Import Protel Files to Kicad

At work we use Protel 99 SE (Dinosaur software) and was talking with my boss about switching over to Kicad instead, which is pretty exciting.

A deal breaker though is being able to edit our current design files after the swap over, which means taking a .ddb project design file from protel and making it compatible with Kicad.

My gut says that the best way is somehow go from protel-> altium and then altium-> kicad. I know you can go from protel to altium (since altium is the 21st century protel) without much pain. Not sure about porting over to Kicad though.

Does anyone have any experience with this or advice?

You can search for peoples’ conversion projects to see if there’s anything. From what I can remember, the old Protel had an option to write the PCB file as a text file. I can’t recall anything similar for the schematic side though. KiCad hasn’t got much in the way of built-in converters; there is one for Eagle6 PCBs but none for the schematic, although a number of people have started their own schematic converter projects.

One of the later efforts I’m aware of for Altium to KiCad is here:

I think you may have to go through an intermediate format, perhaps Eagle.
As an Autotrax, Protel, Altium user, I’ve been looking for an alternative for a few years.
I find Kicad, to be quite lean & fairly quick to learn.
The scripting in pcbnew is useful for tweaking, and i like the less complex relationship between between libraries, footprints, etc. I was very pleased to find it! +++ open source support!

If i recall correctly, you can export the files out of the ddb project file ( actually an Access database ).
Then, you may be able to convert somehow.

I find Kicad schematic entry is faster than Altium, so it may be quicker to redo the layouts.
Mind you, i mainly do 2 layer boards.

I know I can save protel as an altium project with no issues. I think I will try to go Protel->Altium->Kicad using someones Altium to Kicad converter, maybe even the one @cbernardo mentioned.

All these conversions make me think of the Wonka Vision clip from Willy Wonka.

Thanks for the help guys!