Author Topic: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS  (Read 6132 times)

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Offline clay_cowgillTopic starter

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In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« on: November 06, 2017, 08:53:01 pm »
Hey All,

I'm in need of a pre-Windows CADSTAR to deal with some circa ~1992 files.  In particular, I believe it's CADSTAR for DOS with PCB layout mark 7.6 although I'm not sure how much the base version number really matters-- I just need the PCB layout stuff in particular to try to open a couple legacy files that are too old for even the oldest Windows version to touch. 

If any of you has some disks you'd be willing to part with (or even a pointer to someone that might) I'd love to hear from you.  Need not be free-- I'm happy to pay for it!

Thanks,
-Clay
 

Online HwAoRrDk

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2017, 04:05:16 pm »
My father has a copy, although I have no idea what version it is. Plus it's on 5.25" floppies, for which I'm not entirely sure he has a system that will accommodate those drives any more...

EDIT: I spoke to him and he actually has copies on both 5.25" and 3.5", but the version on the latter is only Mk 01.3i, albeit for some reason dated 1996. :-// He seemed to recall that the 5.25" version was ancient, possibly the first release from 1988.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 05:45:16 pm by HwAoRrDk »
 

Offline Mattylad

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 07:00:31 pm »
There is also a program called "Upload" that converts Pre 7DOS files to7DOS which the windows versions still open.
The problem is that it requires an ancient computer OS to run.

What's your old PC spec and OS?
Matty
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Offline clay_cowgillTopic starter

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 08:53:41 pm »
I found mention of 'upload' on online, but haven't found a copy anywhere (I suspect it came with the 7.x DOS stuff to migrate).

I can pretty much setup a platform to match whatever it needs to be.  I still have my 486/P2/P3 machines with MSDOS 5.0/6.2/Win3.1/Win95/etc. for exactly this kind of stuff (which is why I'm digging around in these ancient files in the first place) ;-)  I'm also set up for media archiving (Central Point option board, Compaticard, Kryoflux, and Supercard Pro with 3.5", 5.25", 8" disks), so if anyone didn't want to give up your originals but were amenable to loan/rent me them long enough to do the conversions I need I'd be happy to cover all costs and send back any originals along with a USB thumb drive of transferred files from the original media for safe keeping on a more modern format. (I would suspect the application would probably install/run fine in DOSBox as I don't think the old DOS versions had dongles or FlexLM yet.)

Thanks for the help and detective work thus far!
 

Online HwAoRrDk

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 10:14:47 pm »
If the files are version 7, I found mentions that the free CADSTAR Design Viewer software supposedly opens DOS v7 files. But of course, it's just a viewer, so if you need to do more, then that doesn't help.
 

Offline clay_cowgillTopic starter

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 07:38:58 am »
Good suggestion on the viewer-- that does indeed open the files! (So maybe these are V7 after all and the file extension was just changed or something.) I had to drag and drop 'em to the app and it spews a TON of errors along the way, but it's way better than nothing.  At least I know I've got the right file format and application for sure now. ;-)

I still want to find something to be able to edit and not worry about all the translation errors, but this is a good start. Thanks again for that tip!

 
 

Offline Mattylad

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 09:29:39 pm »
I'll see if I can dig out upload for you.
I have access to all versions back to about 4.5 for windows, I dont keep anything earlier.
I do have V7 for DOS somewhere but its finding it that's gonna be hard.

If you can open the files in the viewer though you probably do not need upload, and can edit in any version.
If you want I have full access to the editors so can convert the file to any version you wish :)
Maybe best to PM me.
Matty
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Online HwAoRrDk

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 09:48:46 pm »
On a tangent, I got a copy of the Mk 01.3i disks from my father, and found that, while there's some kind of problem when running it within a FreeDOS virtual machine using VirtualBox (it runs really slowly, for some reason), it works absolutely perfectly under DOSBox!

Behold: ;D





If you whack the CPU speed up a lot, it becomes pretty snappy on the redraw - almost instant.
 
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Offline clay_cowgillTopic starter

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 05:58:23 am »
Hah! That's awesome! Yeah, DOSBox has been really good for a lot of old EDA stuff when I needed it.

Is that a PC/XT motherboard in your screenshot?
 

Online HwAoRrDk

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2017, 02:45:39 pm »
According to the file's title, it's a 386 motherboard, but other than that I have no information. It was just a file I found on one of the disks.
 

