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