PROTEL Autotrax/Easytrax printer drivers

Version 1.10
Date 22 Oct 2003
Features
  • Suitable for Autotrax, Easytrax, Dos schematic
  • Operates under OS2, win95, win98, dos
  • Printer resolutions of 100,300,600 or 1200dpi
  • Other resolutions with supplied Change program
  • Outputs .pcx format (some issues fixed)
Download pcxdrv11.zip 41,969 bytes (complete package)

Apollo the pig - our mascot These files are printer drivers for the Protel Autotrax, Easytrax and dos schematic products. These drivers were developed by Matthias Hartl maze@altmuehlnet.de, modified by Ed (Eds webpage: http://www.alphalink.com.au/~edsa/), and are open source. The existing protel printer drivers will only print to postscript, HP and some epson formats. Using the modified drivers here, it is possible to save PCBs and Circuits as images that can then be emailed, put on web pages, or printed using ANY windows printer.

To use one of these drivers, copy it into your existing printer driver directory. You will then see a new printer come up, such as "PCX 100dpi A3/A4". Select this printer. Select "Setup"..."Printer" set the device to file and refer to the other settings below. After you have printed your PCB/Circuit, you will find the image file saved as the filename you selected.


SchPlot setup screen Schematic: (use driver PCX 100.) Filename should be xxx.pcx
Select Reduced if the schematic is A3

 

TraxPlot setup screen PCB: Plot will overwrite the file extension with .RCK or something similar, you will need to rename to xxx.pcx
You may need to crop the resulting image, or rotate, - you can do this at the same time as converting format using irfanview.

 

The most efficient format to use for schematic and PCB images is GIF format.
The .GIF format is compact and can be viewed directly by most internet browsers and email packages. These printer drivers produce PCX format images - to translate to another image type (for instance .GIF) or change it from normal to negative, or rotate or scale it, use any graphics package. A very good program to use for this is the unbeatable free graphics package irfanview.

You can also specify if the driver is to save in Positive or Negative format (for instance, for reversing the image to make a PCB negative) by using an environment variable:
SET PCXDRV=NEG or
SET PCXDRV=POS

Just a few important Notes:
The circuit/PCB should fit on "one sheet of paper". Although the output is an image, it is being produced from a DOS program printer driver - an unfortunate limitation is that the original image must fit on one "virtual sheet of paper" or else the image file will be corrupt. You should scale any PCB that is larger than the A3/A4 paper size.

Output MUST be directed to a file - you must set the "device" in your plot program to a filename, (preferably one ending in .pcx) and not "Serial Port 1" or "Parallel Port 1" that is the normal default.

When Printing PCX files to paper, don't rely on a windows printer driver to correctly scale the image - use a graphics program such as irfanview and specifically set the scaling, for example, to 300dpi, (or by experiment) so that your PCB size is accurately reproduced.

This driver has been developed by Matthias Hartl maze@altmuehlnet.de and is provided without cost, and you should contact him to express your thanks for the work!

Links to other Autotrax material

©2013 AirBorn - Last updated 27 April 2013