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'[EE]: 4pcb.com'
2002\08\14@094045 by Olin Lathrop

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> Hmm.  Well maybe I'll sign up again.  I'll make up a new special email
> address for them and keep track of what they send.  Maybe they have
cleaned
> up their act from a year ago.  I'll let you know if I get spammed again.

I went to sign up again and found that my existing account from over a year
ago was still active.  I've re-enabled the email address I shut off when
they spammed me on 13 July 2001.  We'll see what happens.

I then went to use their quote engine to compare their price for boards I
just ordered from PCB Express.  I ordered 4 2-layer boards, 4.5 x 4.25
inches, solder mask on both sides, silk screen on top, and nothing else
unusual.  Attached is the quote I got from 4pcb for the same thing.  4
boards with 3 day turnaround would have cost $81.75 each, or $327 just for
the boards.  I don't think this includes shipping, and it also mentions
"Test NRE = $290.00".  It is not clear whether this is included in the $327
price or additional.  In either case, this is substantially more than the
$243 I'm paying PCB Express, including shipping.

Their $33/board deal does seem to be very competitive on cost, but for some
inexplicable reason their quote engine doesn't seem to know about it. Duh!
You have to find it and enter an order for that deal separately.  It is
particularly good for large boards since it is a flat price per board up to
150 square inches, but there is nothing equivalent (that I could see) for 4
layer boards.  I think that's why they can offer $33/board for 150 sqin.  I
doubt there are many boards that size that are only two layer, so this is
more of marketing attraction than a useful offer.


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*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2002\08\14@100032 by Chris Loiacono

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It seems that they want to be able to revoke the $33 PROTO QTY offer at any
time, hence they keep it separate from all other business, including the
quote tool on their web site-intended for standard production quantity
orders. If you do significant business with them, they will send you coupons
from time to time offering free tooling on production orders.
Their production pricing is also super. I have had small quantities say from
50 to 200 pcs that I was afraid to have quoted. Small boards have come in at
$2 to $3 each. Has anyone herein gotten 50 pcs of any board at these kind of
prices?
There's no question that one has to be smart enough to figure out how to use
their system most advantageously, otherwise they will be glad to several
hundred dollars from you.
CL

{Quote hidden}

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2002\08\14@100456 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 14 Aug 2002, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> the boards.  I don't think this includes shipping, and it also mentions
> "Test NRE = $290.00".  It is not clear whether this is included in the $327
> price or additional.

It's an additional charge applied *if* you tell them you want the boards
tested.  Took me a few minutes to figure that one out.

I want to try out their $33 special, as soon as i can figure out how to
panelize a bunch of small boards onto a larger one in Eagle.  If they'll
do up to 150 sq. in. for the same price, seems foolish to have them make
smaller ones if you don't mind doing the cutting yourself.

Dale

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2002\08\14@101337 by Chris Loiacono

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> Took me a few minutes to figure that one out.

Aha - see what I mean! smarts counts! 10 points for Dale!

> I want to try out their $33 special, as soon as i can figure
> out how to
> panelize a bunch of small boards onto a larger one in Eagle.
> If they'll
> do up to 150 sq. in. for the same price, seems foolish to
> have them make
> smaller ones if you don't mind doing the cutting yourself.

When you figure this one out, please share it here. I have tried, and I am
either not smart enough, or don't have enough patience for this one...

CL

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2002\08\14@103412 by Pic Dude

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Dale Botkin scribbled:
> ... as soon as i can figure out how to
> panelize a bunch of small boards onto a larger one in Eagle.
> ...

When I was doing the PCB comparison, I would mention that the
boards would be panelized, and some companies would ask me
things like "what spacing do you want between boards?" etc.
I'd have to clarify that I would have the whole layout already
panelized and send it to them as one board.  Apparently many
companies seem to be doing the panelization for you.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2002\08\14@131925 by llile

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I've also had good luck with 4PCB.Com.  When I did a bunch of comparison
quotes a year ago, they came out cheapest and most flexible.  They are
pretty fast, and are careful about flagging any problems on the board and
asking questions before proceeding.

Whenever I have panelized boards, they haven't complained.  I believe
there are EAGLE ULp's that will panelize boards for you.

--Lawrence





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Dale Botkin scribbled:
> ... as soon as i can figure out how to
> panelize a bunch of small boards onto a larger one in Eagle.
> ...

When I was doing the PCB comparison, I would mention that the
boards would be panelized, and some companies would ask me
things like "what spacing do you want between boards?" etc.
I'd have to clarify that I would have the whole layout already
panelized and send it to them as one board.  Apparently many
companies seem to be doing the panelization for you.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2002\08\14@153723 by John Marshall

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       I've used AC for a couple of years, with good success. We do mostly 8
layer boards, and have only had
problems with one batch. Registration was bad, and they took care of it
ASAP.
       Now having said all that...Has anyone used Accutrace? They have a very
attractive offer in this months 'Electronic Design' mag, and I'd like to
give it a shot. AC never has any sort of special on multi layer, and
Accutrace is offering 6 layers @ $75USD and 8 layers @ $100USD, up to 90
sq. inches, 5 piece min., and that's a pretty good deal.
       Anybody ever buy from them.
       Regards,
       John Marshall

TakeThisOuTllileEraseMEspamspam_OUTSALTONUSA.COM wrote:
>
> I've also had good luck with 4PCB.Com.  When I did a bunch of comparison
> quotes a year ago, they came out cheapest and most flexible.  They are
> pretty fast, and are careful about flagging any problems on the board and
> asking questions before proceeding.


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email;internet:RemoveMEJohnspamTakeThisOuTAFBEngineering.com
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adr;quoted-printable:;;1817 East Division St.=0D=0A;Arlington;TX;76011;USA
fn:John Marshall
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part 3 105 bytes
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2002\08\14@163318 by Eric Chan

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Dale,

It doesn't work on the 433 special if you group a couple of small boards together
and submit as one file.  I have a couple of 1"x1" boards combined and they just
won't do it unless their CAD guys can't catch it.  I think for smaller boards its
better to use other PCB houses.  The $33 special is best for huge boards.

Regards/Eric



Dale Botkin wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\08\14@164604 by Dale Botkin

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Well, yeah, screw that then.  $33 each for a 2" x 3" board, with a 3-piece
minimum is no great deal.  I did however price out an 8" x 10" panel, onto
which I could plop down all the boards I need a few times, including a
couple of hobby projects I'd otherwise not bother with, and the price was
OK without mask & silkscreen.  Of course I'm using a version of Eagle that
only does up to 4" x 3" boards.

I'll say it again: too bad Olimex took the whole flippin' month off.
Otherwise they'd have their money and I'd have my boards by now.

Dale

On Wed, 14 Aug 2002, Eric Chan wrote:

> It doesn't work on the 433 special if you group a couple of small boards together
> and submit as one file.  I have a couple of 1"x1" boards combined and they just
> won't do it unless their CAD guys can't catch it.  I think for smaller boards its
> better to use other PCB houses.  The $33 special is best for huge boards.

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2002\08\14@194902 by Pic Dude

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John Marshall mumbled:
> ... Has anyone used Accutrace? ...

Never heard of them, but I will have to check them out and
add to my comparison spreadsheet.  May be next week before
I get to them, but thanks for the lead.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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