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Status of VUTRAX 12.0c to 12.0e (Final) (17 Apr 1999)

VUTRAX 12.0c to 12.0e (Final)


VUTRAX 12.0d

  • A maintenance issue to resolve a problem building physical libraries from graphical footprints that include TRACE (user drawn) pads. Customers on maintenance can request the single floppy disk, or it can be downloaded from the web site at http://www.vutrax.co.uk. It updates Vutrax 12.0c to 12.0d.

VUTRAX 12.0e

  • Provides CNC output at 0.0001" resolution. Customers on maintenance can request the single floppy disk, or it can be downloaded from the web site at http://www.vutrax.co.uk. It updates Vutrax 12.0d to 12.0e.

VUTRAX 12.0a..e

  • If a [Browse] like button has no effect, probably the current or expected directory/folder has vanished.
    Workaround: Use VTXSHELL of Explorer to re-create it. For a permanently lost network connection, delete VUTRAX.INI from \WINDOWS.

Version:    DRAFT 38.03a (VUTRAX 12.0d)
Entry Date: 8 Sep 1998
Problem Fixed:

  • Using MAKELIB to build new physical libraries used the wrong format for any PADSHAPE directives needed for TRACE pads in the generated library. Libraries without TRACE pads are fine.
    Symptoms: Wrong size/misshapen pads. DRAFT appearing to hang.
    Note: WIRE 67.03a is required to accept the fixed output.
    Hint: Existing libraries showing this problem can be fixed by using [Netlist Footprint] to generate corrected directives to Copy & Paste into the faulty library. TRACE pads appear as 'PADSHAPE <number> T ...' plus indented continuation lines.

Version:    DRAFT (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 13 July 1998 - 20 Nov 1998
Problems:

  • Setting a pad 1 to 15 to it's 'assumed' shape, when it was previously defined as something else, sets the diameter to 0.1 of the proper value. The incorrect value is not saved to file, and is correct when the file is next read.
    Workaround: [Cleanup Database] from (File) to correct the displayed image.
  • Typed command MERGE <name> [<offsets>]* ignores any offsets. This is only likely to have impact in old .DEX command files.
    Workaround: Use the modern PICK scheme as in this .DEX file:-

       MERGE %1
       GOTO 0 0;; NOTE        Note: It's OK not to land at 0,0
       rem UP, DOWN, LEFT and/or RIGHT the offset (not GOTO).
       RIGHT 10000            10 inches right (as an example)
       PICK T                 Moves import by the cursor offset


  • If Schematic Data and Script points get out of step, VALUE can't update the schematic. SAN 192 describes a workaround.
  • Old artworks (not those from VUTRAX 11.7) may assign a width of '1' to ROUNDs. SAN 195 describes a workaround and patch.
  • If you MERGE a drawing with items having some points picked (rather than whole structures), repositioning after merging adjusts the originally unpicked and wholly picked items, but only the originally picked points of the remainder.
    Avoidance/Workaround: On files to be MERGEd (e.g. board outlines) where you have used Picked Points, apply [Clear All Picked] from (Edit > Picked Items > Clear Markers) (typed PICK OFF * ) before saving.
  • When a structure contains picked points, and you remove/detach these using BREAK, BOX ERASE or BOX KEEP, the structure may be left 'picked' but with no points picked.
    Using BOX JOIN to join a mix of 'picked' and 'unpicked' structures may lead to picked points without the structure being 'picked'. BOX CREATE always does this if the last noted point was a 'picked' point.
    Diagnoses: [Pick Info] reports any abnormal condition.
    Workaround: These problems rarely occur. If a PICK operation malfunctions, UNDO, use [Clear All Picked], and pick afresh.
  • Fetching names from the background library selection box with mu () and some other such symbols fails.
    Workaround 1: Type the command, avoiding the command dialogue. e.g. LIB CAP47, where the mu symbol is typed as ALT+230, or press Ctrl+J and select from the dialogue.
    Workaround 2: Index the file, and select it through the symbol indexing system which works correctly.
    Avoidance: Avoid such characters in structure names (not implying any such restriction on device names and values). e.g. Replace mu with u.
  • The [Copy] button in [List Structures] from (Symbol > Retrieve) in schematic mode, & similarly in other modes, malfunctions. SAN 196 provides workaround and a Fix.
  • Command line GET to fetch index items, faults valid requests.
    Workaround: Use the menu system [From Index list] from (Symbol > Retrieve).
    Fix: Apply SAN 197 (VTXPATCH) to WIN32\DRAFT.EXE using

