PCB Production Software

Circuit cards upto four inches square maybe produced with the equipment specified, namely PC computer and flatbed plotter. The PC does not have to be of a particularly high specification although that will depend on the software used.

The current system uses a Hewlet Packard HP7475A flatbed plotter and the software used is EasyEdit and EasyPlot by Protel of Australia. This particular software dates back to 1990 and is available in two versions, a DOS version and a later Windows version.
The DOS compatible version is free and the Windows one isn't, (although a none 'file saveable' Windows version is free). Unfortunately the 'Full Windows' version is a bit expensive for my budget, so the DOS version is used. It comes with the required driver to run the HP plotter and works well for hobby use. This version doesn't have any of the more modern functions, such as, autorouting and schematic capture but is very easy to use.

It is now 2015 and available for free is 'Design Spark' from CPC Farnel a UK electronics supplier.(amongst other things) It is a fully functional drafting program with auto-routing that will output to the plotter using the Windows print facilities. A Windows driver for the plotter is required. The bad new is that HP did not produce a suitable driver but the good news is that the Roland driver for a DXY990 will work with the HP7475A and this does exist.

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