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'[EE]: PCB proto supplier?'
2002\07\29@030749 by Dale Botkin

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Just getting ready to order some proto PCBs and it seems Olimex is taking
all of August off.  Wonderful.  Has anyone had dealings with PCB Pool?
Other suggestions?  I checked out several of the usual suspects -- PCB
Express, Advanced Circuits, looking for other suggestions.  Speed not as
important as price, and these are not terribly large or complex boards.

Dale
--
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that
curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
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2002\07\29@035159 by Rajiv Thakur

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Double sided PCB fabrication in India for a prototype (say 3 pieces of 30
square inch each)  would cost @ US 0.40 cents per square inch.

If this price is internationally competitive, let me know. I will then  get
more details.

Rajiv

{Original Message removed}

2002\07\29@091407 by Nick Veys

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Give http://run.to/pcb a shot, many of us on the list have used its
service.

.....nickKILLspamspam@spam@veys.com | http://www.veys.com/nick

> {Original Message removed}

2002\07\29@092815 by Dale Botkin

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Yeah, that's what I was going to do, but can't wait until September.
They're apparently gone the ENTIRE month of August.  Go figure.

Dale
--
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that
curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Mon, 29 Jul 2002, Nick Veys wrote:

> Give http://run.to/pcb a shot, many of us on the list have used its
> service.

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2002\07\29@100320 by Pic Dude

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> Just getting ready to order some proto PCBs and it seems Olimex is taking
> all of August off.  Wonderful.  Has anyone had dealings with PCB Pool?
> Other suggestions?  I checked out several of the usual suspects -- PCB
> Express, Advanced Circuits, looking for other suggestions.  Speed not as
> important as price, and these are not terribly large or complex boards.
>
> Dale


Funny you should ask.  Just did a fairly extensive comparison of PCB
suppliers and being the true geek that I am, I spreadsheeted the
results, which have really surprised me...

I've been using Express PCB for prototypes, but for very small quantities
it seems that Custom PCB wins on price.  That's at above 28 sq in total.
This is good, cause it will get me out of Express PCB's proprietary
and very basic schematic program.  However, it was very easy to use.
I will note that dealing with Express PCB has been excellent!

Once we start getting progressively higher quantities (approx 100 sq in
total), Olimex seems to take over as the best value, but only briefly.
Beyond that, Custom PCB is the leader once again.

At over 200 sq in total PCB space, Advanced Circuits quickly takes over
as the best value but only because of one thing -- they sent me a "$100
off on your first order" coupon in the mail.  Without that coupon, PCB
Express (not to be confused with Express PCB) is the clear leader, all
the way past 2000 sq in, which is where I stopped.

Companies I evaluated:
- Advanced Circuits (Prototype, Production, and Production w/$100 off svcs).
- Boardman
- Channel Island Circuits
- Custom PCB (Standard service)
- Express PCB (Miniboard, Standard, and 10-day Production services).
- Imagineering
- Nexlogic
- Olimex (Proto DSQ)
- PCB Express (Service #1)
- PCB Pro
- PCB-Pool

I had also intended to evaluate the following, but did not due to
difficulty of use of their websites or some other reason:
- Becman
- Omnigraph
- Sierra

My requirements:
Since cost was/is an issue, I chose the following requirements for
the comparison:
- Double-sided
- PTH
- Approx 6 drill sizes
- Smallest hole = .020
- Panelizing/arrays allowed, but not scored/routed.  (I need to verify
  that a couple of the companies above will allow panelizing).
- No silkscreen
- No soldermask
- No SMT pads
- No testing
- Turnaround time is not an issue, but anything ridiculous (like 3 or
6 months) will be a decision factor.


Anyway, hope it helps, and let me know if you want to see the
spreadsheet.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2002\07\29@101001 by Gary Neal

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Neil,

        Definitely would like to see the spreadsheet.

Thanks,

Gary



At 09:01 AM 7/29/2002 -0500, Pic Dude wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Gary Neal
Research Assistant - Drivetrain Technology Center
Applied Research Laboratory - Penn State University
PO Box 30
Research Building West
North Atherton Street
State College, PA 16801
814-863-5468 (phone)
814-863-6185 (fax)

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2002\07\29@102200 by Dale Botkin

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Yeah, I have used Express PCB's software and orfering interface a couple
of times.  Really, really nice for quickie, one-off or "proof of concept"
type stuff, but the inability to send them Gerber files or, say, an Eagle
.BRD file is definitely keeping them out of the running on a lot of my
stuff.  I especially like that I can send an order any time with zero
hassle.  Just can't use them this time.

