I can't find a way to get unroute all nets to leave manually drawn track in place. The function to leave manual tracks in place for the auto-router works (fix -default) and the autorouter option itself works ok.
But if I want to keep manually drawn track in place but unroute all others there appear to be 2 not too clever options:
1. Unroute all and re-draw the manual tracks again - high nuisance value 2. Select sections of track and unroute them manually piece by piece - again this works but gets time consuming and error prone on complex sections
Ideally I'd like a "fix manual track" option that always leaves it in place unless manually changed or deleted to enable me to re-run the autorouter after moving other things about.
I can't find a way to do this. Have I missed something again?
The way I deal will any large change (eg autoroute, backannotate etc) is to do a 'save as' to another file prior to running the process. I can then copy the file back afterwards. If you forget to 'save as', you can possibly use one of the backup files that are automatically created every so often.
If you are simply doing this "on the trot" i.e. do a routing, have a look, see problems, so you want to go back to before routing simply go to the edit tab, and click "undo routing" it will then only undo the routing that has been just done and leave the rest.
Yes I have been using the ~ backup files and using the undo option but both have issues that could be avoided if you could just force the track to stay. Worth mentioning in the wish list thread maybe?
I do tend (as Ian suggests) to do quite a few variations as I'm still using single sided through hole prototypes with variations in some designs. Even simple designs benefit greatly from even minor layout changes I've found. (It helps to study them too!)
(If anyone has suggestions for specific SMD equipment I'm all ears - I can't decide on a small reflow or one of those duratool hot air systems farnell supplies) any comments on that would be very welcome. (Not sure where best to ask that - not really relevant here maybe)
1 NEVER run with a board that has simply been completely auto-routed .... very un-professional and very wrong. It still is the norm to completely or almost completely manually route boards.
2 If your going for a reflow oven don't buy one of the cheap units (about £300) from China they are hopeless. If your prototyping then an air operated paste dispenser and a hot air relow tool will do the trick.
If its more that a few prototypes go to a proper manufacturer.
Thanks for the info. I agree about the autorouter - I use it all the time now but I always have to tidy things up afterwards. I expect that would be the case even if I went for the pro versions - they do a job but probably never exactly as required. I view them as a time saver really but the better they do it the better for me. Its good to get a reasonable starting point.
The reflow oven I saw was a 1K6 GBP device which looked pretty good but expensive if its overkill. (I've never seen one for 300... wow!) The problem is I dont know what is genuinely functional and what is just being sold that "almost" works "some of the time" And then there's the solder paste issues of course. Last time I did this was using a DEK printer and the paste was very prone to drying out even then.
I'm thinking of the hot air tool because I have the duratool rework station here and I've been impressed with it for the price. I'm just very out of date on what's what with these things and I've never used a hand held hot air tool myself. Its a fairly cheap device but if it works then it will make my life easier.
I take your point about prototypes - what I make are more proof of concept than prototype - (hence through hole use) when I have all boards running how I want them for this current project I'll do SMD designs and farm it out to one of the companies I met at last years (and maybe next months NEW show) Their price is fair enough. Then I have the reflow/hot air issue when the boards come back - or pay extra for full manufacture. This project alone uses 5 boards so I did the sums and thought if the cheap kit is good enough it would make sense to use it.
Financially it works for me - the only question I have is reliability of methods. I'll do a bit more digging around I think.
Yes Iain I think the farnell one was the one I was looking at. Good luck with ebay...
ed - I can't see the flash (it isnt video - people should stop calling it that) as I dont allow flash players on my systems but eurocircuits are at the NEW2011 show so I'll take a look if they have live demo's. It looks a little expensive for my needs though. If you're still looking after then I'll post a few comments somewhere. (not sure this thread is the best place)