Offline Mattylad

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 04:11:40 pm »
Was it the sample PCB? Yeah I think that was a computer motherboard, its been a long time since I have seen that.

How much of an "edit" are you talking about?
Do you have the schematic?
It's from before "parts" were a thing so scm to PCB are unlikely but simple PCB editing should not be a problem.

I'm not having much luck finding V7 for DOS.
I can easily lay my hands on V14 for windows onwards, I have 16, 17 & 18 installed as it is.
Matty
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Online HwAoRrDk

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 05:08:04 pm »
Was it the sample PCB? Yeah I think that was a computer motherboard, its been a long time since I have seen that.

I don't believe so. I think it's probably some project my dad was involved in at the time. I'd have to ask. Also found a layout for a Winchester hard drive controller 'podule' board for the Acorn A3000, and I recall him mentioning in the past that he'd worked on stuff intended for Acorn machines.

It's neat being able to still run the software and look at all this stuff 30 years later. :)

I might try and export some Gerbers, as it appears there is a Gerber processor 'printer' driver that can be loaded. I'm assuming it'll spit out the old RS-274-D format. There's a driver for Excellon drill files too. Although, it'll probably take a lot of trial-and-error, as I'm kind of flying blind, as the only documentation I have is a scan of a photocopy of a couple of pages from the manual showing the various keyboard hotkeys.
 

Offline clay_cowgillTopic starter

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 04:00:54 am »
How much of an "edit" are you talking about?
Do you have the schematic?
It's from before "parts" were a thing so scm to PCB are unlikely but simple PCB editing should not be a problem.

It's a little bit TBD-- it's old ~25 year old manufacturing/layout data that I'm trying to resurrect for small volume production. Up to this point on the first board I've been patching up gerber data directly (altering silkscreens, recreating missing/photoplotter specific aperture files, inferring drill rack data, etc.).  For more involved work (say, footprint changes to take something DIP to SOIC or TQFP, etc.) it'd be handy to be able to just hit it directly.

Schematics were done separately in OrCAD and haven't turned up yet, so for now it's just the PCB layout data that's available as the only pre-gerber files. 

I might actually have ver16 somewhere from a project for a client a while back, guess I could give that a try. (I was mostly focused on the DOS stuff just hoping to avoid any translation induced errors since it's not my designs to start with and I might not see a subtle translation problem or if the original versions were a bit naughty how they got things done and it doesn't translate well or something...)
 

Offline Mattylad

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2017, 10:15:41 am »
Dig out 16 then if you have it, finding the dongle will be the hardest bit :)

Mind you, depending how big the board is the free express version could help, its limited to 300 pins/50 components but has full facility (apart from the superb external router).
Any problems  and your welcome to send it me and I can import it and advise if any of the translation reports are actual errors.

Things that come to mind are test points and joining different named ground nets together, all able to be sorted out in the data though.
Matty
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Offline RobK_NL

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2017, 02:26:05 pm »
A bit late maybe ...

I just checked and it seems the Windows version does not like the V7 binary files (.cdo), but it does read PCB Initial Data (.cdi) files.

I *know* I have a DOS version on an old harddrive, but that's an IDE thingy which I can't directly access with my current setup. I do have an IDE adapter in my previous PC, so if you still need it, I could try and recover it.
There would be no problem with a dongle, because that's hacked out ;D. Stupid sods used a delay loop in the code which prevented the dongle from being recognised when running my
386 system at 66MHz  |O
Tell us what problem you want to solve, not what solution you're having problems with
 

Offline Mattylad

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2017, 09:44:57 pm »
It probably will not read the DOS files because they are from pre DOS7, say 6.3 and need the upload program to convert them.
Ill pm a link to obtain that. it runs under DOS
Matty
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Offline Chris56000

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Re: In search of: CADSTAR for DOS
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2023, 05:13:05 pm »
Hi!

I would be very interested in the "Upload" utility and an old copy of Cadstar for DOS – I've just come across the design files for a large number of Philips PT8631 series late 1980s/early 1990s Colour TV Pattern Generator PCBs, the design files appear to be a mixture of old DOS Orcad *.DSN and Cadstar files that have a header "SCHEMATIC EDITOR MK 7.5" on the first line!

Chris Williams
It's an enigma that's what it is!! This thing's not fixed because it doesn't want to be fixed!!
 


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