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'[EE]: Re: Your thoughts on PCBs from design to pro'
2002\05\09@100149 by James Paul

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All,

"To each his own".  If you don't think geographic proximity is important,
 That's fine.  I don't have a problem with it. I happen to like geographic
proximity because it makes it easy and handy to communicate exactly what
I want.  And if any problems arise, I can go over to the board house and
look at the problem and fix it in short order BEFORE the boards are made.
Using a board house across the country, you probably should be very sure
of your layout before you have it built.  I choose to be able to make
quick repairs before the boards are made, if indeed any are necessary.
My response included the issues I have found either helpful or advisable
in my experience.  That by no means obligates anyone else to those
constraints.  In the original post, the man was asking for opinions and
advice about PC Boards and development flow. My response gave that.
From my point of view, you can use anyone you want to. But by the same
token, I too can use whomever I choose. And I choose geographic proximity.
So again, "To each his own".  Good luck in all your PC Board endeavors.

                                                Regards,

                                                  Jim



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2002\05\09@124906 by Dwayne Reid

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At 08:59 AM 5/9/02 +0500, James Paul wrote:
>  All,
>
>  "To each his own".  If you don't think geographic proximity is important,
>   That's fine.  I don't have a problem with it.

I use AP Circuits quite frequently for prototyping double sided boards -
probably at least once a month.  Great results.

One of the reasons it works so well is that their people do an outstanding
job of verifying that the board is correct.  They catch goofs such as
traces touching, hole diameters larger than the pad, missing holes -
anything that seems wrong prompts them to make a phone call and check with
you before the boards are made.

I've been using them for a LONG time now and pretty much have the whole
process down pat - I usually never get a call from them.  But they did
catch a goof-up just recently and they did call and they were able to fix
the problem right there and then and the boards STILL made it back to me
within the usual time!

There is one more side to their customer service attitude that I would like
to mention: I got a phone call from them several years back asking me to
double check the plated through holes in the boards that I had just
received.  Turns out they were defective!  They shipped replacement boards
the next day and I'm convinced that phone call saved many hours of
debugging.  That is also the ONLY time I ever received a bad board from
them and I just went into my comms package log file to check: I've been
dealing with them (by modem) since 1992.

Back to the subject at hand: this is your first run at this.  If you think
the design is finalized, do the board layout and send it off to a proto
house.  You will have the boards in your hands 2 or 3 days later and you
can make sure that everything fits and everything works.  Then you can shop
around for the best price for production quantities of your boards.  And if
does turn out that something doesn't fit or your client wants changes, make
those changes and get new prototypes made.  Only after you are positive
that the design is stable and locked should you go for the production
quantities.

dwayne


Dwayne Reid   <spam_OUTdwaynerTakeThisOuTspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax

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