Anybody done a Kickstarter project?

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I've been tempted to try a kickstarter project just for the experience.  I'd do something very simple, a 17x50mm RGB LED driver board (prototype PCBs already made and working).  Nothing magic about the design, most of you could do it easily, but I think it would be something that a lot of people would want to play with.  Anyway, the hangup is finding a place to get the boards made.  Never done that before (hey, I'm a software guy!).  Any thoughts, links, warnings?

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Never done a kickstarter myself; have participated in a couple though.

 

Do you mean the blank pcbs... or the whole supply & assembly part?  I have used sky-macau for the whole supply & assembly activity for a prototype run early this year and was happy with everything.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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I did a KS project - it was pretty challenging to get to the threshold in my case. Looks like sometimes pretty trivial stuff gets 5000% funding, so give it a try :)

 

I've used http://seeedstudio.com and http://smart-prototyping.com to make & assemble boards - both did a good job.

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valusoft wrote:

Never done a kickstarter myself; have participated in a couple though.

 

Do you mean the blank pcbs... or the whole supply & assembly part?  I have used sky-macau for the whole supply & assembly activity for a prototype run early this year and was happy with everything.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

I've mastered the part of getting blank PCBs from China.  I just don't want to have to hand-solder 100 or 1000 such boards for the project, so I need parts sourcing and assembly, so I just get a box of finished boards in the mail.  That's the part I've never done.

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rusefi wrote:

I did a KS project - it was pretty challenging to get to the threshold in my case. Looks like sometimes pretty trivial stuff gets 5000% funding, so give it a try :)

Yeah, it's fascinating to see what hits 5000% and what crawls under the wire at 101%.

 

Quote:
I've used http://seeedstudio.com and http://smart-prototyping.com to make & assemble boards - both did a good job.

Thanks, I'll take a look.

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kk6gm wrote:

 

valusoft wrote:

 

Never done a kickstarter myself; have participated in a couple though.

 

Do you mean the blank pcbs... or the whole supply & assembly part?  I have used sky-macau for the whole supply & assembly activity for a prototype run early this year and was happy with everything.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

 

I've mastered the part of getting blank PCBs from China.  I just don't want to have to hand-solder 100 or 1000 such boards for the project, so I need parts sourcing and assembly, so I just get a box of finished boards in the mail.  That's the part I've never done.

 

Perhaps you misunderstood me. http://www.sky-macau.com/PCB_Ser... They did the lot based upon me sending them the gerbers and bill of materials. I got back 10 of these including courier delivery in about 3 weeks for around US$250.

 

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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rusefi wrote:

I did a KS project - it was pretty challenging to get to the threshold in my case. Looks like sometimes pretty trivial stuff gets 5000% funding, so give it a try :)

 

I've used http://seeedstudio.com and http://smart-prototyping.com to make & assemble boards - both did a good job.

 

What kind of setup fees were involved for PCB assembly? Did you get them to find a local source for parts? If so how well did they do? How was the quality of the assembly?

 

I have been using myropcb for all my stuff, I am looking for a new place to try out.

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Valusoft: $250 for 10 boards, that is just for the assembly and delivery charge?

 

That board in the picture is machine soldered? It looks machine soldered, if it is hand soldered then the guy who soldered them could be a surgeon. If it is machine soldered then, $250 is a heck of a deal, I pay much more than that just for the setup fee from my PCB assembly place.

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Alan,

 

The price was all up: producing the blank pcbs, providing the parts (all of them), all assembling including some hand soldering, packaging and delivery.

 

Great deal from my point of view. If you try them, say hello to Derek from me. smiley

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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OK, so when you specify parts, how do you do it to allow the most leeway?  For example, I don't care who makes my 0603 100nF bypass caps, nor do I care what the voltage is as long as it is more than, say, 10V.  I don't want to point to a particular part when they surely have an equivalent in house.  Same for e.g. an 0603 4.7k resistor that's dissipating a few mW.

 

Other times I realize you just specify a particular part or equivalent replacement, such as for a power connector with a given footprint.

