunately, in my experience, Windows
tries to be "smart" about it and will still screw around
with your output. (If you haven't done this already, give
that a try before messing with the below. Just make sure
that you capture an LPT port *OTHER* than the one that the
printer is on, e.g. don't use LPT1:, use LPT3 or LPT4.)

However, I've found that if you have the NetBIOS code do
the mapping instead of the Windows code, it can work more
reliably. Thus, for example, suppose you have a printer
on your Windows95 machine named "Leroy". (I like to give
my printers nice names... :-) Then you would:

 1. Make sure that you have Windows Networking installed.
    You probably already do if you have a network set up
    at all. It is easiest if you have a network card on
    your machine, but you can also do it on a dial-up
    interface (don't share your files out to the Internet,
    though). I know NT has a loopback interface, but I
    don't know if 95 does. You'll need to set the control
    to "share my printers" enabled.

 2. In the Printer control panel, set the properties on
    Leroy to share it out onto the network.

 3. Suppose that your machine's hostname is "Jezebel" (as
    my Win95 machine is). At a DOS prompt, before going into
    your DOS program, execute the command:

       NET USE LPT3: \\JEZEBEL\LEROY

    assuming that LPT3: is available.

 4. Have your DOS program print to LPT3.

In many cases, I've found that this works... it will often
fool both the DOS program and the Windows 95 program.

There are some cases where all hope is lost, however.

About Linux, I use it for just about everything I can, and
find it very pleasurable to use, but then I've been using
Unix for fifteen years. But I use MPLAB because I'm
too much of a beginner with PICs, so I use Windows for that.

--Bob

On Tue, Mar 30, 1999 at 04:08:02PM -0500, Wagner Lipnharski wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
bobspamKILLspamdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1999\03\30@233223 by Richard A. Smith

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face
On Tue, 30 Mar 1999 16:08:02 -0500, Wagner Lipnharski
wrote:

>That's it. I won't answer Bill's phone calls anymore. I had it.
>How do I install Linux?

http://www.debian.org

I know that there are plenty of CADS
>for Unix already... :)

Lot's of really expensive CADS.. Most of which don't run on
Linux yet.  I just went through the SAL page. (Scientific
Applications on Linux) and they have a section on
electronics.  The GPL Cads seem to be in various stages of
developement.  I didn't look at any of the commercial
listings though...




--
Richard A. Smith                         Bitworks, Inc.
.....rsmithKILLspamspam.....bitworks.com               501.521.3908
Sr. Design Engineer        http://www.bitworks.com

1999\03\31@141547 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 3/30/99 11:30:11 AM Pacific Standard Time,
EraseMEmtdesignspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTFAST.NET writes:

<<
Version 3.1 (32 bit).  What do you have?

The printed output looks fine no matter what printer I select.

The Gerber output is missing many of the lines.  I figure that it was
probably from using a metric part on a standard grid.  I went and manually
changed some line lengths (in non-grid mode) and repositioned them so they
would be in the right place clearance- and connection-wise.

They haven't gotten back to me on this even though they've been informed
for over a month.

Kinda upset, I am! >>

Hi Andy,
I'm using the same version.  My major problems started when I upgraded to this
version.  I found that my libraries got screwed up.  If you made alot of
custom parts they would show up in the PCB layout but if I tried to edit them
I would get a message to the effect of the library was not found and you have
to reboot now.
I also had major problems with hole sizes.  Parts would no longer fit into the
holes they were supposed to.  I too reproted many many bugs that I found to
Mental.  They would never call me back.  1 year ago they had pretty good
service.  They would only send me a new version that would make things worse.
They made alot of changes (for the worse) to the user interface but didn't fix
any bugs that I could see.  I was so upset that I went and paid $1500 for
Circuitmaker and Traxmaker. Not perfect but it does work.  I am still wading
through the learning curve.
If I were you I would start to leave hourly messages with Mental until you
make them mental.
Sorry I can't be more help.  I just was not able to get a solution to my
problems so I abandoned ship.

Good luck
Dave

1999\03\31@141958 by David W. Duley

picon face
In a message dated 3/30/99 12:43:39 PM Pacific Standard Time,
mtdesignspamspam_OUTFAST.NET writes:

<<
It's a library part and the part works fine.

It's the traces that disappeared.

Andy
 >>
Hi again Andy,
Just a thought...did you check the line width of the affected traces.  I have
had line widths change to 0 or very small numbers where they appeared to
dissapear.

Dave

1999\03\31@151033 by Andy Kunz

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face
>Hi again Andy,
>Just a thought...did you check the line width of the affected traces.  I have
>had line widths change to 0 or very small numbers where they appeared to
>dissapear.

Just checked.  They are 10 mils, like most of the rest of the board.

Andy

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