        4D 00 04 00 83 C4 ;
        ?  ?  05 ?  ?  ?


  • Pad colour settings from typed SHOW commands, & the Layer/Colour dialogue display for them, are sometimes inconsistant. SHOW ALL on Zilched nodes become white.
    No problems normally arise, & SHOW D repairs any mismatch.
  • To auto-reset the INC counter use option R instead of the incorrectly documented A (which is rejected). This is in any case the rarely changed default mode, and none of these options are offered by the menu system.
  • Graphics footprint libraries containing GLUESPOT positions should place these after all of the pads. Other positions produce one of the diagnostics "No pins have been defined ...'. or "Reference Pin number <n> changed after use ...".
  • Autosave from DRAFT locks the DRAFT.SAV file. Consequently two DRAFTs in the same directory, both left with unsaved changes, may cause the auto-save on one to fail. Nothing is lost unless the machine fails before a normal Save.
  • Multiple copies made using [Copy Picked] (PICK COPY or PICK LIB) may become confused if you UNDO or REDO these operations. Some copied items may overlay the original.
    Workaround: [Save As] a 'safe' copy, and then selecting the oldest [Pick Copy] usually avoids any confusion.
  • If you select to VALUE update a non-'value' device the offered string is sans the first character. If you OK a value the operation is correctly (but belatedly) rejected anyway.
  • Cancelling a Data, Silk or Text edit dialogue box executes any queued commands anyway. Effects no menu controlled or standard operations.
  • In Windows 98 (Windows 2000 Beta 2 onwards is OK) DRAFT may redraw the graphics if you pause over a title bar button. Windows 98 seems not to save the image under title bar 'tool-tips'.
    Sizing a window while it is being painted may leave the window in a mess. Workaround: Repaint it.
  • DRAFT 'OPTIMISE' may spuriously report filled areas in routing from the Specctra router (no other cases seem likely).
    Avoidance 1: Reply Yes or No to the query as appropriate.
    Avoidance 2: If this is a real nuisance you can suppress the test by using SAN 197 on ..\WIN32\DRAFT.EXE with patch file
        'OptFill' 0 14 0 0 0 ; 'OptFill' 0 ? ? ? 4
    Warning - real filled areas may then effectively hang DRAFT.
Clarification:
  • A fuse/circuit breaker with device name beginning 'R', 'E' or 'X', can lead to differentiating 'Milli' from 'Mega' using an 'R' character at the decimal position in the device name. (This behaviour is included in the detailed documentation.)
    Recommendation: Start the name with 'F' for 'Fuse'.
    To fix the problem in an existing artwork unprotect the symbol, and edit the device data point.
    e.g. for a 100mA fuse already mismatched, make the change
    device RESETFUSE#R1 silk F1
    device FUSE(RESET)#100mA silk F1
  • DRAFT display of Resists and pastes interprets your <oversize> field as 0.0001" units (rather than THOU, or accepting Metric values).
    Workaround: Add a zero to your intended THOU value.
    Avoidance: For the default 10 THOU display in [Component Side Resist] etc. from (Route > View Options) apply SAN 197 to \VUTRAX\DRAFT.MNU using
        'shw r[10 1 1 rrrr]z1;;shw wyggz1*;;drw 1*^  ' ;
        'shw r[100 1 1 rrrr]z1;;shw wyggz1*;;drw 1*^ ' ;
        'shw g[10 3 2 rrrr]z2;;shw wyrrz2*;;drw 1*^  ' ;
        'shw g[100 3 2 rrrr]z2;;shw wyrrz2*;;drw 1*^ '
Operating System Problem:
  • If the DRAFT 'GROUNDPLANE' facility misbehaves, and you are sure your outlines are valid, it is probably due to faulty Region handling in your Windows system.
    Avoidance: SAN 201 suggests diagnosis & workarounds.

