Exporting the schematics for PCB design?


I have completed the schematics and am trying to hand it over to the manufacturer for PCB design and assembly. They use Protel 99se and am asking if I can export my schematics that would be able to be imported into the Protel.

I have searched the community for help but only found those around exporting a PCB design, which I have NOT done yet and have every intent to pass to our manufacturer to perform this function.

Has anyone done this before and what file format and process did you use to achieve this?

Any help or pointer would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.


Hi Ed,

Typically you send the board house gerbers for manufacturing and a BOM/pick and place list for assembly. Are you sure they need to open your design in Protel99se? Even if they did need to manipulate the design, that’s a bit of an odd request for format considering it’s a 15+ year old version that doesn’t run on modern OSes.

However, I think the way this is supposed to work is that you download your design as a JSON file (through the list of export options), then use the upverter converter script to go to Altium (Protel) format. I honestly don’t think this tool is working or up to date though. I would love to be corrected on the current status of conversions though.

This post might also help you out: https://forum.upverter.com/t/export-to-ascii-cad-file-for-smt/22792

Hi Ed,

I would be more than happy to look over your design and provide feedback from a manufacturer’s perspective. kindly provide the Upverter project link or email me the gerbers, BOM, etc.

Happy new year!

Hooman Javdan
VP, Circuits Central Inc
416.285.5550 x 229

I had a similar experience. When I had the board assembled they asked for either v2.8 Protel or ascii cad files in addition to the gerber, BOM, and SMT files. They explained that the protel/ascii files were required to provide shape/polarity information that the gerbers do not provide.

@aShireDuke How did you pull that off then?

@hoomanj Hi Hooman, Thanks for the offering. Here is the URL to my project. I’ll need someone to do the PCB design for me if I could not get through the Protel99 part. The design is not 100% completed but nearly.


Unfortunately, the manufacturer requests for this and I have no idea why they are using this old platform and I don’t know what the industry now is using and have no idea what to do if I am going to ask someone else to do the PCB design for me, what shall I pass them from Upverter? Netlist (PADS), Gerber and BoM is enough?

@edwios I was able to get my board made. The manufacturer said it would be a manual process without the protel files, but agreed to do it as it was a smaller PCB. Basically it shouldn’t be a stop-gap, just something that makes their life easier. They did not charge extra this time, but I am not sure about our next run.

@edwios Are you in the USA?

Why not just export your gerbers and upload that file to www.OshPark.com to have your boards made? I’ve used them plenty of times with great results and pricing and quick turn around times.

Upverter exports files exactly how OshPark wants them so you will not need to deal with any other junk.

Or are you looking for somebody to actually assemble the board for you also? If so then Upverter also offers a Export in TemopAutomation’s format. They will provide a finished board in 4 days. www.TempoAutomation.com

Also I see your adding 3G to the Particle P1. I’m building out a board using the P1 as the micro processor also. Why are you not just waiting on the Particle Electron to be released later this month?


i’m surprised you’re having so much trouble getting the board fabricated, although i noticed you don’t have the layout completed… unless i’m missing something, once the layout is complete you can export the required files for fabrication right from Upverter (we have done turnkey builds on boards designed by upverter where we ordered parts and pcb for our client).

if you are entered, i could do the layout for your board using upverter from your schematic (once it is finalized). please contact me via my work email and we can discuss your specs and move forward.


VP, Circuits Central Inc
416.285.5550 x 229


Thanks for all the supports you’ve all given here, really appreciated that. I am in the process of convincing the manufacturer to try to use Upverter instead (hoping to save all my trouble working with the so out of dated Protel99se). I still haven’t heard any reply from them yet, mainly because it is close to the Chinese New Year and things at the manufacturer side usually got a bit hicky hacky during this period.

I’ll come back after the CNY and share with you my experience and hopefully a solution (finger crossed).

I am now located in China, so yes, I know I should have many choices, so let’s see.


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