Ordered my first professionally made PCB

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Hey, what's up freaks!

 

So after various troubles with etching my own circuit boards, I've decided to send away a prototype board to a fab house. $40 (including shipping) for a 2-layer board with solder mask and silk screen. Price included 5 boards.

I'm really excited to see how this board turns out, especially considering that I've had a lot of trouble with vias (since I can't do plated holes) and I haven't done a solder mask or silk screen.

 

I will post pictures of the board when I receive them and then after I get everything soldered as well.

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com

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Good day fellow Freaks!

 

I just wanted to post an update with pictures of my new board that just arrived today.

The build time was about a day and a half (if that) from the time production started. In total, production started Monday morning and was completed, shipped, and delivered on Friday (today).

 

I won't say the manufacture unless it is acceptable to do so. Overall, the quality is fantastic.

 

There's a couple nice-to-have design features that I could definitely have done a better job on. Such as marking the power header and my JTAG header seems to be missing it's silk screen as I had to flip it and it ended up on the bottom layer, so the silk screen layer didn't have it. Some of the header markings on the silk screen should have been moved as well.

 

I will post another picture later when I get around to soldering the components (will try reflow in a skillet but if that fails, I will try another board with a soldering iron).

 

What do you folks think of it?

 

Top of the board:

 

Bottom of the board:

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com

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Very nice!!

Which Board House did you use?

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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

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Thanks, Jim. The board house I used was PCBWay. For the pricing, the turn around time, the quality of board, and the amount of boards, I don't want to even bother etching my own boards from now on!

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com

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I use PCBway all the time.  I have them quoting assembly as well.

 

All the best on your project.

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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

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Hmm. PCBway. I've always used Elecfreaks -- It just seems appropriate for an AVR freak.

 

I still etch boards for one off's or when I don't want to wait.

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

Without adult supervision.

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Thanks for the comments guys.

 

I got everything soldered up now. The first board was sacrificed but the second board worked fantastically on the reflow skillet. Cleaned up a few bridges on the CPU and powered it up. Works great and got it programmed (just a simple flashing LED).

Now I've got my own ARM prototype board! A lot more time and effort went into it than simply purchasing a development board but it's certainly increased my knowledge more I think.

 

Check out the board soldered and powered up:

 

Torby wrote:

Hmm. PCBway. I've always used Elecfreaks -- It just seems appropriate for an AVR freak.

 

I still etch boards for one off's or when I don't want to wait.

Interesting, I'll check them out further sometime in the future. Pricing and shipping seems pretty close to PCBway.

 

[Edit] Spelling error

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com

Last Edited: Sat. Feb 27, 2016 - 02:35 AM
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WELL DONE!!

 

Heres one I had them make.  It's actually populated now, and an LCD screen covers all the TQFP stuff

 

 

Jim

 

 

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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

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Thank you, Jim! I owe a big gratitude to all of the freaks here. I've learned so much from this site and am I excited to spend as much of my lifetime learning so much more!

 

Your board is very nice! May I ask what it does? Is that a GLCD or just a 16X2?

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com

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It's a 16x2 LCD for a screen.  The little blue daughter card in the upper right is an Adafruit USB to ttl converter I had in the drawer.  THe RJ45 on the lower left is a multi communications port.  It has I2C and SPI on it.

 

The unit is a test fixture for a custom 24 channel PWM LED driver controller for 1W to 5W LED's.  The SPI runs teh PWM controller, and the I2C is for the temperature sensor.

 

The buttons are for manually selecting the colors that I want to test(there are several different colored LED's on the unit), pattern selection, and various dimming levels.  THe USB is to allow a PC to do all those things and to display the temperature the board is at, as well as give feedback to the dim levels of all the channels.

 

The LCD is used for basic intensity readout, Color selection, and the Temperature readout.

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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

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The tracks are too long to the capacitors and the crystal. Always look to minimise track length. With the power input, put a diode to protect against reverse polarity. The board will work, but it will probably sing like a bird - ie emit unwanted rf.

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The OP's board or mine?

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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

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jgmdesign wrote:

It's a 16x2 LCD for a screen.  The little blue daughter card in the upper right is an Adafruit USB to ttl converter I had in the drawer.  THe RJ45 on the lower left is a multi communications port.  It has I2C and SPI on it.

 

The unit is a test fixture for a custom 24 channel PWM LED driver controller for 1W to 5W LED's.  The SPI runs teh PWM controller, and the I2C is for the temperature sensor.