Version:    VTX12 11 (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.

Version:    TOOLBOX 11.03 Dev C (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 10 Aug 1998
Compatibility:

  • DXF import/export is designed for AutoCAD issues 9 to 13. To use with AutoCAD-14 or LT97 see SAN 194.

Version:    TOOLBOX 11.03 Dev D (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 21 Aug 1998
Problem Fixed:

  • DXF export of PCBs, & other items changing layers within drawn sequences, may confuse layer assignments in AutoCAD.

Version:    TOOLBOX (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 21 Oct 1998
Problem:

  • [Vutrax to Comma] menu settings ignore any change you make to the [to Log File] specification.
    Avoidance: After the run rename COMMA.ASC to what you want.
    Fix: Apply SAN 197 (VTXPATCH) to \VUTRAX\VUTRAX.MNU using the control strings below, include the single quotes shown:-

        'g0030022ASCR'  ;
        'g0030008ASCR'


  • 'ANNOTATE' (used automatically by BACK-MODIFY) lists, but may omit to implement, pin swops when they occur on the last device (in database order) on the schematic. Other processing takes place normally.
    Workaround: The recommended ARTCHECK between modified PCB and the new rats-nest highlights the unimplemented swop. Manually do the swop(s) on the schematic and re-analyse.
    Avoidance: Request development fix TOOLBOX 11.03 Dev F.
    Note: In normal use this 10 year old problem rarely occurs.

Version:    PLOT 15.00 to 15.01a (No update required)
Entry Date: 7 July 1998
Clarification:

  • Automatic Gerber 274X output requires that [Aperture Definitions] be specified as GERB274X.HNB with no path, whether or not the file exists. If it is not already set select [Aperture Definitions] in (Plot > Photoplotting), type GERB274X.HNB into the 'Select Vutrax File' dialogue edit box, & [OK].
    If the dialogue box is titled 'Select File to Read' then [Cancel], Select [Setup] from (File), choose [Standard Paths] and try again. You can then revert to [No paths].

Version:    PLOT 15.03 Dev A (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 22 July 1998
Problems:

  • The [Options in File] feature (command line '& <filename>') is confused by embedded spaces, even if quoted.
    Avoidance: Use simple names, or underline instead of space, and use current directory if directory names include spaces.
  • Plot symbol styles in Vutrax 'Native' format output are inverted. The first 11 styles are unambiguous regardless of orientation, but don't match if imported into documentation.

Version:    PLOT 15.03 Dev D (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 13 Aug 1998 - 1 Oct 1998
Problems:

  • Old artworks (not those from VUTRAX 11.7) may assign a width of '1' to ROUNDs. SAN 195 describes a workaround and patch.
  • Drill chart symbols and lettering used to identify sizes on Laser Printer and Windows Raster printers is incorrect (possibly ambiguous) for sizes not specified in the 'D' option list that exceed pad 255, or the 'DD' option list for drill sizes over 25'5.
    Avoidance 1: Specify all sizes used in the 'D' option list.
    (Out of range symbols in any case generate a 'star' shape or a long ID, so you should include them in the list anyway.)
    Avoidance 2: Ask the office for the fixed version.
  • Drill chart symbols on Laser Printer & Windows Raster printers, for very small pads, may be too small to identify.
    Avoidance: Ask the office for the fixed version.
  • PLOT GDI output to colour printers has a muddled palette.
    A Fix and numerous workarounds are available in SAN 199.

CNC Control Files for 0.0001" resolution (VUTRAX 12.0e)
Entry Date: 20 Nov 1998
New Control Files:

  • Supplies files equivalent to the CNCXCLN<style>.NXY series (which round to 0.001" coordinates) enhanced for 0.0001" resolution.

