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 Post subject: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2014, 15:34 
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Joined: 17 Feb 2014, 10:23
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I exported my design as usual into a dsn format so that I can crunch the auto routing (sorry but diptraces autorouter is awful), but freerouter cannot open the file, any ideas ?

I've got exactly the same version of freerouter as used before and same version of diptrace.

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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2014, 04:31 
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Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 06:43
Posts: 2762
It's strange if you say DipTrace autorouter is awful. DipTrace has two autorouters: Grid and Shape routers. Please make sure that you selected Shape router, it is fast and effective. But if you believe Freerouter is much better you can try it.

We have done some minor changes in DSN export for the latest version. They are related oval pads. In old versions we converted oval pads to polygons but now we export true ovals. Autorouter works more accurate now. Other routers like Electra and Specctra support true oval pads (using path command) but Freerouter probably doesn't.


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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2014, 05:30 
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Joined: 17 Feb 2014, 10:23
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Listen, we all say it, your autorouter is awful, tell me how can a 5 second sweep rival the work done in 10-20 minutes, autorouting tries every possible combination until it gets the shortest and cleanest result, puts in 45 degree traces, it is a dream result compared to the built in auto router. It just looks so much better and I can see it's a better result. I can manually improve the result of your autorouter if i had the time to do the softwares job for it which i don't hence i use it in the first place. I could never improve upon the results of autorouting.

I have established the problem. It's copper pours that cause it. I'm trying to use a number of small copper pours as heatsinks so they have to go in before the board is routed. If i try to create a reactangle area with traces manually your stupid rogram tries to correct my manual work and removes traces if they are connected.

I am sorry but your manual and autorouting sucks big time. I suggest you take a long hard look at kicad and the autorouting code, i was using kicad but due to difficulties in managing components libraries and their nerw libraries and a lack of updated versions i left it as it's not supported well enough for professional work. But now I find that your software is amateurish at best when it comes to actual usability.......

Apparently Altium are releasing a free/low cost version, Very, very appetizing i am afraid........... Sorry to be harsh but I have a boss that expects results!

-- 09 Sep 2014, 16:42 --

Right, thanks to the stupidity of diptrace layout i now have to fix my layout AGAIN !!!! I created 2 long thick traces, one on layer1 and one on layer2, they need to act as heatsinks, I then put via's in them and low and behold you "shitware" modified my traces because "it" decided that it knows better than me about where taces should be and how they should be connected. Seriously get you damn acts together ! I am sick of coming up with workarounds for a so called commercial software.

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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2014, 00:14 
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 16:28
Posts: 87
I don't use the auto-router but your issue piqued my curiosity.

There is an option in the "Settings" tab in the Shape Router Setup (Route->Autorouter setup...) that may need to be changed. Is "Filled Copper Pours as Route Keepouts" checked?

It is also possible to lock a net by right clicking on a trace and selecting "Lock Selected Ctrl-L." In my experiments the auto-router seems to leave a trace alone if I lock it, and it leaves my pours alone when I check the box noted above.


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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2014, 02:03 
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Joined: 17 Feb 2014, 10:23
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My problems are in manual routing, it feels so awkward. I have a number of traces 3.5mm, 10mm and 20mm (the 20mm was supposed to be copper pours but they fail in autorouting.net). Yes that setting is set. It's just that there is a problem with autorouting.net by the look of it so I had to replace pours with wide traces.

I have unticked an option that say's to remove "bows". What the developers need to understand is that if i am manually routing then I know exactly what I want and the software should never try to correct me, only warn me that I may be shorting two different nets. I have had to fight diptrace all of the way to get this to work. Once my big power traces were routed by hand and my thermal areas i was able to turn my board over to autorouting.net where actually like diptrace in seconds it came up with a solution (as my work pretty much left not many options for the remaining traces) but again it looks much nicer and i know that the traces are shorter because 45 degree mitres are maximized unlike in the diptrace autorouter. My board is 310mm long so traces are long, every length saving will count. I don't particularly have any requirements for speed on this but i don't want to make trouble for myself.

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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2014, 03:40 
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Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 06:43
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Please open routing setup on settings tab. There is minimum segment parameters. Software optimizes very small trace segments but as you can see it is related to trace width. Your board has very thick traces therefore minimum segment becomes longer and therefore software optimizes some segments of thick traces. You should set smaller parameters of minimum segments on routing setup to prevent this.

Why does software optimize traces? Try to edit thin trace for a long time. You will see the trace has many unwanted nodes and it becomes difficult to edit traces.

It is more naturally to use copper pours instead very thick traces. DipTrace isn't guilty that "aaa" autorouter doesn't support copper pours.


