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problem with Printing PCB in protel

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Moss

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I have some problems to make good quality prints from protel 99SE. Traces on pictures are not drawn sollid, but consisted smal small dots. Pads and holes look OK. I already switched off economy mode printing and use 600x600 dpi but still same result.
 

CharlieTheTuttle

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Sometimes the Protel 99 Print manager can be buggy. You can still use the old
reliable Protel 98 print option. Next to the "File" pull-down menu there should be a downward pointing arrow. Select the Run Process option. Under "process" choose "PCB:SetupPrinter".

The one major advantage of the old print manager is that it prints all hole sizes as
small holes which is much better for drilling PCBs (as opposed to printing the actual hole size). Why they left it in Protel 99 I don't know.

Cheers
 

Moss

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Thanks.

Is there any free software for viewing and printing gerber files?
 

C-Man

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>The one major advantage of the old print manager is that it prints all hole sizes as
>small holes which is much better for drilling PCBs (as opposed to printing the actual hole size). Why they left it in >P*otel 99 I don't know.

You can do this by yourself: simply create a copy of your PCB double click an one hole (does not matter which) change the holesize for example to 15 mil select global and check change holesize and press OK.

Protel will change all your holes to whatever you entered ...

If you want to printout a PCB with a laser or inkjet printer it is very important to select Black & White in the Printout Properties otherwise the printed artwork is not useable (at least for me).

best regards
 

CharlieTheTuttle

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Your correct, BUT if you want to preserve the hole size information, you need to remember to NOT save your work after your print it which is a bit risky. The small hole size just makes it useful for locating 0.6mm drill bits to 3.0mm drill bits. One other problem I have the Protel 99SE print manager is that sometimes it shows tracks in the holes, in other words, some holes don't come out at all because a track is going through it! Not very helpful. Maybe I'm just an old dog, but the Protel 98 print option works best for me...

Cheers
 

Frosty

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jodokus

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It seems to me that you are not using a CAM program.
Protel (and all other pcb packages) are used for design, not for viewing and printing manufacturing data. You should generate camdata from protel (most popular format is still gerber, but odb++ is gaining poularity) and use this gerber as input for a cam program. With a cam program you can view and print and slightly modify the real manufacturing data. Cam programs are: camtastic, gerbtool and cam350. I have a copy of protel that includes camtastic.
 

KamW

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Hi
I don't know your work resolution, but I've found that the best way to get ideal results from p*rotel is to make proffesional offset mask in printing office. I don't know if you have ever try to adjust double layers print from laser printer. I've used some HP LJ, OKI printers, and I have never get repeatible results (scales). Black regions never was really black (you know methods with acethone or so on)
Since then I print work from protel to file using any PS printer (ask in your print office), send it via email to print office, and in about 4 hours photomask is ready to use. I can ask for instance for 3600x3600 dpi with ideal black print. You could imagine quality of obtained boards.
Consider if it is profitable to fight with printers.

Regards
KamW
 

vkem

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I print all my artwork on a Epson color 680 with Epson transparency film (about $2 per sheet). A chemical reaction takes place between the film and the ink (it dry's solid and dark instantly). With this method, Kingston pre-sensitized PCB and a light box I can manufacture 0.2mm tracks with 0.2mm clearances.

My biggest problem is avoiding scratches during the developing/etching phase.

I tried iron on laser based systems and it was a waste of time. Transparencies from lasers are too granular.

vkem
 

KamW

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Proffesional offset mask in print office, 3600 dpi, costs in Poland about 8PLN it is about 2$ per A4.
I use PCBs with photoresist (I don't know manufacturer), simple solar lamp and with clearance of 0.1 mm I have never had problem with scratches on the board.
I have used light box with uv lamps, but I have found that method with two plexiglass or better polycarbonate plates, four tinkers clamps, and mirror allow me to made double layer PCBs without parallax error. So both layer are ideally fitted.

regards
KamW
 

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