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Messages - jamesjohnson

DirtyPCBs support / Re: Board outline not found in .GKO file...but all other fab houses work
I see that all files have the board outline but only "Mechanical 1" files have internal slots. Also the board outlines "Mechanical 1" files and other files do not line up exactly.

I tried to line up outlines perfectly and also delete the internal slots. Both cases resulted in the same error message.

Yes, Proteus exports the board outline on a Board Outline layer, but most houses don't seem to like that. They suggest drawing the board outline on Mech 1, as well as drawing slots on Mech 1 after laying out the initial panelization. So that's why you saw those characteristics. As to the Mech 1 board outline not lining up with the other layers, I suspect that's because it's drawn later, in the Panelization layout, than the other layers, which are output directly from Proteus.
DirtyPCBs support / Re: Board outline not found in .GKO file...but all other fab houses work
Yeah, can you post your gerber files? Also did you verify them with a gerber viewer?
It looks like you panelized this board, maybe that's causing some issues?

Yes, it's panelized. Yes, it views correctly in online gerber viewers and in ZofzPCB (my preferred PC gerber viewer).

I've already ordered from another house, they accepted it, sent me review images that were correct, have fabbed and shipped the boards.

Two zipped versions of the gerber files are attached. The gerber files are all the same, but the first zip is the direct output from Proteus (which renders correctly online and in ZofzPCB, and which the fab house accepted and fabbed). The second zip is with the filenames modified as per DirtyPCB instructions, and with unneeded or empty files removed.

Note that if you upload the DirtyPCB zip file to OSHPARK, they have no issues with it.

I'd appreciate any help in understanding what the DirtyPCB issue is...thanks.

DirtyPCBs support / Board outline not found in .GKO file...but all other fab houses work
Hi - I've used DirtyPCBs before, it's one of my favorite fab houses.

But this time I'm getting an error:  "Board outline not found in .GKO file"

I'm using Proteus 8.11. I know how this should be done, it used to work for me.  I draw a 2D graphic box on the MECH1 layer around the design to define the board edge. (I also have some mouse bites and holes on the MECH1 layer).  I then export the Gerbers like this:

Screen-Shot-2021-03-24-at-4-20-04-PM" border="0

Proteus puts out .GBR files, and I rename them to the files DirtyPCB expects.

Here's my Proteus output:
Code: [Select]
TEST3 - CADCAM Bottom Copper.GBR
TEST3 - CADCAM Top Silk Screen.GBR
TEST3 - CADCAM Top Solder Resist.GBR
TEST3 - CADCAM Bottom Solder Resist.GBR
TEST3 - CADCAM Mechanical 1.GBR
TEST3 - CADCAM Top Assembly.GBR

Here are the files renamed for DirtyPCB (with unneeded or empty files removed):
Code: [Select]
TEST3 - CADCAM Top Copper.gtl
TEST3 - CADCAM Bottom Copper.gbl
TEST3 - CADCAM Top Silk Screen.gto
TEST3 - CADCAM Top Solder Resist.gts
TEST3 - CADCAM Bottom Solder Resist.gbs
TEST3 - CADCAM Mechanical 1.gko
TEST3 - CADCAM Drill.txt

It all worked in the past for me with other boards...but not now with this one. Here's the result:

Screen-Shot-2021-03-24-at-4-11-37-PM" border="0

The board image looks correct, but it has the error message. However, it displays correctly on OSHPARK, JLCPCB, and multiple Gerber viewer apps, all without any errors.

I don't want to place an order with the error message appearing, so I ended up placing the order elsewhere. But can anyone explain why DirtyPCBs gives this error but other fab houses don't? I'd like to stay with DirtyPCBs...

(I can post my Mechanical 1.gko file if someone thinks it would help...)