Version: PLOT 15.03 Dev F (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 14 Dec 1998
Problem:

  • PLOT drill charts symbol displays for drill sizes over about 0.099", when not formally tabulated (i.e. * is used), appear as a square with lower right vertical removed, instead of a 'star' shape. All plotter types are effected identically.
    Avoidance: List drill sizes over 0.099" (preferably all).
    Workarounds: Base the drill chart of pad shape numbers, or use letter annotation instead of symbols.

Version: PLOT 15.03 Dev G (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 17 Dec 1998
Confusing Message:

  • Butt-end warnings list 0.0001" units rather than THOU or mm.

Version: PLOT 15.04 Dev B (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Pen/Photoplot Construction warnings on drawn tracks always lists the offending width as '6'.
    Development update VTX12 0 METRIC 1.T01 can be requested.

Version: PLOT (*** Fixed for Vutrax 12.1a)
Entry Date: 11 Mar 1999
Problem:

  • The little used [Butt End Tracks] option 'U' expects and lists integer coordinate values rather than THOU or mm.
    Avoidance: When specifying, multiply THOU widths by 10, & Metric widths by 400 rounded to nearest integer.

Version:    GERB274X 1.01 Dev B (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 17 Dec 1998
Problem:

  • Photoplot output in automatic Gerber-274X format will fill non-axial butt-end lines with a sub-THOU aperture if you use such a width in the artwork. On some plotters the output film may be missing these items.
    The SAN 200 describes Detection, Avoidance and an Update.

Version:    GERB274X 1.02 Dev C (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.
  • Rounding of different aperture sizes for Metric (only) artworks to the same (imperial) Gerber definition may result in a useful aperture being omitted. Subsequent construction warnings in PLOT indicate inefficient but accurate plotting.
    Development update VTX12 0 METRIC 1.T01 can be requested.

Version:    SCHEMLIB (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.

Version:    OBJLIB (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.

Version:    GBTOVTX 10.01 Dev A (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 10 July 1998
Problem Fixed:

  • Additional processing to accept RS274-X caused line breaks within blocks to be diagnosed as an error (correct), along with other white space. Some files accepted by VUTRAX-11 are rejected. Such violations are now ignored if they are not within a numeric sequence, & not the block terminator.
    Most customers are unaffected. If you have a problem processing such a file ask the office to e-mail you this pre-issue fix.

Version:    GBTOVTX (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.

Version:    EMTOVTX (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.

Version:    DESRULE 34.01a (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 22 July 1998
Problem:

  • Any custom palette in an artwork is set to default when merging markers. SAN 191 provides workaround & interim fix.

Version:    EMCRITIC 2.01a (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 22 July 1998
Problem:

  • Any custom palette in an artwork is set to default when merging markers. SAN 191 provides workaround & interim fix.
Operating System Problem:
  • If GROUNDPLANE checking produces spurious reports, and you are sure your outlines are valid, it is probably due to faulty Region handling in your Windows system.
    Avoidance: SAN 201 suggests diagnosis & workarounds.

Version:    AUTOTRAK (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 28 Aug 1998
Problem:

  • VIA removal as a post-process function where there are redundant VIAs, or VIA stacks with some zero sized, may leave some VIAs with zero size only. DESRULE reports the problem.
    Avoidance 1: In DRAFT Use [Optimise Edit] from [Reconnect > Options] (OPT EDIT) before the post-processing pass.
    Avoidance 2: When building Autorouting rules select optimisation style [Edit], or edit existing text file rules to include SIGOPT EDIT in the appropriate section.

Version:    WIRE 67.03a (VUTRAX 12.0d)
Entry Date: 8 Sep 1998
Problem Fixed:

  • PADSHAPE directives for TRACE pad shapes rejected fractional THOU and metric values. Libraries built by VUTRAX-11.7 are OK. This fix is required for DRAFT 38.03a 'MAKELIB' TRACE pad output.