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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2014, 04:49 
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Joined: 17 Feb 2014, 10:23
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Hello Alex, yes as I said above I have come to realize that autorouting does not like the copper pours and i also mentioned that i had ruled out a fault with diptrace as a trial version of orcad was able to open and rout the design. Usually I add ground planes as copper pours after the autorouter has had it's way but in this case needed a large copper area as a heat sing so it needed to go in first but then the software still wants to treat it is a trace.

if anything my segments were made shorter that I wanted. I have found that editing traces can be tedious as it needs tidying up. Basically i need to keep disabling most advanced settings.

-- 12 Sep 2014, 12:35 --

Right, got a classi example of the sheer stupidity of diptrace at times. I added some parts to my schematic and tried to update the layout, guess what, some of my traces vanished for no reason at all. I mean what the hell ? when will diptrace RESPECT MY WORK. if i put it there it means that it's not to be removed! The only way around was to make sure I manually put a ratline between a pin and a via on my large "copper fill" trace to make sure it was part of the circuit.

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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2014, 08:23 
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Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 06:43
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Diptrace respects your work. But if netlist in Schematic conflicts with netlist in PCB, what should software do? It fixes connections on board.
May I look at your board, could you please send board file to support at diptrace dot com. If I find something I will give you a suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2014, 08:27 
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The layout is now complete, I have had nothing but trouble with it thought and this all seems to be because I have wanted to route by hand some parts and add my own via's.

The only way to stop traces being removed was to manually place a ratline from a connected part to a via in the trace.

In the end I had to use the diptrace autorouter and then do all of the 45 degree traces myself.

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 Post subject: Re: exported dsn file can't be opened in freerouter
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2015, 19:20 
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Joined: 01 Apr 2015, 05:55
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
SparkyLabs wrote:
The layout is now complete, I have had nothing but trouble with it thought and this all seems to be because I have wanted to route by hand some parts and add my own via's.

The only way to stop traces being removed was to manually place a ratline from a connected part to a via in the trace.

In the end I had to use the diptrace autorouter and then do all of the 45 degree traces myself.


I realise this is an historical thread but I am prompted to include my 2 cents worth. I have yet to find an autorouter in any program, regardless of cost that does what I would consider a 100% job, with no manual tweaking required after the fact. I have given away using some software because the auto-router won't do the job; for example Autotrax Dex has neat features in some things cannot rout a simple single-layer board automatically, with the developer advising me that doing it manually is "fun, like working out a puzzle!". Great, and when I commented that any software should be able to route a simple single layer board I was banned and had my forum account deleted. Excellent customer support. The reason I mention this is that there are far worse programs out there and many of these programs rely on a third-party router such as Electra or others rather than design their own and in my experience they don't work that well either. I find the router in Diptrace satisfactory for my needs and of course, it has quirks but it only takes me a few minutes to whip through and tidy up the things that don't render as well as they perhaps should. I consider this an acceptable compromise, mind you I'm not a professional like you and can understand the frustration that goes along with software that intercedes too much on your design (though surely there must be a setting that can at least minimise such interference?) I'm not building things at your level so haven't encountered this kind of problem yet. All that said, professionals also usually have access to the big money CAD programs that cost many thousands of dollars and from what I can see Diptrace doesn't specifically target that end of the market and nor do they charge that kind of money.

I've tried lots of PCBCAD software over the years and of course would like to amalgamate many of the groovy features I found in other software into Diptrace to make one perfect program - for me. But that's the kicker; what I find intuitive and easy to use someone else scratches their head over and can't quite get it but that's just the way things are. Diptrace can't be all things to all people. If I don't like something enough in any given program I walk away no matter how much I may like the rest of it. Luckily for me at the moment Diptrace does what I want and though not 100% perfect, it's the best of the bunch for cost and feature set. If other software floats your boat more then by all means go and use it, though when I last looked most of these programs cost a damn site more than Diptrace, or don't have such a generous 'free' version pins and layers-wise.

And Alex (who suffers his fair share of irate customer attacks on this forum I must say) did offer to take a look at your board and help you out with it. Did you take him up on that offer? By doing so you might very well have helped improve the lot of others who have the same issues as you and assist the developers to make a better product. And at the very least it shows a willingness on the developers' part to take a look at what's going on with someone who is having problems and to try and offer some suggestions. We are fortunate in that we can talk directly to the developers; many of those other programs' vendors don't offer this kind of one-on-one support despite the ridiculously high price tags.

For now Diptrace suits what I do and if I have to manually tweak it after routing then so be it. I don't mind the small amount of work involved and though I haven't come across the problems you have encountered, until I do Diptrace will still be my go-to PCBCAD software.

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