EGS Archive to BoardStation Translator


If you need to move layout data from HP's microwave design software (Series IV, MDS, ADS) to BoardStation then you should consider egs2men and the companion program men2egs. These translators read and write to BoardStation's ASCII file format and HP's EGS Archive format.

Because this is a standalone program you do not need to be running either BoardStation or HP EEsof software in order to make the conversion.


  • Robust and Accurate

  • HPUX, SunOS, Solaris

  • Fixed or Float License

  • Archive from MDS, Series IV, ADS

  • Translation Flow Chart

    All of HP EEsof's RF/microwave layout programs can read and write an ASCII file known as EGS Archive. Artwork has extensive experience with EGS Archive; we wrote a sophisticated EGS to DXF translator in 1989 for HP's Engineering Graphics System, a general purpose CAD software.
    The Archive file contains all layout information including layers, hierarchy, strings of text, dimensions and the like. Each instance in EGS can be mapped to a generic part in Boardstation. It is not possible to transfer full intelligence from Archive to BoardStation since much essential information is not part of the archive file; however moving the complete geometry to BoardStation does make it faster to rebuild the intelligence than if entered manually.

    geom (geometry)
    This file contains all of the basic layout information: board outlines, layer definitions, component definitions, pad stack definitions, text, dimensions, silkscreen etc...It can be translated to EGS by itself since in many cases all the data you want to pass to the mechanical designer can be included here. However you will not get any components or circuit traces if only the geometry layer is translated. This information is contained in the comp and trace file.

    Mapping from EGS Archive to BoardStation

    EGS Entity                            Mentor Geometry Entity
    ADD ARC                         $$arc()
    ADD CIRCLE			$$circle()
    ADD DIMENSION		        Composed from $$path(), $$add() and/or POINTER
                                    attribute. The entities will be grouped in a
                                    generic part, and be added using $$add() on
                                    the reference drawing. If -al option is given,
                                    POINTER attribute is used to draw arrow heads;
                                    otherwise $$add(“d_arrow”) is used.
    ADD HATCH                       Composed by $$path() or polygon() * $$polygon() is 
                                    used only with solid hatch style or zero hatch width.
    ADD instance                    $$add()
    ADD LINE                        $$path(), $$add() and/or POINTER attribute. If -al
                                    option is given, POINTER attribute is used to draw
                                    arrow heads; otherwise $$add(“l_arrow”) is used.
    ADD MARKER                      $$circle() with zero diameters
    ADD OVAL			$$boundary() if full oval and width is zero $$path()
                                    if partial oval or width is non-zero. Oval will be
                                    fractured into line segments; mentor.cfg EGS_ARCRES
                                    keyword is used to control the number of segments.
    ADD POLYGON                     $$polygon() if polygon width is zero. $$path()
                                    if polygon width is non-zero.
    ADD RECTANGLE                   $$polygon() if width is zero. $$path() if width
                                    is non-zero
    ADD TEXT or NOTE                $$text()
    BEGIN_ASSOC/END_ASSOC           If association refers to an ADD DIMENSION entity,
                                    all associated TEXTs or NOTEs will be inserted
                                    into the dimension generic part; otherwise,
                                    the BEGIN_ASSOC/END_ASSOC pair is ignored.
    DEFINE 			        NOT supported.  Macro definition cannot be
                                    translated to geom.
    EQU                             Layer label: used as default output layer name
      Line Style                    used as default layer line style
      Color                         used as default layer color
    				the mentor.cfg keyword, EGS_LAYER, should be used
                                    to map EGS layer numbers to Mentor layer names. This
                                    is very important as BoardStation will not import
                                    a geometry file that has layer names that are not
                                    currently defined.
    GRID                            Used as default hatch width.
    Step Specification		Exploded to multiple $$add(). Geometry does not
                                    support array.
    UNITS                           Output unit
    WINDOW                          Window extents of l_arrow and d_arrow determine
                                    the size of the arrow head of POINTER attribute

    EGS2MEN Command Line Syntax

                      egs2men [options] [EGS_File]
    -men filename	                specify filename as the geom output filename
    -al#                            use leading line arrow head style #,
                                    range 1-10, default 1. See detail 1.
    -c-                             ignore construction lines
    -cfg: filename                  use this filename to load the
                                    configuration data.
    -nohatch                        ignore hatch lines
    -sh                             enable solid hatch. See note 2.
    -nonam                          use less restrictive syntax checking.
                                    See note 3.
    -empty#                         generate empty instance marker with
                                    scale #, default 1.0
    -log filename                   write the log file using the specified
    -h                              help - shows version and command line
    EGS_File                        name of EGS archive file to be
    1: EGS uses two basic parts called l_arrow and d_arrow as the basis
       for leader and dimension arrows.  By default the egs2men translator
       creates two corresponding geom generic parts, l_arrow and d_arrow,
       to draw arrow heads.  If the -al option is set, egs2men will use
       the Mentor geom $$pointer entities to draw the arrow heads.
    2. If translation of solid hatch is enabled, the solid hatch lines
       will have non-zero width. If disabled soldid hatch or non-solid
       hatch lines will have zero width.
    3: egs2men always has non-restrictive name check; i.e. you can 
       use a digit to begin a name, or you can use a ‘.’ character in 
       the name.  The -nonam option allows a SAVE command to end a 
       NONAM instance, which is illegal in standard mode.

