New batch of pdp8 OMNIBUS to USB interface! Please Read and react!

Mark J. Blair nf6x at
Mon Feb 20 11:22:15 CST 2017

> On Feb 20, 2017, at 06:24, Holm Tiffe <holm at> wrote:
> Why is that nice? This way the pcb company has your "sourcecode".
> Besides of that where is the real difference to going to
> "File->Plot", Select "Gerber" and push the "Plot" Button?
> That can't really be to difficult...

In every PCB tool I've used, Gerber generation is a separate, configurable process which can easily be misconfigured. Visually checking my Gerbers for common mistakes is a normal part of my flow, no matter what tool I use, even after I have the settings dialed in. Yes, I usually just click "plot" as you say, but I still proof the plots for mistakes that can creep in, such as designing a board with more layers than I had previously used in that particular tool installation, and forgetting to emit the Gerbers for the added layers.

Back when I had to review a lot of customer PCB designs as an applications engineer for a chip manufacturer, I'd regularly get Gerbers from professional designers which required post-processing such as changing drill scaling and offset before I could even view them, and that taught me to be a lot more careful about my own Gerber generation. I suspect that full-service PCB houses would just quietly fix problems like that and only raise flags for serious errors, so many designers probably never got any feedback about their Gerbers being messy. But no-touch quick-turn shops require pretty clean Gerbers, so skipping Gerber generation lowers the bar for inexperienced PCB designers.

I don't personally send in PCB source files instead of Gerbers, but I can see how being able to do that can be helpful and convenient for beginners.

Mark J. Blair, NF6X <nf6x at>

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