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Printing PCB Layouts

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by ClueLess, Jun 21, 2005.

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  1. ClueLess

    ClueLess Guest

    X-No-Archive: yes

    I hope someone here can help me.

    Easy-PC is a Printed Circuit Design program by Number One Systems. I
    have their DOS (licensed) version but I am unable to print as I am no
    longer able to get a HP Deskjet with a parallel port interface. None
    of the print utils I get in the web can send the files to the USB
    printer I have with me :-(

    The Easy-PC Demo program, currently version 8, does not allow saving
    but allows printing of the designs made under DOS. Small mercies :)

    I am pretty good with the DOS version I have and definitely not
    interested in re-learning the Windows version again and the
    version 8 is too big an install for my small machine. And it is not
    worth buying Version 8 just for printing alone !

    I will be very happy to lay hands on one of the earliest version of
    Easy-PC Demo for Win9x that permits printing to a Windows printer,
    like the version 8. (The demo programs have been allowed to be freely
    downloaded by Number One Systems. Currently only ver. 8 is available
    on their website).

    Can someone who reads this please let me have a download address of
    an older version of Easy-PC fro Windows if it is available on the web
    or post the program itself in the binaries group.

    Many thanks in advance for your help.

    ClueLess
     
  2. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Load the program in a DOS partition, boot to Win95/98/98SE/NT/2K/ME
    and then shell to DOS (or CMD).
    Log to the correct drive and directory for the program, and see if it
    will run as you would like.
    This will work if and only if they have not done any direct screen
    I/O or other direct I/O.
    If your GUI is set to default to a USB printer, i think that printing
    will be directed correctly and work.
    It does not hurt to try...
     
  3. *Every* DOS program for PCB layout wrote directly to screen hardware,
    because BIOS and DOS screen functions were extremely limited and very slow.

    However, the magic of Win9x is that even many such programs do work if
    written for VGA displays. Windows actually catches the hardware accesses
    and maps them to the GUI display windows.

    Unfortunately, about half of the CAD programs took over the printer port at
    the hardware level, and Win9x does not map those accesses

    So you may be lucky with your program - or unlucky !

    Roger Lascelles
     
  4. Easy-PC for DOS is a bastard child. Try to shell to it out of any Windows
    version and it hardlocks the machine; you have to boot to get out of it. If
    you can't get in to it, you most certainly can't print out of it.

    The only trick I've been able to use on some of my stuff that I created back
    in the old days is to keep a small junker computer in the attic with DOS 6
    on it and haul it out when I need to work with an old file.

    It has been three years since I've done this and I don't even remember if
    PC-for-DOS cranks out gerbers.

    Jim
     
  5. Ted Edwards

    Ted Edwards Guest

    I don't know if you can do this in Winblows but I have a similar
    problem. I use and like Generic CADD, an old but good DOS program. It
    does not have drivers for anything more modern than dot matrix printers
    but it does have PostScript output.

    So I have set up a virtual postscript printer that outputs to a file. I
    then use GhostScript to print and/or convert to PDF or PNG and I can do
    what I want with the results quite independent of the original source.
    I have also found this useful when I run into a web site that won't let
    me save. I haven't found one yet that won't let me print. :)

    Ted
     
  6. ClueLess

    ClueLess Guest

    Thanks to all those who tried to help.

    The problem is that when printing to the USB printer, Windows
    apparently uses a whole new approach and all the programs available on
    the web purporting to print DOS program can do only text, definitely
    not something like what Easy-PC saves as a .PRN file (Actually .L00)

    Number One Systems started off with the DOS program and naturally
    converted it to Windows so it is still able to use the old DOS designs
    and send them to the Windows printer.

    I have tried every means - including trying the print screen technics
    but the result is not very accurate.

    That is why I need the older version Easy-PC that can print and suit
    my small computer. I cannot afford to buy Ver 8.0 for just printing
    alone nor can I buy a bigger, faster machine to load it.

    Thanks again hoping a solution will come my way soon.

    ClueLess
     
  7. budgie

    budgie Guest

    I was going to suggest the list of supported printer types might include
    postscript, as Ted did.

    I use Protel AutoTrax (DOS) in a 98SE DOS box. Its printing is handled by a
    separate program TraxPlot which includes a psotscript printer option. To get
    good quality printing I use a laserjet (also supported) but for electronic
    versions for emailing to clients the postscript route is the only one that
    works. I print to postscript, then convert the file to PDF, which is irrelevant
    to your situation - but it may provide another way to handle the PS output if
    such a printer option exists.

    Or I could sell you a very cheap DJ 690C ;-)
     

  8. Don't know where you live but in the Netherlands old Deskjet printers are
    almost given away. Saw them for E10 on marktplaats.nl. Didn't look on Ebay.

    To run a USB-printer you need at least Win98. Only the last version of
    Win95/ORC2 had limited USB support which was not very reliable. So do you
    have a dual boot machine able to run both DOS and WIN98? As WIN98 is still
    build on DOS, can you run Easy-PC on WIN98-DOS or in a DOSbox? On WIN98 you
    can install whatever a printer you need for an LPTx port then capture that
    port and redirect the print output to another printer or a file. I agree an
    early windows version of Easy-PC would be a fine solution but if you can't
    get it...

    petrus bitbyter
     
  9. colin

    colin Guest

    Can it not print to a file ?
    Im not sure if comercial parallel <-> usb devices exist or if they would
    actualy transfer data in the direction you need.
    can it print through the serial port ? if so maybe a serial <-> usb device
    is a more available option ?

    Colin =^.^=
     
  10. ClueLess

    ClueLess Guest

    Oh, I have tried all sorts of things, including every program in the
    web that boasts about sending the PRN file to the USB Printer.
    Actually they can send only text files and one or two of them the PS
    files. My files are Laserjet files with the L00 extension

    The handling of files sent to the LPT is a whole lot different than
    the one used for the USB printer.

    My considered opinion is that Easy-PC is the only suitable answer.

    By the way I cannot buy a new, faster machine nor buy a laserjet just
    to print a few Easy-PC DOS files. Again getting an earlier, smaller
    version of Easy-PC Demo seems to be the answer.

    Thanks

    ClueLess
     
  11. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    I have tried all sorts of things, including every program in the
    If I understand you correctly, you have a DOS program
    which should come with a driver for a PostScript printer.

    If so, (in Real DOS) load the TSR PRN2FILE.COM
    http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:...ers/knowledge/KB-DOS/K000176.htm+PRN2FILE.COM
    and print your stuff.

    A *.PS file will result (or you can rename it to that).
    In Windoze, open that file with GhostScript (GSView) and print it.
     
  12. ClueLess

    ClueLess Guest

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    The manual says "Easy-Lase is a utility program which takes Printed
    Circuit Board and Schematic files created by Easy-PC and converts them
    into HP-PCL format to drive a HP LaserJet II"

    That gives me a thought - is there a utility that can convert HP-PCL
    to PS format ?

    ClueLess
     
  13. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

    You can certainly convert HPGL to PS- use Ghostscript/ GSView with the
    appropriate plugin. IIRC the original DOS Easy PC used to produce a
    wildly pessimised plotter output that battered pen tips into submission
    within minutes.

    Paul Burke
     
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