 

So, I don't want to over-specify and I don't want to under-specify, and I'm not sure where the lines are.

 

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valusoft wrote:

Alan,

 

The price was all up: producing the blank pcbs, providing the parts (all of them), all assembling including some hand soldering, packaging and delivery.

 

Great deal from my point of view. If you try them, say hello to Derek from me. smiley

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

Holy Sh*t, that is unbelievable. The SMD parts were machine soldered?

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Yes, machine soldered.

 

edit: to clarify... the smd parts were reflow soldered. The through hole parts were definitely hand soldered (I fixed a couple of them).

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

Last Edited: Sat. Sep 13, 2014 - 02:23 PM
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kk6gm wrote:

OK, so when you specify parts, how do you do it to allow the most leeway?  For example, I don't care who makes my 0603 100nF bypass caps, nor do I care what the voltage is as long as it is more than, say, 10V.  I don't want to point to a particular part when they surely have an equivalent in house.  Same for e.g. an 0603 4.7k resistor that's dissipating a few mW.

 

Other times I realize you just specify a particular part or equivalent replacement, such as for a power connector with a given footprint.

 

So, I don't want to over-specify and I don't want to under-specify, and I'm not sure where the lines are.

 

 

For me, if I can not use my senses to see the quality of the component, then I will specify exact part numbers. Things like pinheaders, most connectors, simple switches, you can tell right off the bat if it is crap, and also major distributors tend to overcharge for those types of items, so I usually get my assembly place to source them locally.

 

Resistors and capacitors are only pennies each, while I am sure locally the PCB assembler can find great replacements, it is not worth the risk/reward for those types of components. Specifically for SMD capacitors, there are no markings on them, you can not tell the voltage rating, class (X7R, COG, etc..), ESR, etc... The last thing you want is for your device to not work because the ceramic decoupling capacitors are not adequate.

 

When it comes to anything with silicon inside of it, I will always specify the exact part. If I am using super simple ICs like a flip flops, logic gates, a 555 timer, then I would consider asking my assembler to source them locally. Anything more complex, like a LM7805 or a Lm317, I would specific the exact part # from a distributor.   

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In my illustrated example, I selected the parts from Sky-Macau's own partslist, so there was no out of house resourcing needed. Fortunately he already had the Mega88 in stock.

 

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Ross,

that URL comes back Does Not Exist

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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jgmdesign wrote:

Ross,

that URL comes back Does Not Exist

 

Hi Jim,

 

I have investigated this. The visual version of the URL is 100% correct, but... this new website software (AVRFreaks) has appended extra string which causes the failure.

 

Notice the "%C2%A0"...

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Ross did you paid some taxes over your US$ 250 prototypes?

Here, we must pay taxes for it... angry

 

I already worked with them, but it take so long to arrive the board, now I've been working with OSH for prototypes and get my hands durty on solder iron...

Regards,

Bruno Muswieck

Last Edited: Sat. Sep 13, 2014 - 01:21 AM
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No Bruno. We are "lucky" here in Australia. Below A$1000, we do not pay any customs/import taxes.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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valusoft wrote:

Alan,

 

The price was all up: producing the blank pcbs, providing the parts (all of them), all assembling including some hand soldering, packaging and delivery.

 

Great deal from my point of view. If you try them, say hello to Derek from me. smiley

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

So were the through-hole parts hand-soldered? I would think a full wave solder might reflow the smd components on the top.  However I have recently seen a really cool wave solder machine that has a single jet of liquid solder that individually solders each through-hole part.

 

I have no special talents.  I am only passionately curious. - Albert Einstein

 

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Ralph,

 

I have clarified my comment above about machine soldered. SMD were reflow soldered and the through hole parts were definitely hand soldered (I fixed a couple of them).

 

Sorry for any confusion caused by me.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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valusoft wrote:

No Bruno. We are "lucky" here in Australia. Below A$1000, we do not pay any customs/import taxes.

Lucky Ross... yes

Regards,

Bruno Muswieck