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Re: gEDA-user: New user to PCB - what does this error mean?

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this.

 From several of the comments, I realise that I didn't say that I  
would not be using a commercial fabrication shop for this as the board  
is quite small, I'm still in the prototyping stage, I using this to  
learn about PCB et al, and the local place is wanting between $150- 
$250 for a single board. When the design is complete, I will certainly  
need to use multi-layered boards and, because the costs I'm being  
quoted are based more on a minimum board size than on complexity, it  
will be worth the cost - especially if other amateur radio people are  
interested in what I've created and I can order multiple boards.

At this stage, I'm using some single-sided boards from the local  
electronics store and I'll be using a photo-resist approach to making  
my own board. Therefore I'll not be facing problems such as whether  
there will be tenting over vias (thanks for the work do have done on  
the board Steven - by the way those unconnected pins are actually  
grounded so I might have a problem with the original schematic; I'll  
need to check) etc  but those are issues that I'll need to consider  
later on.

It looks like I was trying to "simplify" things by forcing a single  
copper layer and in the process making things way more difficult. My  
first go at using the netlist and automatic routing (which I'm  
guessing may be needed in the final design so I was trying to get the  
feel for it on something small first) showed that it included vias and  
traces on the "other" copper layer. I thought I'd make the program  
route only on the one layer on the assumption that it would give up if  
one or two routes became too complex or were impossible to run and I  
could then manually add in a wire jumper as necessary. Well, you know  
what they say about assumptions!

Also, Chris, yes I did follow the tutorials in a 'build-up' manner,  
but I also followed the tutorials exactly. It looks like my problem  
started when I didn't understand the implications of removing all but  
one copper layer. Also the tutorial that was mentioned a few days ago  
is the first where I've seen any discussion of the layers beyond  
saying that there were many but you only needed to use the ones  
mentioned in the tutorial.

Finally, I only mentioned the ExpressPCB software to say that I had  
managed to get a workaround that took the time pressure off myself  
(trying to get things done during my summer holiday). I checked up  
with the local PCB fabrication place and they want the gerber files  
which ExpressPCB can't generate (as far as I can see) and the cost of  
getting the board make up in the US and shipped to me is about the  
same as getting it done locally without the (at the moment rather  
terrible) exchange rate. This is not a viable approach beyond the very  
short term.

Thanks again. I've learned a lot and I have a much better feel for how  
the program works now.


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