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Questions about the BatchPCB service

Moderator: robacarp

By Scott216
#151537
This is my first time making a PCB. I created my PCB in Eagle and used used sparkfun's DRU (http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/Eagle-DFM/SparkFun.dru) file to check for errors - it passed. Then I used the Sparkfun CAM job (http://www.rpc-electronics.com/eagle/sfe-special.cam) to create the Gerber files. I zipped them up and uploaded to BatchPCB; but it failed. Next I tried sfe-gerb274x.cam to make the Gerber files, but still no luck. I can't figure it out from the BatchPCB email what the problem is. The DRC TopCopper.txt says:

ERROR - tried to parse unterminated GCODE block
------------------------------------------------
exit status: 255
DRC put out 1 lines of logging code

So I'm assuming the problem is in the top copper layer, but I don't know what it is. I've seen a lot of comments in this forum about problems with BatchPCB since the new website was launched. So I don't know if the problem is with my files or if it's BatchPCB's problem.

I looked at the Gerber files using http://www.gerber-viewer.com - nothing stands out to me as problem
FYI - My trace widths vary from 12 to 45 mils. The clearance is 11 to 15 mils. Min drill is 20 mils.

I attached the Gerber files and Eagle files.
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By rf333
#151574
Scott216 wrote:...
Hi @Scott216,
Probably the problem is the thin border in the top layer (green arrow). The thin line violates the 8mil rule!
top_layer.png
You don’t have mechanical layer. So, I will recommend you to move the border line from top layer to mechanical layer!
(the clearance is OK > 8 mil)
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By Scott216
#151575
Thanks for the info. I changed the width of the board outline from 0 to 0.01 inch. The outline is on Eagle's dimension layer. The sfe-gerb274x.com file originally put this layer on Top Copper. I added a new tab/layer called Outline and made the extension .oln and set the device to GERBER_RS274X. I don't think BatchPCB accepts mechanical layers called .gm1. I moved this dimension layer from top copper to outline. The other change I made is this Job outputs a file with .dri extension which I don't think is a valid BatchPCB extension. BatchPCB was putting this on the top copper layer, I renamed the extension to .drl and BatchPCB defaults it to drill layer.

Unfortunately, the job still fails with BatchPCB and no additional info as to why. I'd appreciate any additional suggestions.
By Scott216
#151958
I got it working. I had to not upload the gpi file. I thought I was supposed to load all the files Eagle's CAM job created, but this one seems to be a log file or something. This took a while to figure out and was very frustrating because when BatchPCB would send me an email saying the DRC failed, it didn't tell me that this file was the one causing a problem.
By jmbw
#151976
shanedidona wrote:Can you elaborate on what a mechanical layer is?
In this case, the point is to put the outline in its own separate Gerber file instead of merged with one of the foil layers.

I don't know the exact definition of a "mechanical layer", but they're where you put (probably among other things) human-readable dimensions and specify bevels for edge fingers and stuff like that. Other than as an available layer to use for the outline, they've never been useful in my real life (when do humans ever read our Gerbers except to investigate errors?).