Cheap PCB Prototypes

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#1
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Hey, has anybody found a good pcb prototype deal? PCBFABEXPRESS has a 5 boards $10 each prototyping deal, the best I could find. They've made an avr board for me before, which turned out very nice.

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www.com is ch."

JChristoff
Illinois

Last Edited: Thu. Jan 6, 2011 - 06:19 AM
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I was going to recommend batchpcb but I noticed that on their home page their most recent dated statement is:

Quote:
2-14-06: We are still waiting for the first panels to come back from the Lunar New Year delays. Please watch your order status for any updates
which makes me wonder if they are still in business or just don't read their own home page.

Smiley

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Depends on your ethics. If you enjoy supporting China - pcbcart.com is a good option. Goldphoenix is another good option. BatchPCB is much too slow imho.

If you would prefer to support an American company, I highly, HIGHLY, reccomend Advanced Circuits. If you're a student you can use the $33 each deal and get a single board made for about $50 shipped. 6mil trace/space and most all goodies included. They also have better customer support than any other company I've dealt with in my life. Also, if you get quoted a much better price from somewhere else, I reccomend contacting them - they gave me a discount when I did this.

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@Smiley

Their forum is still active (?).

JChristoff
Illinois

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I would suggest sierra proto. They do a lot of work for us and it works well. If you do the "no touch" option its priced reasonable.

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I've used a couple of other places but keep coming back to PCBFABEXPRESS for the quality. I was quite happy with the 5 boards for $13 each deal, but now that it's $10 each I may need to revisit my projects wish list to see what needs designing.

Dave

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For Europeans (and US if you can wait for the postage), I have nothing but praise for Tsvetan and the boys at Olimex in Bulgaria. One Eurocard's worth - they work in multiples thereof - is US$33 with a 20% discount for subsequent orders. Panelising is free, single or double sided, pth, 8 thou, solder mask top and bottom, topside silk screen. They take Eagle files directly; others need decomposing into the various gerber layers.

Neil - no connection but sixty or seventy boards later, a happy customer.

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I recommend EZPCB from China.

They offer a good service and low prices.

The size board 160 mm x 100 mm ---> 11 $

Spanish "En el infinito todos calvos".
Slovack "Vsetci ludia stratia v buducnosti svoje vlasy".

Best regards

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I've been using ExpressPCB for both prototyping and small batch runs for years. Great quality and fast!

http://www.expresspcb.com/

Mitch

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estepario wrote:
I recommend EZPCB from China.

They offer a good service and low prices.

The size board 160 mm x 100 mm ---> 11 $

Where do you find this price on their website? For a 160 sq cm board, I see $70 for the first 5 pieces (and $25 shipping to USA).

I have found that Olimex has the best price for small boards in single quantities. If you NEED 5 or more copies, then EZPCB has the best prices I have found.

Olimex is a little slow, and the order process at first is cumbersome, requiring a fax of the order. My fax machine would not communicate with theirs for some unknown reason. I eventually scanned and emailed the GIF of the order form for them to print. That worked. I was pleased with the PCB I got especially since I was able to get several small boards in the one order! With the spare space, I even had a few SOIC-to-DIP adapters made, essentailly for free!

Note: I found that their silkscreen ULP failed to incorporate some of the smashed labels. I have sent them a fixed version of their ULP.

-Tony

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I use PCB-Pool a lot: http://www.pcb-pool.com

Quality is excellent and they offer a very fast service, if required.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

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I've had a few PCB's made with www.futurlec.com. The board quality is very good and they accept Eagle files but the customer service is terrible. As long as you don't mind waiting you should find their prices quite good, I haven't found better that's for sure, but then I haven't been looking around that much.

Edit: Oh yeah, 10 mil minimum track & spacing. Single/double sided only. Solder Mask & Silk Screening is optional and they have an online price calculator. eg:

120mm x 100mm, Double Sided, 2 boards: US$39
120mm x 100mm, Double Sided, Solder Mask, Silk Screen, 2 boards: US$75

Those prices do not include delivery. Hmmm... reading back the prices don't actually seem that good but then I buy from the Australian version of Futurlec that has a differrent (and better) price structure, even after taking into account exchange rates

HTH

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barnacle wrote:
For Europeans (and US if you can wait for the postage), I
have nothing but praise for Tsvetan and the boys at Olimex in
Bulgaria....

