Topics Covered

• Run-through tutorial of Protel 99 SE. Complete notes available on web page. • Notes on design rules to use for our PCB manufacturer. • Tips on laying out PCBs in general.

PCB Design using Protel 99
Gordon Wyeth University of Queensland

Introducing Protel

Starting a Design
• Choose an Access style database

Schematic Capture

Create an Empty Sheet
• Work with a sheet size to suit documentation standard. • Typically use A4 for Team Project.


Locate the Components
• Standard components are stored in libraries. • You can access most major parts by part number. • Some parts are generic (e.g. resistors, capacitors). • ITEE electronics workshop has edited libraries: > Electronics workshop > Protel99 libraries

Part Attributes
• Very important! Set the footprint of the part to the correct value. • The footprint is the description of the physical shape of the component. • For semiconductors consult the datasheet – e.g. TO220, PLCC68, SM08, DIP14. • For resistors and capacitors choose from generic footprints – e.g. AXIAL0.4, RADIAL0.2

Placing the Parts
• Orient the parts correctly
– Spacebar rotates – X flips horizontally, Y flips vertically

Wire up the Schematic
• Be sure to end wires right on component ends. • Add nodes to wires that are meant to join. • Net labels identify key nets such as power and ground.

• Place all your components first. • Follow your diagram.


R1 100K Y1 1 2 CON2

R3 1K

R4 1K


C2 20n C1 20n Q1 2N3904 2N3904 GND Q2

Electrical Rule Check
• Each pin in a library component is defined as input, output, I/O, power, etc. • ERC checks that component connections are sensible
– unconnected inputs, outputs connected together, no power

Create a PCB File
• Use the PCB wizard to create your empty board. • Use the custom board option and set size to suit.


Transfer the Design
• Make sure that the appropriate footprint libraries are loaded. • Use the Update PCB dialog to load parts and nets from schematic.

Set the Layers
• Layers separate physically and electrically different parts. • Use top and bottom layer. • Use mechanical layers for holes and cutouts.

Routing Design Rules
• Protel 99 Path = Design > Rules > Routing • Clearance Constraint = 10mil • Routing Via Style
– Preferred = 50mil dia / 20mil hole – Minimum = 30mil dia / 12mil hole

Design Rules for Manufacturing
• Protel 99 Path = Design > Rules > Manufacturing > • Minimum hole size = 12mil
– Define Hole Sizes in 4mil increments

• Minimum Annular Ring = 10mil • Polygon Connect Style
– – – – – – Rule attributes: Relief Connect Conductor Width: 15mil Conductors: 4 Angle: 90 degrees Filter Kind: Whole Board Pwr Plane Clearance: 20mil

• Width Constraint
– Preferred = 12mil – Minimum = 10mil – Use thicker tracks for less resistance and inductance

Design Options
• Protel 99 Path = Design > Options > Options • Grids
– Snap X = 25mil – Snap Y = 25mil – Component X = 25mil – Component Y = 25mil

Position the Parts
• Keep net lengths to a minumum. • Cross nets as little as possible. • Beware part outlines – parts may be physcially larger. • Use spacing and alignment tools.

• Measurement Unit = Imperial inches


• Autorouting can be a quick start but is often a nuisance. • Will do “silly” routing. • Does not optimise power nets.

Manual Routing
• Very effective system for placing tracks. • Net information and design rules will prevent you making routing errors. • Resulting board is usually far superior.

Design Rule Check
• Design Rule Check produces a DRC file which gives errors in clearances and track widths. • Errors will be highlighted in green on PCB file.

Routing Power Nets

• Aim for:

• Not this: • Use decoupling capacitors.