byoung

Small run PCB fabricators
« on: January 23, 2014, 02:58:41 AM »
Is there another thread, or can somebody recommend some good places to run a handful(3-10) of 3"x5" prototype PCBs at a good price? Things to consider, I would like quality 2 sided pcbs with mask, silkscreen, and a decent turnaround i.e. 2 weeks. I'm located  in the US.  Thanks!!!


ramshackles

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 04:28:07 AM »
Whats a 'good' price? What size PCB? 10 standard eurocard sized (160 by 100 mm) PCB's from most manufacturers I've used would come out at about £100 excl VAT for delivery in about 10 days. I guess it will be about the same, if not a bit cheaper in the US

You can get better deals from china-based manufacturers. ITead Studio in particular seem to have very good prototyping deals (5 eurocard boards for ~ $80), but the lead time could be anything from 2 weeks to a month or so. You get what you pay for.

Nele

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 05:35:07 AM »
http://oshpark.com is nice for 3-board runs.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 06:18:18 AM by Nele »

anjing

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 06:13:17 AM »
I used oshpark and i like them. You can preview the board on the spot. The turn around is a bit long. The price seemed pretty reasonable to me.

Regards,

Pierre

JohnRoberts

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 10:24:20 AM »
do a search.. there are some chinese fab that offer decent turn around. IIRC you pay a flat fee for one standard panel and get how many boards that fit.

I've used Gold Phoenix for several prototypes. But there are a number of vendors.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 11:17:49 AM »
I've used osh park for about a dozen boards, and I'd recommend them.  It's probably not the cheapest for mid-sized or larger boards but the quality is very high, they arrive quickly, and the guy who runs the site is responsive and helpful.

bruce0

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 12:31:27 PM »
I like the service real-pcb. 

The reason I would suggest them is because of their policy of doing panelization for free.  This really helped me because I use EaglePCB and it has a size limit, so I can't panelize myself. 

So if you (like me) have several projects going, or various self etch or utility boards that you would like to have (SMD adapters, transformer adapters, PSU boards and the like), then you can do one run and get several different cards made.  Overall price is a full run, but the value is quite good if you have need of various cards.

They did "routing with tabs" separation for me because I had some shapes, but they may do scoring for square cards.  When they did the tabs they did the little holes to make the cards break out easily.
"it was like heaven on earth, all those transformers" - cj

byoung

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 01:49:07 PM »
I've actually used oshpark twice but it was for smaller boards, these boards are a little larger so I wanted to see if I could get a little better bang for my buck. oshparks quality was great though.

John Roberts, any complaints with Gold Phoenix? It looks like you just pay for a single panel of one design. Only problem I have there is I just decided to do a small add on board for this project, so I have to look into what it would cost to panelize.

I'm going to look into real-pcb too.

JohnRoberts

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 02:13:52 PM »

John Roberts, any complaints with Gold Phoenix? It looks like you just pay for a single panel of one design. Only problem I have there is I just decided to do a small add on board for this project, so I have to look into what it would cost to panelize.


I've used them maybe 4-5 times. I only had one problem with copper adhesion where I was able to lift copper foil a little too easily than I should have, from heavy handed rework with a 60W iron. I compared the foil adhesion to other proto PCB that I had laying around and it was slightly less, while my analysis was not scientific or calibrated.

They were reluctant to admit any problem and I suspect they got burnt by their raw copper clad vendor, but this one incident did not scare me off.  I suspect this falls under the "stuff happens" category. Subsequent to that I added some meat to my footprints for that one part  and even those boards were completely usable. I would have never noticed the copper adhesion strength if I wasn't trying to swap out tiny SMD x4 resistor arrays with an old school heavy soldering iron. 