I am glad that you have had good experiences with them and I think
Tsvetan is great, but, unfortunately, I couldn't recommend Olimex for
making circuit boards. We have ordered from them three times over the
last few months, both prototypes and finished development boards, and
they have made at least one serious mistake on every order. With
Tsvetan's help, we were able to trace back the mistakes to errors in
their sales, pre-production, production and billing departments.

Based on the favorable reports in this and other forums, we have given
Olimex the benefit of the doubt and tried to help solve those problems
as they arose. Producing circuit boards isn't all that easy and mistakes
happen. Perhaps we have just been very unlucky. What is unsettling,
however, is that Olimex appears to accept almost all the problems and
mistakes we experienced as being routine and normal, and has shown no
interest in seeing that they do not happen again.

Based on our small sample, they are at the one-sigma quality level. I
couldn't recommend their prototype service for product development or
production. If I were to use them for hobbyist projects, I would
budget at least an hour per panel for incoming inspection, rework,
defect documentation, billing correction and replacement /
returns. When I add that to the price and think about the related
hassle, I find Olimex's boards aren't worth it.

Anyway, just my two cents worth.

- John

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I've used Olimex a couple of times, and the boards worked OK. The quality wasn't nearly as good as I get from PCB-Pool and I found their insistence on a faxed order irritating. They must have rather old drilling machines judging by their annular ring requirement; the holes were noticeably off-centre in the pads.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

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Olimex does seem to have trouble with holes: counting them, placing them, deburring them, getting them the right size....

- John

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nleahcim wrote:
Depends on your ethics. If you enjoy supporting China - pcbcart.com is a good option. Goldphoenix is another good option. BatchPCB is much too slow imho.

If you would prefer to support an American company, I highly, HIGHLY, reccomend Advanced Circuits. If you're a student you can use the $33 each deal and get a single board made for about $50 shipped. 6mil trace/space and most all goodies included. They also have better customer support than any other company I've dealt with in my life. Also, if you get quoted a much better price from somewhere else, I reccomend contacting them - they gave me a discount when I did this.

I've used Advanced Circuits before. They make okay prototypes, and my coworker used to work there. But I still think 5 boards for $50, plus a little extra for shipping is a better deal.

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If you were in slovakia i would recomend these dudes: http://www.ui.savba.sk/pcb/index...

Final PCB size: max. 400 * 300 mm
Standard thickness (up to 8-layer PCB): 1.5 mm
Basic material: FR-4
Cu thickness: 18 or 35 um (option: 70, 9 or 5 um)
Drill diameter: min. 0.5 mm (optionally 0.3 mm)

Basic prices
Single sided PCB 1.70 EUR/dm2
Double sided PCB (line/space density to 0.3 mm) 5.40 EUR/dm2
4-layer PCB 10.50 EUR/dm2
6-layer PCB 13.10 EUR/dm2
8-layer PCB 16.10 EUR/dm2
Optional technological processes (HAL, soldermask, gold plating, component screening, shaping by routing machine) are extra accounted.

Quantity discount: 10 % for more than 20 pcs

But since your not here...I also know where you can have a pcb exposure mask (the film or whatever) for about 100Sk(3EURO) an A3...but here in slovakia:)

There are pointy haired bald people.
Time flies when you have a bad prescaler selected.

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I earlier used Olimex a lot, and have bought several hundreds boards from them.
It's ok for hobby use, but you get what you pay for. Misaligned holes, broken tracks, shorted tracks e.t.c. Also, the technical abilities are too rough for high-density boards, and they make no multilayer boards.
It's definitely not for production use.

I now mostly use Cadint (www.cadint.se), but they're mostly for Nordic customers, but I've had good success with MultiPCB in Germany (www.multipcb.de)

/Jesper
http://www.yampp.com
The quick black AVR jumped over the lazy PIC.
What boots up, must come down.

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Hi.

I have used EzPCB ( www.ezpcb.com ) twice for small qty runs and been happy with their service, quality, price and delivery times. They were half the price of the local Australian alternative...even taking into account the compulsory courier delivery charges. (Ordinary post was not a delivery option)

However, I will next be trying CustomPCB from Malaysia http://www.custompcb.com/index.html

because they use ordinary postal services which produces a saving of nearly 20% on small proto runs and only a couple of days longer to deliver.

