A little something on Eagle PCB and Gerber issues

I have recently started moving my PCB work flow to Eagle PCB because of some issues with Orcad and I have a post coming up on an Eagle vs Orcad very soon. What I wanted share in this post is a problem I faced when dealing with gerber files generated with Eagle CAM Processor.

Now I was sharing PCB information with the fab house in Postscript format and excellon Dril information format. In eagle however I wanted to take advantages of the Gerber RS274X format and I was successfully able to do so. I also downloaded a gerber software GX-prevue since my new fabhouse uses it as well and I wanted to see what they would be seeing.

To my surprise, I got a warning with a design and I thought well maybe since I made some footprints hence I must have done something wrong. But I got the same warning with every design I tried! The warning was:

A warning Message
A warning Message

After searching the net for solutions, I came across some old posts on a forum which indicated that it was a problem in the layer 20 Dimension which was causing all the warnings. I was adding standoffs which were holes but the format simply got confused why there were more than one dimension boundaries. As it turns out, if you add cutouts this will happen again.

Not sure if this is the exact explanation and if anyone can better explain this, please leave a comment and I will append to this post.

Cheers

SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ORCAD LAYOUT

Spokes to a pad in Orcad Layout

Cadence Orcad Layout is one of those tools that really have no end. There are so many settings and sub-tools that a few months of inactivity would render you lost. Here is one of the problems I faced.

I was trying to get the copper pour to flow and include the attached net instead of the spoke as shown below.

Spokes to a pad in Orcad Layout
Spokes to a pad in Orcad Layout

Well the method I know is from the menu, select pad stacks, select all pads that you want to flood and properties>> Flood Planes/Pours select. Make sure that the isolate all tracks from the obstacle is not selected.

At this point you should be get what you want but to my dismay, i repeatedly got the same thing. I tried so many other settings but to the life of me I could not remember what I did wrong. The key was very simple and I did nothing wrong.

After you make any change, it is a good idea to click this button.>

The refresh Button
The refresh Button

This seems simple but it can solve a lot of problems. Anyways it sucks but that’s all this post is about. And the result is the figure below.

The flooded Pad
The flooded Pad

Orcad vs Eagle: Yet Another Comparison.

Introduction

I read a lot of articles online with regards to Board design Software and two names kept popping up: “Cadence Orcad” and “Cadsoft Eagle”. I have been an avid user of Orcad since 2005 and have learned to use it more professionally and accurately with the years. I have also invested a lot of time in building custom libraries for Part footprints etc so I was initially biased in favor of it. Then a couple of months back, I started doing a lot of Open-Source Projects and began exploring the “Open Source” ways of Life so to speak. Needless to say the Orcad fit nowhere in the scheme of things. Cadsoft eagle however was a name that popped up a lot which is attributed to two reasons… ONE: There is a Lite -FREE version of the tool available and the professional version is not as costly as Cadence Orcad. TWO: Because of the Lite Version, there is a lot of people doing work on this so as far as open source projects are concerned, if you want to put up a project schematic and board up without getting in a legal mess, Eagle is the best way to go.

Continue reading “Orcad vs Eagle: Yet Another Comparison.”