Searching \ for '[EE] Dirt Cheap PCB protos?' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: www.piclist.com/techref/pcbs.htm?key=pcb
Search entire site for: 'Dirt Cheap PCB protos?'.

Exact match. Not showing close matches.
PICList Thread
'[EE] Dirt Cheap PCB protos?'
2008\01\28@020729 by Forrest W Christian

flavicon
face
I've been using AP circuits for a long time for my one-off protos, and
will continue to do so for my actual product prototypes since their
basic prototype service is perfect for my needs - quick turn, reasonably
low cost, and who cares about silkscreen for the protos anyways?   The
Advanced circuits Barebonespcb.com service is similar as well...

The problem is that I fairly often will run into a situation where AP
circuits (or the Advanced Circuits equivalent) service is "too good" for
my needs - I don't need next-business-day turns, and I really don't need
the accuracy that these services offer.  Sometimes I only need one
sided.   These are typically for internal use here - for example to
build a piece of "automated test equipment" to test various products
we're building.

Today I'm just building these circuits on a perfboard since is
significantly less expensive, but would like to move to some sort of
PCB.    But I'm not really interested in etching them myself.

So, my question is whether or not there's a shop out there which builds
adequate quality "hobbyist" boards for dirt cheap.  I'm thinking someone
using a LPKF machine or older PCB equipment which has long since paid
for itself ....  I do want someone who will take gerbers, so ExpressPCB
isn't really an option for me...

Ideas?

-forrest

2008\01\28@053734 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> So, my question is whether or not there's a shop out there
> which builds
> adequate quality "hobbyist" boards for dirt cheap.  I'm
> thinking someone
> using a LPKF machine or older PCB equipment which has long
> since paid
> for itself ....  I do want someone who will take gerbers,
> so ExpressPCB
> isn't really an option for me...

Jinx.
For a modest board he'll make you one in a day and the cost
of getting it there by eg DHL would exceed the PCB
production cost. Not the prettiest PCBs in the world I have
to warn (and he should agree but he won't) but in value for
money and quick turn around he's hard to beat.
There'll be an upper size limit which he'd want to go to and
it won't be large, but.

I also saw some stunningly cheap proto pcb work done in
China - silkscreen as well for 10 x PCB of a few square
inches each and a sub 1 week turn around for so little it
was hard to believe.

As for doing it yourself - I'm seriously considering going
back to that after many years away. With eg precoated Riston
board and a proper tank system and a decent photo negative
production system you should be able to turn out a modest
PCB in well under a man hour. Train a tame local college
student and ... . Even DS is OK enough this way with a bit
of experience. Drilling is perhaps the biggest pain and that
can be quite quick and cheap with experience - ask Jinx.
Electrochemical tinning is OKish.






       Russell

2008\01\28@074717 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I also saw some stunningly cheap proto pcb work done in
>China - silkscreen as well for 10 x PCB of a few square
>inches each and a sub 1 week turn around for so little it
>was hard to believe.

There is an outfit here in the UK (Well in Ireland actually) that is a front
for a Chinese board house doing prototype work.  They seem to have
acceptable prices, and have the advantage (for Europeans) that the VAT is
paid, so one doesn't need to deal with that for personal purchases.

See http://www.pcbzip.com/ for details.


2008\01\28@085425 by Alexandre Guimar„es

face picon face
Hi,

       I have been doing toner transfer with pulsar paper and laminator and
I have to admit that I am  really impressed with the results. I can make 2
sided boards with 6 mills tracks and 6 mills spacing without much effort.
For vias I am using mechanical eylets. It works great almost eveytime... For
"plating" I am using cool-amp silver.

       It is so easy to make that it is amazing... And no nasty
chemicals...

best regards,
Alexandre Guimaraes


       

-----Mensagem original-----
De: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu] Em nome de
Apptech
Enviada em: segunda-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2008 08:05
Para: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Assunto: Re: [EE] Dirt Cheap PCB protos?

> So, my question is whether or not there's a shop out there which
> builds adequate quality "hobbyist" boards for dirt cheap.  I'm
> thinking someone using a LPKF machine or older PCB equipment which has
> long since paid for itself ....  I do want someone who will take
> gerbers, so ExpressPCB isn't really an option for me...

Jinx.
For a modest board he'll make you one in a day and the cost of getting it
there by eg DHL would exceed the PCB production cost. Not the prettiest PCBs
in the world I have to warn (and he should agree but he won't) but in value
for money and quick turn around he's hard to beat.
There'll be an upper size limit which he'd want to go to and it won't be
large, but.