Dale
--
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that
curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Mon, 29 Jul 2002, Pic Dude wrote:

> I've been using Express PCB for prototypes, but for very small quantities
> it seems that Custom PCB wins on price.  That's at above 28 sq in total.
> This is good, cause it will get me out of Express PCB's proprietary
> and very basic schematic program.  However, it was very easy to use.
> I will note that dealing with Express PCB has been excellent!

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2002\07\29@103241 by fred jones

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I have been using Advanced Circuits http://www.4pcb.com for my boards.  They will
build minimum 2 boards for $33ea and I've been very happy with the service.
They always beat the projected turn around time and you can track the
progress of your boards on line.  I received an email from them a couple of
days ago saying that they were going to change the minimum to 6 at the end
of the month, to place any minimum qty 2 orders no later than July 31.  I am
sitting here trying to finish the layout of 3 boards that I need prototyped
and only want 2 of.  I went to their website and saw it already has been
changed to say "minimum qty 6".  I'm going to be upset if I'm rushing my
artwork and they won't accept it at 2.  So far I've had no problems at all
with them.  If anyone knows of a better solution, I'd be interested since
I'm losing my source in a couple of days.
Thanks,
Fred


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2002\07\29@103300 by s.hutch

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try Sierra Proto express
https://www.2justforyou.com/
As long as you have software to create gerber files...I have found this vendor
to have fastest turn times and cheapest price. They also of course, do quality
work.

hutch

On Mon, 29 Jul 2002 09:21:30 -0500 Dale Botkin <daleEraseMEspam.....BOTKIN.ORG> wrote:

Yeah, I have used Express PCB's software and orfering interface a couple
of times.  Really, really nice for quickie, one-off or "proof of concept"
type stuff, but the inability to send them Gerber files or, say, an Eagle
.BRD file is definitely keeping them out of the running on a lot of my
stuff.  I especially like that I can send an order any time with zero
hassle.  Just can't use them this time.

Dale
--
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that
curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Mon, 29 Jul 2002, Pic Dude wrote:

> I've been using Express PCB for prototypes, but for very small quantities
> it seems that Custom PCB wins on price.  That's at above 28 sq in total.
> This is good, cause it will get me out of Express PCB's proprietary
> and very basic schematic program.  However, it was very easy to use.
> I will note that dealing with Express PCB has been excellent!

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2002\07\29@113350 by Pic Dude

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part 1 1478 bytes content-type:text/plain; (decoded 7bit)

Okay, spreadsheet attached.

I just checked out Sierra, and their no-touch product seems to kick
some butt (if they allow panelizing) for low quantities.  That data
has been added to the spreadsheet.

Some quick explanations/notes are in order...

- I assumed a PCB of 3.2" x 2" (which was the last circuit I built)
and tried to fit as many of these as possible on the PCB house's
standard PCB sizes.  In cases where they had a price for a wide range
of PCB area (like Channel Island has a fixed $135 price for anything
from 51 to 100 sq in) I worked out the max of these I could fit into
the max area.  Obviously this will make a difference on your circuits.

- The lower part of the spreadsheet is just some scrap area that
I was using to calculate the best layout for each mfgr's standard
sizes.

- The upper grid on the spreadsheet shows the cost per 6.4-sq-inch
CIRCUIT (6.4 sq in), and the quantity of these small CIRCUITS that
need to be purchased to get that price.  It does not show the cost
per arrayed PCB (from which many circuits can be cut out).

- I went ahead and sent an RFQ to Omnigraph to fill that in.  I will
do the same for Sierra.

Let me know if you need something explained, but I'll be flying back
to Texas for the next few hours, so will be unavailable for a while
today.

Cheers,
-Neil.



