Protel PCB: Uses, Characteristics & Benefits

One cannot ignore the significance of special designing software for PCB production. Such software is a huge asset for engineers to provide them with feasibility for analog methods, schematic drawings and layouts, and other functions.

There are different types of software for such purposes. These include Protel, Altium, and others.

In this post, we are going to elaborate on various aspects of Protel software to impart deep knowledge about it. 

What is Protel PCB?

It is a special type of software that helps in the design development of printed circuit boards. The technicians rely on it to develop different layouts for particular circuits. The functions of this tool are design retrieval and schematic layout development for the users. 

What is the use of Protel PCB?

Protel is an accurate tool in this pursuit. The designs developed from this tool are unmatched on all counts. There have been several experiments conducted on this software to make it advanced for users. Its additional attributes include inspecting and analyzing the designs and layouts it produces for the printed circuit boards. It works with its former version and requires another virtualization tool for better understanding. It has easy navigation and is a reliable tool as well. An affordable and impressive choice to make that does not compromise the precision in performance.  

Noteworthy characteristics of Protel PCB

 There are some salient properties of this special tool, such as:

1. Advance route  

 The tool is impressive to use for its advanced routing and tool placement. Both features are important for PCB design development. It also works with other tools, such as Altium. The algorithms are witty and expedite the placement process for the users.

2. Improved functionality and utilities 

The tool is capable of improving the utility by adjusting the routing of the circuit itself. It makes the circuit function briskly without compromising its performance. The official BOM helps in analyzing the data information and the components needed for the printed circuit board assembly

3. Unified Interface

 The interface is unified and feasible to use. Due to this reason, beginners and seasoned users can use the tool to extract an outstanding prototype from the tool by all means possible.  

4. 3D visualization

 The former version of Protel didn’t support 3d visualization. The advanced version now also allows this feature. The job of this feature is to make the visualization feasible with the layouts of printed circuit boards. It also allows fine and flawless routing and placement. 

5. Customer interaction 

 The tool is reliable for sustaining customer interaction with the producers and designers. All the data and necessary information can be procured from both ends. The design status can also be discussed with the designers. They will update you with the snapshots to keep you in the loop. The images are collectible by using any type of device.

Amazing Benefits of Protel PCB

There are many noteworthy benefits of the Protel circuit board, such as:

· User-friendly

The entire navigation and interface are easier to use. Understanding this tool to achieve astonishing professional layouts of printed circuit boards is completely possible. There are also inbuilt features that make this tool a requisite factor for the users. These are import/export features, libraries, and pre-assembled templates. 

· Facilitates design complexity

It maintains the simplicity of the designs. It uses a feature called schematic capture that works with the chosen counterparts. The vendor parts can also be transferred into the system for the sake of designs under development. The tool can develop both one-layer and multi-layer printed circuit boards. 

· Saves costs on PCB production

The tool saves up much of an investment. It is budget-friendly and produces commercial-grade prototypes of printed circuit boards. It is a reliable choice for virtual/digital prototyping for some clients and some specially printed circuit boards. The final designs are absolutely affordable. 

· Decreases Errors

The tool has an accurate error detection system. Due to this reason, the designs developed by Protel are compatible and don’t get affected by other forms of errors at all so that the developers can stay focused on the projects without worrying about the flaws at all. 

· Develops new ideas

The tool is dependable to take inspiration from its templates. So that the developers can innovate more designs unique from the previously developed designs, it gives them a doorway to enhance and execute their creativity. 

How to Avoid Common Errors and Mistakes in the Production of Protel PCB Design?

 All the designs of printed circuit boards generated from Protel should have a higher degree of performance efficiency. Due to the various options available, it gets difficult to choose the appropriate design to work on. Different challenges can also occur, such as pin count issues, pitch problems, and poor performance. But these setbacks can be rectified through some procedures. These also alleviate the chances of developing printed circuit board footprints. 

Converting the Protel PCB into a PCB Gerber File

  Following are the steps to convert the PCB Protel into a Gerber file with no errors: 

  • The first step is to access the design recently developed through this Protel software and then have a look at file integrity. 
  • The next step is to select the “new” option on the file menu. 
  • After that, choose the “new document” option right there from the default options available. 
  • Select the Gerber option and tap on the “next” button to produce an exact Gerber file of the design. The next step is naming this Gerber file to not confuse it with the rest of the files. 
  • There is an option of ‘used on’ on the plot layers that will take you to the final page, where a ‘finish’ option will generate the desired Gerber file without processing the drill file
  • The user needs to follow the guidelines and the exportation of all the files becomes possible. 
  • The user can receive the Gerber file by CAM so that these files get stored in a dedicated folder on the device. 

Opening a Protel file in Altium

It is possible but follows a little process. There is a special design database file that contains all the text files and design files. There will be a previously stored printed circuit board file that contains the design for this circuit board. By opening this file, the user will have easy access to transfer this file to Altium as well by following the guidelines given by a transfer or conversion window. 

Final Thoughts

 The existence of software for the development of printed circuit boards has made this process more feasible. There are different benefits of Protel, and this post has discussed all the important parameters of this tool to avoid complications in the practical implementation of this tool for the users.