I also saw some stunningly cheap proto pcb work done in China - silkscreen
as well for 10 x PCB of a few square inches each and a sub 1 week turn
around for so little it was hard to believe.

As for doing it yourself - I'm seriously considering going back to that
after many years away. With eg precoated Riston board and a proper tank
system and a decent photo negative production system you should be able to
turn out a modest PCB in well under a man hour. Train a tame local college
student and ... . Even DS is OK enough this way with a bit of experience.
Drilling is perhaps the biggest pain and that can be quite quick and cheap
with experience - ask Jinx.
Electrochemical tinning is OKish.






       Russell

2008\01\28@091151 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face
Not quite Dirt Cheap, but I use the 3/$99 deal at Advanced Circuits. They
also have a "bare bones" prototype with no mask that ships in one day.
They also have a student discount (no minimum on the $33 each boards).

http://www.4pcb.com/index.php?load=content&page_id=129

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2008\01\28@092906 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> I have been doing toner transfer with pulsar paper and
> laminator and
> I have to admit that I am  really impressed with the
> results. I can make 2
> sided boards with 6 mills tracks and 6 mills spacing
> without much effort.
> For vias I am using mechanical eylets. It works great
> almost eveytime... For
> "plating" I am using cool-amp silver.
>
> It is so easy to make that it is amazing... And no nasty
> chemicals...

What do you etch with?


       Russell


2008\01\28@093533 by Peter Todd

picon face
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Tue, Jan 29, 2008 at 03:28:50AM +1300, Apptech wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Di-hydrogen monoxide. That stuff will dissolve practically anything!


(er, copper with some oxygen and time...)

- --
http://petertodd.org
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)

iD8DBQFHnech3bMhDbI9xWQRAq1iAJ0Vpj6XEipSXN4nYzuLq65+ShzgwwCgneIS
EkN1XZRVBsQKySR2zfk0/Ik=
=3WkT
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

2008\01\28@095940 by Derward

picon face

----- Original Message -----
From: "Apptech" <apptechspamKILLspamparadise.net.nz>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <.....piclistKILLspamspam.....mit.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: [EE] Dirt Cheap PCB protos?
<snip>

> What do you etch with?
>
>
>        Russell
>

Russel, I have some 3M transparency film for use with
Laser printers and I started using this for toner transfer
(type cg5000).  I am using a HP 2600 color laser printer
and this does the best boards of any thing I have used.

I do not use ferric chloride but  I use muratic acid and
hydrogen peroxide.  2 parts hydrogen peroxide and
1 part muratic acid and use at room temp.  This does
the best and fastest etching of any thing I have seen.
You do not want to breathe the fumes and the fumes
are corrosive so don't expose any metal to the fumes.

I think you will find the HP toner is the best (for PCB making)
on the market.

Derward



2008\01\28@100057 by Alexandre Guimar„es

face picon face
Hi, Russel


       Ok... One almost not nasty chemical :-) Ferric Chloride.

       Another insteresting aspect here.... I use a small quantity and
"rub" the board with a sponge ! It takes etching timing down to less than 2
minutes ! It is better explained in this link:
www.pulsarprofx.com/PCB/a_Pages/5_Support/5b_Tips_Tricks/Tips_Tricks.
html#Anchor-49575

       Works beautifully.... If you want I can take some pictures of the
boards I made this way.. Just do not try without the laminator. The results
are not consistent. With the laminator everything is great.

Best regards,
Alexandre Guimaraes


-----Mensagem original-----
De: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu] Em nome de
Apptech
Enviada em: segunda-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2008 12:29
Para: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Assunto: Re: [EE] Dirt Cheap PCB protos?

> I have been doing toner transfer with pulsar paper and laminator and I
> have to admit that I am  really impressed with the results. I can make
> 2 sided boards with 6 mills tracks and 6 mills spacing without much
> effort.
> For vias I am using mechanical eylets. It works great almost
> eveytime... For "plating" I am using cool-amp silver.
>
> It is so easy to make that it is amazing... And no nasty chemicals...

What do you etch with?


       Russell


2008\01\28@104006 by Forrest Christian

flavicon
face
Alexandre Guimarães wrote:
>        Ok... One almost not nasty chemical :-) Ferric Chloride.
>  
I'm a fan of Ammonium Persulphate myself...   dry Ferric Chloride is
scary stuff, Ammonium Persulphate seems a bit less agressive when you
have to mix it from dry.  Plus, I really don't like the brown stains
which Ferric Chloride causes and since it is clear (at least until it
eats enough copper to turn a nice shade of green if i remember
correctly), you can tell a lot easier the status of your board.