    The mentor.cfg Config File

    The egs2men translator uses an ASCII resource file called mentor.cfg file to control some translation settings. Most of the parameters in mentor.cfg can also be set on the command line except for the layer mapping settings which are quite important.

    If parameters set on the command line and the same parameter in the mentor.cfg file conflict, then the command line setting takes precedence.

    The egs2men translator searches for the mentor.cfg file in the following locations with the following precedence:

    1. if specified on the command line -cfg:filename
    2. MENTOR.CFG in the current directory.
    3. mentor.cfg in the current directory.
    4. MENTOR.CFG in the executable directory.
    5. mentor.cfg in the executable directory.
      Syntax for mentor.cfg
      The egs2men translator file looks for a keyword on each line of mentor.cfg. If it finds a keyword it then looks on subsequent lines for data associated with that keywords. The # sign in the first column of a line makes that line a comment - but you should never insert a comment line between a keyword and the data that follows it. A blank line terminates any data that follows a keyword. Some keywords look for an exact number of data lines - other keywords support an indeterminate number of data lines but a blank or a comment terminates the data.
    Annotated Sample Config File
    # EGS_LAYER maps EGS layer number to BoardStation layer name
    # proper use of layer mapping is essential since BoardStation
    # will not load a geom file with unknown layer names...
    # Mentor_layer_name  EGS_layer_number
    DRAWING_1         1
    SIGNAL_1          8
    # EGS_TSTYLE maps  EGS Text/Note/Dim to a Mentor Font
    # assign a font for each of EGS Text, Note and Dim strings
    # Mentor_font  EGS_font
    iso            Text         ; case is insensitive
    iso            Note         ; range is Text, Note or Dim
    iso            Dim
    # Text scaling. Because of differences in the actual fonts it
    # may be necessary to do some text scaling.
    # All Text/Note/Dim texts will be scaled by this factor
    # Leading line arrows and Dimension arrows 
    # will be scaled by this factor
    # EGS Oval entities will be fractured to segments using this
    # resolution (in degrees), when the given :R in the archive
    # file is is 0.0
    #  When hatch style of a Hatch entity = 1 (solid hatch) or the
    #  hatch width = zero, this value will be used as the spacing
    #  between hatch lines.  If this keyword is missing or equal to zero,
    #  the archive GRID value will be used.
    # LAYFILTER indicates if unused layers in the EGS file should also be
    #  sent to the Mentor output.  Default is ON - meaning that unused
    #  layers will be dropped from the output.
    ON                          ; range is ON or OFF
    # EGS_LSTYLE maps EGS linestyles to Mentor linestyles
    #  EGS linestyle ranged from 1 to 8, but Mentor linestyle supports
    #  only solid, dotted, short_dash and long_dash. The following
    # mapping is recommended.
    # Mentor-style  EGS-style
    solid          1
    short_dash     2
    long_dash      3
    dotted         4
    short_dash     5
    long_dash      6
    dotted         7
    dotted         8
    # EGS_COLOR 	maps EGS colors to Mentor’s color index
    # EGS colors range from 1 to 15, and Mentor’s color index ranges
    # from 0-255.
    # Mentor_color  EGS_color
    1		1
    2		2
    # language locale control
    # Target user language used in conjuction with Native Language Support.
    # See nlsinfo(1) or locale(1) for details.
    # It should be used in conjunction with CHARMAP keyword
    # CHARMAP maps EGS text characters to Mentor text characters
    # Mentor_char  EGS_char 
    124            160       ; map EGS plus/minus symbol to  ‘|’
    96             179       ; map EGS degree symbol     to  ‘`’
    126            210       ; map EGS diameter symbol   to  ‘~’
    #  Only Mentor text fonts ISO, Leroy, Microfilm and Mil_std use the three
    #  characters, ‘|’, ‘`’ and ‘~’, to represent plus/minus, degree and
    #  diameter symbols respectively.  Other Mentor text fonts, such as STD,
    #  will need the CHARMAP similar to the following:
    # 160          160
    # 179          179
    # 210          210
    #  If CHARMAP is not given, egs2men, by default, will perform the former
    #  case of character translation.

    Online Documentation

    For further details on the program's options, select the desired PDF file for viewing and printing.You can get the Acrobat Reader free from Adobe's site. for a variety of platforms including Windows, Sun, HP, IBM, SGI etc...

    Chapter 3 Running MEN2EGS

    Chapter 4 Running EGS2MEN

    Platforms Supported

    SunOS Solaris HPUX

    Artwork Conversion Software, Inc. [Company Profile]
    417 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    Tel (831) 426-6163 Fax (831) 426-2824
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