I hate to even admit this since it may prejudice against using them.. I used them again after this event with no problems.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

SkunkFunk

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 03:58:52 AM »
I've used iteadstudio.com several times. Their prices are probably one of the lower avaialable out there, but I have never had any problems whatsoever with them. You should read their design rules carefully though, as they have some additions to the usual stuff.


ruffrecords

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 09:45:01 AM »
I too have used iteadstudio.com several times. I use them a lot for prototypes because they are so cheap you can afford to make mistakes. I never need fast turnaround so I take the snail mail China Post shipping option which is also very cheap. It generally takes them about a week to make the boards and another 2 weeks fro them to arrive. I also used them for the group buy of the Grayhill and Lorlin adaptor boards where they made over 100 of each type.

The only problem I have had with them is some of their drill sizes seem to be wrong. I had one hole come out consistently oversize and another one under size.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

Andy Peters

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 03:53:16 PM »
I think you can order the PCB prototype from China. the price is reasonable and the quality is good [link removed] s often I am ordered. hope can help you

Spammer.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 04:02:49 PM by JohnRoberts »
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band"

JohnRoberts

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 04:03:40 PM »
Yup, he should have posted in the white market and paid...   I deleted the unpaid ad

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

signalflow

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 05:28:26 PM »
I've used seeedstudio.com quite a few times and have been happy with them, you just gotta pay for decent shipping if you want it in a timely manner.  I've forgotten about an order before and had a mini birthday when they showed up.

-Casey
The shortest distance between two places is a nap.

pucho812

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2014, 12:21:06 AM »
At work we use
advanced circuits for any small run stuff/protos.
http://www.4pcb.com/

and I was suggested
http://www.sfcircuits.com/
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.

byoung

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2014, 11:35:43 AM »
I just wanted to update, I ended up using OSHPARK's medium run service and couldn't be happier. Turnaround time was slower than the places in China that quoted me, but I liked the idea of keeping things in the USA and supporting the US economy. Great quality PCB's too!!

JohnRoberts

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2014, 11:52:30 AM »
I just wanted to update, I ended up using OSHPARK's medium run service and couldn't be happier. Turnaround time was slower than the places in China that quoted me, but I liked the idea of keeping things in the USA and supporting the US economy. Great quality PCB's too!!

The last time I ordered a production run of PCBs from a company located in Canada, the PCBs ended up being shipped to me from China  :o .

While I appreciate the sentiment, my customers do not know or care where my PCBs come from.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Richard Crowley

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2014, 02:36:39 AM »
I just wanted to update, I ended up using OSHPARK's medium run service and couldn't be happier. Turnaround time was slower than the places in China that quoted me, but I liked the idea of keeping things in the USA and supporting the US economy. Great quality PCB's too!!

I wonder if they are using Sunstone/PCB123 right here in town.

AMZ-FX

Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2014, 05:13:19 PM »
I've actually used oshpark twice but it was for smaller boards, these boards are a little larger so I wanted to see if I could get a little better bang for my buck. oshparks quality was great though.

John Roberts, any complaints with Gold Phoenix? It looks like you just pay for a single panel of one design. Only problem I have there is I just decided to do a small add on board for this project, so I have to look into what it would cost to panelize.

I've used Gold Phoenix numerous times and never had a problem. They will panelize for free too.

OSHpark would rate higher with me if it was not for the purple resist coating. I've got nothing against purple but it is dark and it is hard to see traces and impossible to see through the pcb if you are following pads/traces.  Laen should have an option for standard green boards. I've used OSHpark numerous times without problems but only switched to them from BatchPCB, when OSH bought them out.

regards, Jack
Free Schematics and Projects - http://www.muzique.com/
My Guitar Effects Blog - http://www.muzique.com/news/
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Re: Small run PCB fabricators
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2014, 04:39:25 AM »
Rushpcb.  They offer a special for new customers 3 or 5 boards.  I got 3 of a board that was about 8" long with silkscreen, doublesided for about 46 dollars, shipping included.  Everyone else had a minimum of 10 boards or had a high price for just a couple.

Good service, had the boards within 2 weeks.

Cheers!