DirtyPCBs support / Re: 1st DirtyPCB: Q about Panelization
[quote author="eauth"]Yes, that's all, just like shown in the image of my previous posting. It goes into the same layer as the board outline (.GML). Many board houses want the board outline to be included in all other layers too, although that's not strictly necessary.[/quote]

Thanks so much. There's a lot of conflicting info out there and I kept getting the feeling that I was missing something. Many of the available explanations are app-specific...I couldn't always relate those explanations to the Proteus/Ares app. Your explanation helped me fix the little things that were confusing me.

I just made the changes you suggested and finally my board shows actual slots when rendered on ZofzPCB:

Slowly I'm seeing how this works...just want to get it as right as possible before sending in an order...

For Proteus users: I put the outer board outline and slot graphics in the MECH1 layer within Proteus/Ares, and exported that layer instead of the BOARD EDGE layer, as Proteus calls it.

Thanks again...
DirtyPCBs support / Re: 1st DirtyPCB: Q about Panelization
[quote author="eauth"]Do **not** draw a seperate outline around your boards. I can't tell you about Proteus/Ares, but a think it can be done in a rather similar way.[/quote]

OK thanks, I think I'm beginning to understand.

I'll remove the individual borders around the separate panels, and just have one around the whole board. Then, for slots or cutouts, is that just a graphic drawn on the mechanical layer? No additional information needed in the Gerber files besides a graphic of the cutout on the mechanical layer, the same layer that holds the board outline?

I'm testing my Gerbers on various online Gerber viewers and just need to know what a valid cutout should look like and on which layer.

Thanks...I'm getting closer, I think....
DirtyPCBs support / Re: 1st DirtyPCB: Q about Panelization
OK, I've created a panelized Gerber file. Everything appears ok, except:

I'm not sure how to create slots/mouse bites.

I referenced the url given above and drew a set of slots and drill holes as described. The drill holes come through ok on the drill layer. But I'm not sure how to create the tab or cutout and have it properly fabricated.

I'm using Proteus/Ares. For a tab/slot, I drew a 2D rectangle with 2D circles at the ends and put it on the MECH1 layer. But I'm not sure how the fab house will handle that -- does it recognize that it's intended to be routed out?

I uploaded the Gerbers to the OSHPark site for viewing, and here's how the Board Outline looks (from "Mechanical 1.gko"):

I'd appreciate some guidance about how to confidently create a slot or mouse bite in the Gerber files...either Proteus/Ares-specific, or in general terms so I could try to get it done in the Proteus Gerber Viewer...

Thanks again for the help so far...
DirtyPCBs support / Re: 1st DirtyPCB: Q about Panelization
Thanks for the replies. The url is also helpful.

[quote author="eauth"]You have to make sure that your two (or more) designs are mechanically connected so that they don't fall apart. It's up to you how you do that. The usual method are slots with 2mm and a tab every few centimeters so that you can seperate the boards without using any tools.

Ahh, so my mistake is that I thought, "You cannot put multiple designs in one protopack that are not connected in some way" to mean connected electrically, instead of mechanically. Doh. Thanks for clarifying.

So with that in mind, I can place two completely independent designs on the same board, with slots and/or mouse-bites in between to facilitate separation upon receipt...have I got that correct?

DirtyPCBs support / 1st DirtyPCB: Q about Panelization
Hi - I've been hand-wiring boards for years but finally gonna try my first board here. Actually, I want to place two separate designs on the same board, then separate the boards when I receive them. That's "panelization", right?

But I'm a bit unclear on panelization. I've read some ambiguous things about it here, perhaps I'm confused because I'm not fully understanding the terms.

For a two-sided board, I've read:
Only the two layer board house allows panelizing. The PCBs must be connected by mouse bites, slots, vgroove, etc.

You cannot put multiple designs in one protopack that are not connected in some way.

So if I have two designs I want to place on one board, do I need to put an extraneous trace between them so they are "connected in some way"?

And if they are connected by a trace, why would I need to put "mouse bites, slots, vgroove, etc." between them?

Thanks for any clarification....