Re: [Balloon] Balloon 4

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Author: Peter Clifton
To: balloon
Subject: Re: [Balloon] Balloon 4
On Fri, 2011-01-14 at 18:30 +0000, David Bisset wrote:
> However we will also explore the possibility of publishing the files
> for one of the Open ECAD packages such as gEDA.

As a gEDA developer, I welcome this, and would love to assist in any way
necessary to ensure gEDA / PCB can at least import the geometry and or

It is unfortunate that gEDA + PCB isn't in a position where you can use
it for the whole design, but I imagine PCB won't provide some of the
design aids you require, such as matched impedance routing or advanced
auto-router integration. (Although I believe there is a plugin somewhere
to support spectra).

Does Altium have an ASCII based netlist import format for layout? If so,
it would be feasible (If one wanted) to do schematics in gEDA, and
layout in Altium.

It should also be possible to import a representation of your layout
gerbers as a PCB layout. PCB doesn't currently have a gerber import
facility, but it would not be too hard to achieve by pulling in
"libgerv" from gerbv. The addition which may be required would possibly
be blind / burried vias if you use them.

If there are any further features you can think of which put gEDA or PCB
at a disadvantage, I'd love the chance to hear about and discuss them.

Some people do quite complex boards with PCB, as seen here (on a beta
version with OpenGL rendering):

(Yes, I have since improved the perspective rendering! Still no 3D
packages drawn yet though.)

Best wishes,

Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)
Tel: +44 (0)1223 748328 - (Shared lab phone, ask for me)