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gEDA-user: pcb: Track routing strategies and tips

As a rather inexperienced PCB designer, I find that I have to throw
away two or three layouts until I get one that is usable--and still
not entirely satisfactory.  I always end up with such a mess of traces
that I know I need better organization and a method to the madness.
But I am a newb with little knowledge so I fall back on trial-and-error.

Does anyone have any tips on how to plan a layout for easy and clean
track routing?  In particular for 2-layer boards.

One strategy that I have seen and recently tried is to use the top
layer for all horizontal trace runs and the bottom layer for all
vertical trace runs, or vice-versa.

Do you ever use the pcb autorouter or do you always route by hand?

Do you ever study other people's PCB designs to learn from them?  I
think you could find both good and bad examples: things to emulate and
things to avoid yourself.

Thanks for any suggestions.  There are some incredibly experienced and
talented electronic designers on the list and I'd love to learn
anything I can from you all.


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