Has anyone here used CustomPCB yet?

Regards,

Ross McKenzie
ValuSoft
Melbourne Australia

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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I used CustomPCB for a small run of single-sided boards. Their pricing was very competitive and the boards were fine, apart from the untidy routing of some slots; it looked as though they had done it by hand.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

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Thanks for your reply Leon.

Just visited your website and had a little "look around". Interesting career. Is it compulsory not to smile in your Kasamba photo? ..

Regards from a cheeky Aussie.

Ross Mckenzie
ValuSoft
Melbourne Australia

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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My experiance with Custom PCB's
Olimex: I have to say that *I* don't see anything wrong with my boards. They look very profesional. This panel of boards challanged there limits. I used a LQFP-48 pin Mp3 Decoder(VS1002) with 0402 Caps and resistors and all routed using 8 mil traces. And considering it was free it had very good quality. And they knew they were giving away a panel.(they sponsored the contest) ( Olimex.com )

The Shed: Not that great quality. No holes were drilled. Very Quick turn around. (1 day) No solder Mask(but silkscreen on the Parts side) Total Cost for 2 boards: $14 (probably a few more before I have to spend more $) ( 3XX8 Tennessee Ave )

I plan to Use:
EZPCB: Very CHEAP! You get 5, double sided 100cm2 boards for $50 plus shipping. I'm not sure if they allow it (probably do) but if I put a couple smaller designs panalized into one 100cm2 panel you end up with quite a few boards for really cheap! Don't forget THEY ACCEPT PAYPAL!!!! I will use this service when i design a larger sized board then what I normally come up with. ( http://www.pcbonline.org )

BatchPCB: Great little sevice. I don't have much to say....but 2 thngs. There run by SparkFun and the accept PAYPAL! ( batchpcb.com )

Gold Phoenix: Okay Okay I might only use them if I design somthing anyone *actually* wants! :p Very nice for large amounts of boards. (not really for proto unless you have 5-20 designs oyu want) It is a VERY goood price! for $109.99 (shipping included) you get 155sq inch. panel full of all your boards! That is GIGANTIC! AND!!!! They accept PAYPAL!!!! ( http://www.goldphoenixpcb.biz/qu... )


My AVR Site

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barebones is my first choice for fast prototypes
www.barebonespcb.com
no solder mask or silk, just fast

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Hey,

I've had good success with Advanced Circuits, Sierra Proto Express, and Alberta Printed Circuits.

I tend to stay away from the cheap overseas PCB manufactures... mainly because making PCB's (especially the plating process) uses quite hazardous chemicals. If the fab shops are in North America, EU, etc then IMHO they are more likely to dispose of them correctly due to local laws. If you don't have to pay for such things as hazardous chemical disposal and correct saftey precations your prices could be a lot lower.... not that just because they are in China they neccesarly do that, but I don't know how to verify they do or don't.

Regards,

-Colin

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Note: posts on PayPal have been split to https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

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barebonespcb.com is good if you need something really cheap, really quick. My boss came in one day wanting to do a calibration of 40 thermistors in about 3 days. They were finished fabricating the pcb almost instantly. They worked really well, but I'd much rather pay for a solder mask on my boards.

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Anyone know of any good places within Australia?

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Has anyone here actually used that goldphoenixpcb place in china?

They seem to have unbelievable prices... it says on order of 2500+
boards the cost will be 0.12 per square inch for 2 layer boards.
And the shipping is 3 days and free.

If you needed to make some tiny boards for a commercial project
that would be really good! So if you only needed a 2" square board
1200$ would get 2500 of them delivered...WoW!

You could pack a lot of sm stuff onto 4 square inches :)

They also will put the sm and other parts onto the boards if
you ship them to their factory...if they are trustworthy it seems
like a good deal.

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gussy wrote:
Anyone know of any good places within Australia?

Presumably for cheap pcb prototypes ....

Sesame Electronics (NSW) advertises in Silicon Chip magazine as being suitable for that part of the spectrum, but they were twice the price of EZPcb who I eventually gave the work to. There is Precision Circuits in Melbourne...but even more expensive.

Regards,

Ross McKenzie
ValuSoft
Melbourne Australia

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia