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EDA => General PCB/EDA/CAD Discussions => Topic started by: guitarjoe91 on January 04, 2018, 06:34:19 pm

Title: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: guitarjoe91 on January 04, 2018, 06:34:19 pm
I'm struggling to open some old .sch and .pcb files from out PCBA supplier in Altium17 or Altium18.  Our supplier says the files were probably created in Protel 99.  No combination of opening the files or importers in Altium have worked thus far.  What should I do?
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: AndersJ on January 04, 2018, 07:11:01 pm
PADS from Mentor Graphics uses those file extensions.
sch: Schematics
pcb: Layout
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: frozenfrogz on January 04, 2018, 07:14:03 pm
Can you open the files with a text editor and post the header? (or upload files to have someone else take a look at these mysterious files).
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: guitarjoe91 on January 04, 2018, 11:04:31 pm
Here is the header of one of the files when opened in Notepad.  Looks like a garbled mess to me:

 þ
   7                            L     L  ðŒv              !  !  Hv             A   A   h»R              À     0   X›v        0      Ø   °  `[w            d     hcw              ‘   ˜
   ew              þ  ø   ÍS              X  U   8  w “'   X   
  D   P  }w    @         z  z  P“v                     (îw    @      ˜F  û   ˜F  0õw        H    ”  $   @S  Ð;x    @   P  @     $   ØÏx       $   À          @ž(                      Òx    @      À           (              C     (Ùx          $      $   @¸b       $   Field
Drawn By Field
Checked By Field
QC By Field
Released By Field
Drawn Date Field
Checked Date Field
QC Date Field
Release Date Field
                                                                                                                                                                                           
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: tautech on January 04, 2018, 11:19:09 pm
I'm struggling to open some old .sch and .pcb files from out PCBA supplier in Altium17 or Altium18.  Our supplier says the files were probably created in Protel 99.  No combination of opening the files or importers in Altium have worked thus far.  What should I do?
Yep, sch and pcb file extensions go way back to Protel days.

Earlier versions of Altium will import and open them.
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: Chris56000 on January 11, 2018, 08:01:51 pm
Hi!

Have you tried using the AutoTrax Altium Freeware to open them?

NB! Please do NOT confuse this with AutoTraxDEX (Kov's) software - this is NOT the one you need!

Another possibility is they might be P-Cad 2004 files - I don't know wether trial versions are still available as P-Cad was retired years ago!

Chris Williams
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 15, 2018, 11:14:30 pm
Almost every PCB package uses .pcb and .sch extensions, so unless there are clues in text in the file,it's trial & error on importers/viewers
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: apurvdate on January 16, 2018, 05:24:32 am
There is also ExpressPCB (https://www.expresspcb.com/ (https://www.expresspcb.com/))
I havn't used it for ages..used it in college days actually... but it has .sch & .pcb file extensions..
I see they've updated version.. classic version also available..
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: Jeroen3 on January 16, 2018, 07:26:33 am
Open the file in a hex viewer, look at the magic bytes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_file_signatures
Title: Re: Help! Can't Open mysterious .sch and .pcb files
Post by: Nusa on January 16, 2018, 10:42:29 am
Open the file in a hex viewer, look at the magic bytes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_file_signatures
Valid idea, bad source of data for this problem. There are no pcb or sch software packages on that list, not even the mainstream ones.