Board Manufactures

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Sambuchi
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Board Manufactures

Post by Sambuchi » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:45 am

I was also wondering who people uses for board manufacturing for hobby projects…

“hobby projectsâ€

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Dave Dixon
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Post by Dave Dixon » Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:33 am

For small quantities and quick turns I use Avanti Circuits. http://www.avanticircuits.com
I'm not sure how competitive they are pricewise, but they always give quick quotes,
with a breakdown of turn times, as well as quantities. I've never had a quality issue either!
Good luck,
Dave

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:54 pm

I actually make a lot of short run boards at work. I have noticed overall that many vendors are advertizing still low per board prices but the min order has crept up.

I use www.PCBnet.com (click on advertized specials) which used to be a deal at 5 boards but now 10 boards makes it pricy. The same board quoted (rather than using an online quote form and "Proto" prices and design rules) by a person usually runs 50% higher and will include tooling charges up to $400 I avoid those but small holes, gold surface, small traces etc will put you in that category.

A basic Spec for Proto boards might go like: FR4, 0.062",1 Oz Cu., Smt pitch minimum 0.025", smallest hole 0.015", all Plated holes, smallest trace/space 0.007", Green LPI Mask, White Top Silkscreen, Individual board with Single circuit design and No Multiple images of boards.

A couple others
http://ecommerce.pcbfabexpress.com/index.jsp
http://www.pcb4u.com/

hp
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Post by hp » Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:13 pm

Sparkfun has this service: http://www.batchpcb.com/index.php . I haven't tried it, but it looks good, and comes from a good company.

Harrison

stevech
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Post by stevech » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:02 pm

Isn't SparkFun reselling one of the companies like PCBexpress?

hp
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Post by hp » Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:54 pm

Sparkfun is 'reselling' a Chinese board manufacturer's service by placing all the designs on one big board / order and sending it to be made. When it comes back, they split up the boards and ship it to the clients.

The only problem is that it takes a while for a board to be made. Other than that its pretty cheap compared to other manufacturers.

Futurelec also has a service that I have seen people use. The only issue is that they have been known to have processing problems (as in your order gets lost). http://www.futurlec.com/PCBService.shtml

Harrison

Mike
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Post by Mike » Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:57 pm

hp wrote:Sparkfun has this service: http://www.batchpcb.com/index.php . I haven't tried it, but it looks good, and comes from a good company.

Harrison
Unless I'm missing something, that looks unbelivably expensive! $2.50 per square inch! Futurelec's service seems dirt cheap, especially compared to that.

Has anyone used Olimex? http://www.olimex.com/pcb/index.html

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philba
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Post by philba » Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:45 pm

Mike wrote:
hp wrote:Sparkfun has this service: http://www.batchpcb.com/index.php . I haven't tried it, but it looks good, and comes from a good company.

Harrison
Unless I'm missing something, that looks unbelivably expensive! $2.50 per square inch! Futurelec's service seems dirt cheap, especially compared to that.

Has anyone used Olimex? http://www.olimex.com/pcb/index.html
huh? have you actually priced a PCB? until you get to about 12 square inches, the sparkfun offer is pretty cheap. For larger boards or larger quantities, others are better but for quantity one SFE is very competitive. Sure that $51 for 3 boards deal works out to be a cheaper price per square inch but do you need 3? If I can get 1 for $25, I'm ahead.

however, SFE has had some delivery problems. people getting the wrong board or not getting their board for like a month. I know they are working on solving the problems and things do seem more stable now. Just don't count on quick turn.

edit: forgot to mention, olimex has a pretty good reputation though I've not used them. Their delivery times are pretty long if you want better than 10 mil spacing. It's not clear if that includes SMD pads...

copperclad
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Post by copperclad » Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:54 am

hi
i've been useing ExpressPCB and really like it , the boards are great and the turn around is good , the other thing they let you do , that some of the other companies wont is , you can make multiple copies of a small board so say your three mini boards will cut up into 12 smaller boards :grin: the software is easy if not fun to use too , dana :smile:

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Post by Mike » Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:56 am

According to their website, you can't!

$10 setup fee (shown as an expensive shipping fee) - $2.50 per square inch.

2.5 * 12 sq. in. = $30
Setup Fee = $10
Shipping (est.) = $5

That's a total of $45 for a single 12 sq. in board

Futurelec only wants a little over $20 for that same 12 square inch board. For $44 you can get silkscreen and solder mask.

And I like how you don't have to mess with gerbers for futurelec - they make it easy for less experiened people like me by accepting Eagle brd files.

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philba
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Post by philba » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:27 am

Mike wrote:According to their website, you can't!

$10 setup fee (shown as an expensive shipping fee) - $2.50 per square inch.

2.5 * 12 sq. in. = $30
Setup Fee = $10
Shipping (est.) = $5

That's a total of $45 for a single 12 sq. in board

Futurelec only wants a little over $20 for that same 12 square inch board. For $44 you can get silkscreen and solder mask.

And I like how you don't have to mess with gerbers for futurelec - they make it easy for less experiened people like me by accepting Eagle brd files.
well, you left out shipping cost of the futurlec board. Also, solder mask and silk screen cost more than the board. The equivalent to the SFE deal is $58 plus shipping and it seems to only do top side legend (aka silk screen). why buy a board with out legend and solder mask??? you might as well make it yourself.

by the way, everything I've heard about futurelec service is pretty negative. It would be great to hear positive experiences.

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Post by Engineer1138 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:33 am

Google "cheap PCB" and browse the results. The outfit I use (I forget their name at present and I'm not in my lab) is a Texas front for a Chinese company and I can get five 2.5x3" boards, double sided, mask & silkscreen for less than $80 including shipping. Turnaround time is 5 days, but you can save a few bucks if by getting the 10 days turnaround instead!

There seem to be many such companies, getting orders in the US and outsourcing them to the Far East. Doesn't bode well for our local PCB shops, but it's a bonanza for hobbyists!

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Sambuchi
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Post by Sambuchi » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:35 am

hey mike..

I'm not sure where Express PCB is located but Olimex is located in Europe! Thats fine... as long as I can get my hands on my board in a week or two.

Mike wrote:According to their website, you can't!

Futurelec only wants a little over $20 for that same 12 square inch board. For $44 you can get silkscreen and solder mask.
Thats cheap!

Philba, I went to the site and found this..
From Olimex
PCB PROTO PANEL DSS - $33,00 USD
DOUBLE SIDE (6.3" x 3.9")

min trace is 8mils
and silkscreen on top and bottom for additional charge of $5.00
shipping USD $9,00 (8-14 days)

Thats not bad at all..

Looks like you need a program that can create .brd files.?.? Not sure of one off hand.

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Post by Mike » Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:12 pm

Eagle layout editor creates files with the .brd extension.

http://www.cadsoftusa.com/

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philba
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Post by philba » Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:40 pm

They take gerbers, too. I think knowing gerber is a good thing if you are getting PCBs made.

and, from the site, they will allow you to panelize multiple designs. That can really reduce the cost per board.

I'm getting closer to doing a full panel and haven't decided on the supplier. maybe gold phoenix (SFEs provider) or ezpcb. I've got about 8 designs that I want to make and with duplicates, it will be about 20 PCBs of various sizes. that works out to about $7 a board.

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