 

The buttons are for manually selecting the colors that I want to test(there are several different colored LED's on the unit), pattern selection, and various dimming levels.  THe USB is to allow a PC to do all those things and to display the temperature the board is at, as well as give feedback to the dim levels of all the channels.

 

The LCD is used for basic intensity readout, Color selection, and the Temperature readout.

 

JIm

Sounds like a fun project!

 

Kartman wrote:
The tracks are too long to the capacitors and the crystal. Always look to minimise track length. With the power input, put a diode to protect against reverse polarity. The board will work, but it will probably sing like a bird - ie emit unwanted rf.

I could definitely see how I could move the regulated power input cap C1. I think C2 is about as close as it can be to the regulated output pin.

 

As for C3, C4, and C5, do you have any recommendations on how to bring these closer to the pins? Being 0603, they are too big to fit two right next to each other directly at the pins. With the other traces around them for the headers and such, it seemed that was the closest I could bring them. I guess perhaps I could move some of the other pin traces as vias underneath the TQFP. This might help to alleviate some space. What do you think?

 

I didn't have the design initially setup for that as my first pass of this board was etched myself and I couldn't do the vias underneath the TQFP because I had to stick a thin gauge wire between the layers and solder that for the vias, so it made it impossible to put the TQFP over top of that.

 

[Edit] Punctuation

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com

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Jamison wrote:
In total, production started Monday morning and was completed, shipped, and delivered on Friday (today).

You ordered on Monday a.m., and got product from China to Wisconsin USA by Friday, with no up-charge for expedited shipping?  Indeed impressive.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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theusch wrote:

Jamison wrote:
In total, production started Monday morning and was completed, shipped, and delivered on Friday (today).

You ordered on Monday a.m., and got product from China to Wisconsin USA by Friday, with no up-charge for expedited shipping?  Indeed impressive.

Technically I ordered it on the Friday before that Monday. But they sent me an email saying they were missing the excellon drill file, upon which they emailed me three times over that weekend. I didn't see the email until Monday morning because I setup my account with the wrong email address. I wasn't able to send them the drill file until end of day Monday (about 4pm local time here).

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com

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Lee
Pcbway has two delivery options. One is China postal which they do not charge to use but takes up to three weeks delivery. Or expedited delivery via DHL which costs about 40.00 and takes about three or four days. That's what I use and yes it's pretty impressive

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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

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jgmdesign wrote:
Lee Pcbway has two delivery options. One is China postal which they do not charge to use but takes up to three weeks delivery. Or expedited delivery via DHL which costs about 40.00 and takes about three or four days. That's what I use and yes it's pretty impressive Jim

Yup, I went with the DHL shipping option which was about $25 (the board itself was about $13).

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com

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Yours is worse Jim. Only an autorouter would do those crazy tracks.
As for Jamison, i can see you didn't want to use vias. Next time, design your board to suit being done by a factory. You have a ground plane, so pop a via ( not a huge pad) from the cap to the ground plane. C3,4 &5 can be moved closer. With the crystal, don't run tracks close to it or its tracks. Put a 0V track between. Use more vias!
One convention is to mark pin 1 with square or rectangular pads.
With your top power plane you have a big island near the jtag connector. Try to avoid that. You could route a track or two differently and only have a small break in the plane. Again, use vias.

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Kartman wrote:
Only an autorouter would do those crazy tracks.

Guilty as charged!  I did use the autorouter as I needed to get this done and did not have time to layout the board myself.  Since this is for my own use I said what the hell.

 

Long and the short of it, yes, I cheated.

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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

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I usually do the free China Post shipping: Elecfreaks makes the board the second day and I wait 3 or more weeks for China Post to get it to USA. I think it takes an act of the Communist Party to get it out of China. Once, I paid the extra for DHL shipping: Elecfreaks made it 3 weeks later and it arrived in USA in a couple days.

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

Without adult supervision.

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Kartman wrote:
Yours is worse Jim. Only an autorouter would do those crazy tracks. As for Jamison, i can see you didn't want to use vias. Next time, design your board to suit being done by a factory. You have a ground plane, so pop a via ( not a huge pad) from the cap to the ground plane. C3,4 &5 can be moved closer. With the crystal, don't run tracks close to it or its tracks. Put a 0V track between. Use more vias! One convention is to mark pin 1 with square or rectangular pads. With your top power plane you have a big island near the jtag connector. Try to avoid that. You could route a track or two differently and only have a small break in the plane. Again, use vias.

Yeah, it definitely was not initially designed for a factory. Thanks for the design tips.

My digital portfolio: www.jamisonjerving.com

My game company: www.polygonbyte.com