Version:    WIRE 67.04 Dev B (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Generation of Metric artworks from Imperial Libraries and/or Rules definitions scales silk outline widths and/or track widths rather than assuming coordinate equivalence. The only likely symptom is unnecessary photoplot constructions.
    Development update VTX12 0 METRIC 1.T01 can be requested.

Version:    PARTGEN 8.01 Dev A (*** Available on Request)
Entry Date: 13 Sep 1998
Problem Fixed:

  • When comma separated list styles 1 or 2 are requested, repeated scans of long suppliers file(s) may take several minutes, during which PARTGEN appears lifeless.
    Suggestions: Leave PARTGEN to finish. If the supplier files are networked drives then make local copies to use.
    (The redesign processes all styles in a few seconds.)

Version:    PARTDATA (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.

Version:    MENUVTX (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 4 Sep 1998
Problem:

  • Some browse dialogues disappear if you press uncovered buttons in the parent dialogue, and things appear stuck.
    Workaround: Avoid using [End Task] which may run the previous job again. Instead, move the visible dialogue box to one side to uncover the hidden one, and continue normally.
  • [Set Environment] from (File > Setup) is ignored. Most customers leave this disabled anyway, so there is no problem.
    Workaround: Use SEE to plain text edit \VUTRAX\VUTRAX.MNU Line 541, Column 33, changing 'P' to a 'S' as in
    00218Set Environment ^SFs0023500PXXXXXXXm^ ...
    00218Set Environment ^SFs0023500SXXXXXXXm^ ...
    When selection offers a directory selection dialogue rather than an edit control - type "set name=value" instead of the expected directory name, with :: between multiple settings.

Version:    VTXSETUP 12.00e (VUTRAX 12.0c)
Entry Date: 4 July 1998
Changes:

  • Automatic selection of the default install file gives *.MPK priority over *.IPK . This allows CD-ROM deliveries to share the root directory with 'Interface' Installables.

Version:    VTXSETUP 12.00f (VUTRAX 12.0c downloads from 8 July 1998)
Entry Date: 8 July 1998
Changes:

  • Free issue is upgraded from 128 component pins to 256.
    To upgrade an existing system, use the new installer to re-install the masters and updates in the original sequence.

Version:    VTXSETUP 12.0g (VUTRAX 12.0c downloads from 16 July 1998)
Entry Date: 16 July 1998
Problem Fixed:

  • [Windows 95/98] Installing as a user with a private profile places icons in the shared program groups and desktop, where they are not visible to the current user.
    (Profile options for Windows NT work as intended.)
    Workaround: Use Windows Explorer to copy or move directory (typically) \Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Vutrax to \Windows\Profiles\<username>\Start Menu\Programs\Vutrax and similarly for ...\Desktop\Vutrax... for desktop icons.

Version:    VTXSHELL (*** Fixes scheduled for Vutrax 12.1)
Entry Date: 21 Oct 1998 - 12 Nov 1998
Problem:

  • The command file form "IF arg1==arg2 ..." may crash if 'arg1' exceeds 79 characters.
    Workaround: If VUTRAX crashes during startup with a long definition for OPSYSPATH (normally empty), shorten the path, or use a plain text editor to remove line 14 of \VUTRAX\VUTRAX.BAT which starts "if "%OPSYSPATH%"=="" ...".
  • The TABLE filter (for converting comma lists to tabular styles) doesn't skip separaters in quoted sequences.
    We will supply a development fix on request.
  • TABLE option /i#0# to null the output separator is rejected.
    Workaround: Use /i#32# to embed a space instead.

Version:    SPECCTRA INTERFACE 4.01 (VUTRAX 12.0e)
Entry Date: 11 Dec 1998
Enhancement:

  • Validated for use on Specctra Router issue 8.
Change:
  • Improved handling of non-netted signals. In some circumstances shared elements could be joined and lead to non-optimal Forward Modification.

Version:    SPECCTRA INTERFACE (No plan for update)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.

Version:    IDEAS (No plan for update)
Entry Date: 29 Jan 1999
Problem:

  • Possible program hang reading expanded text graphics.
    SAN 202 provides explanation and workaround.