>
> Neil,
>
>          Definitely would like to see the spreadsheet.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Gary


part 2 23077 bytes content-type:application/vnd.ms-excel; (decode)

part 3 136 bytes
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2002\07\29@122442 by Alan B. Pearce

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>My requirements:
>Since cost was/is an issue, I chose the following requirements for
>the comparison:
>- Double-sided
>- PTH
>- Approx 6 drill sizes
>- Smallest hole = .020
>- Panelizing/arrays allowed, but not scored/routed.  (I need to verify
>   that a couple of the companies above will allow panelizing).
>- No silkscreen
>- No soldermask
>- No SMT pads
>- No testing
>- Turnaround time is not an issue, but anything ridiculous (like 3 or
>6 months) will be a decision factor.
>
>
>Anyway, hope it helps, and let me know if you want to see the
>spreadsheet.

I do not see a requirement for number of holes, which usually has a bearing
on price as well. Is the quote you received based on an average holes/sq in
factor?

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2002\07\29@123018 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Yeah, that's what I was going to do, but can't wait until September.
>They're apparently gone the ENTIRE month of August.  Go figure.

Do not be surprised if this is the case when dealing with European
suppliers. The whole of Europe is just about gridlocked with everyone going
on their summer holidays at present. Significant portions of manufacturing
do close facilities now for the holidays.

Alan (perspiring in a non aircon govt building)

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2002\07\29@131410 by Dale Botkin

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I know...  I'd heard of this before, but wasn't keeping track of when the
lemmings would start their rush.  Amazing.  The average vacation - er,
'scuse me, "holiday" - must be simply miserable with the crowds and all.
Thanks, but I'll take my time off away from the herd.

Dale
--
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that
curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Mon, 29 Jul 2002, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> >Yeah, that's what I was going to do, but can't wait until September.
> >They're apparently gone the ENTIRE month of August.  Go figure.
>
> Do not be surprised if this is the case when dealing with European
> suppliers. The whole of Europe is just about gridlocked with everyone going
> on their summer holidays at present. Significant portions of manufacturing
> do close facilities now for the holidays.
>
> Alan (perspiring in a non aircon govt building)

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2002\07\29@144148 by Sean H. Breheny

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Hi Neil,

I'm a little curious as to why you didn't put AP circuits
(http://www.apcircuits.com) on your spreadsheet. They probably will not be
the cheapest but they should be better than some of the places you have
included. I use them all the time because I have lots of experience with
them and I like the results and they have reasonable prices and give good
service. I was mainly curious to see if you had some gripe with them or if
you just never heard of them (which I would find very interesting because
they have been around longer than many of these guys and used to be the
standard place on the piclist for quick protos).

Sean

At 10:31 AM 7/29/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>Okay, spreadsheet attached.
>
>I just checked out Sierra, and their no-touch product seems to kick
>some butt (if they allow panelizing) for low quantities.  That data
>has been added to the spreadsheet.

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2002\07\29@145451 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Give http://run.to/pcb a shot, many of us on the list have
> used its service.

That will be quite difficult when Olimex is on vacation...

> > Just getting ready to order some proto PCBs and it seems Olimex is
> > taking all of August off.

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2002\07\29@150506 by Dwayne Reid

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At 09:01 AM 7/29/02 -0500, Pic Dude wrote:

>Funny you should ask.  Just did a fairly extensive comparison of PCB
>suppliers and being the true geek that I am, I spreadsheeted the
>results, which have really surprised me...
>
>My requirements:
>Since cost was/is an issue, I chose the following requirements for
>the comparison:
>- Double-sided
>- PTH
>- Approx 6 drill sizes
>- Smallest hole = .020
>- Panelizing/arrays allowed, but not scored/routed.  (I need to verify
>    that a couple of the companies above will allow panelizing).
>- No silkscreen
>- No soldermask
>- No SMT pads
>- No testing
>- Turnaround time is not an issue, but anything ridiculous (like 3 or
>6 months) will be a decision factor.

How about Alberta Printed Circuits - otherwise known as
APCircuits  <http://www.apcircuits.com/> ?  We've been using them for years
now with very, very few problems and excellent boards.

dwayne

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2002\07\29@202339 by Richard Stevens

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You could try pcbtrain.com or minnitron.co.uk  I have used the latter. Good
service, no problems.

Richard.



{Original Message removed}

2002\07\29@224629 by Pic Dude

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Notes to all...

Holy kerappp!!!  I get back to Austin and find 247 emails
waiting on me!  Ack!!!  Some quick scanning points out a
bunch of questions on the spreadsheet, which I'll get to
a bit later.

Stick around...

Cheers,
-Neil.

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