You definately do *not* want dry Ferric Chloride to mix it yourself....  
did I mention that already?
>        Another insteresting aspect here.... I use a small quantity and
> "rub" the board with a sponge ! It takes etching timing down to less than 2
> minutes ! It is better explained in this link:
> www.pulsarprofx.com/PCB/a_Pages/5_Support/5b_Tips_Tricks/Tips_Tricks.
> html#Anchor-49575
>  
That is very interesting...  Too bad it only works with Ferric
Chloride...  Still, I might give it a try.

-forrest

2008\01\28@110407 by alan smith

picon face
If you can deal with the delays, Olimex has been pretty good for pretty cheap stuff.  Otherwise I've used PCB fabexpress....somewhat cheaper than Advanced.


     
---------------------------------
Never miss a thing.   Make Yahoo your homepage.

2008\01\28@122147 by Denny Esterline

picon face
>
> I do not use ferric chloride but  I use muratic acid and
> hydrogen peroxide.  2 parts hydrogen peroxide and
> 1 part muratic acid and use at room temp.  This does
> the best and fastest etching of any thing I have seen.
> You do not want to breathe the fumes and the fumes
> are corrosive so don't expose any metal to the fumes.


I was a big proponent of this stuff a couple years ago (check the archives
for a couple of write ups) but there's a big detail missing in this short
description. When you first mix the HCL and H2O2, the etch chemistry is,
basicaly, free chlorine. Nasty, nasty stuff. But once you've added a fair
bit of copper it becomes a mixture of copper chlorate, wonderful stuff. It
doesn't stink, and it's completely regenerable by simply adding oxygen (I
use an aquarium pump to bubble air through it).

Good luck - and watch out for the toxic chlorine gas-
-Denny

2008\01\28@122147 by Martin

face
flavicon
face
Forrest Christian wrote:
> You definately do *not* want dry Ferric Chloride to mix it yourself....  
> did I mention that already?


Didn't they always tell you in chemistry class: "add the acid"? (yes, I
know FeCl is a salt but it's exothermic)

There's no trouble if you start with cool water and add your FeCl
crystals slowly.

-
Martin

2008\01\28@122305 by Martin

face
flavicon
face
Forrest W Christian wrote:
> I've been using AP circuits for a long time for my one-off protos, and
> will continue to do so for my actual product prototypes since their
> basic prototype service is perfect for my needs - quick turn, reasonably
> low cost, and who cares about silkscreen for the protos anyways?   The
> Advanced circuits Barebonespcb.com service is similar as well...
>  

I use Futurlec, they are very cheap especially if you don't need a
silkscreen. I can send them Eagle board files easily too. It saves me a
few minutes to not export gerbers.
-
Martin

2008\01\28@122725 by Carl Denk

flavicon
face
Was using the ferric chloride stuff in my basement workshop a year ago.
The liberated chlorine gas latched onto a bunch of steel cutting tool,
and created rust in very short time. This a a moderately ventilated area
with an exhaust fan. Lesson: Use in well ventilated area away from any
steel, and some other materials.

Forrest Christian wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2008\01\28@123611 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
I don't have a suggestion for single-sided boards BUT I've got to ask
why you would think AP Circuits was still the best option for online
PCBs? For example, SFCircuits.com has similar prices but includes
silkscreen and soldermask. There are many others which do the same. If
you look for specials which they run sometimes, you can get full
double-sided PCBs (soldermask, silkscreen ,etc.) for a fair amount
less than AP Circuits.

Sean

2008\01\28@124228 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Jan 28, 2008, at 9:21 AM, Denny Esterline wrote:

> When you first mix the HCL and H2O2, the etch chemistry is,
> basicaly, free chlorine. Nasty, nasty stuff. But once you've added  
> a fair
> bit of copper it becomes a mixture of copper chlorate

Copper chlorIDE.  Copper chlorate explodes; avoid it!

(and yes, copper chloride etchant is pretty neat stuff.)

BillW

2008\01\28@131734 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
Quoting Denny Esterline <@spam@desterlineKILLspamspamgmail.com>:

>>
>> I do not use ferric chloride but  I use muratic acid and
>> hydrogen peroxide.  2 parts hydrogen peroxide and
>> 1 part muratic acid and use at room temp.  This does
>> the best and fastest etching of any thing I have seen.
>> You do not want to breathe the fumes and the fumes
>> are corrosive so don't expose any metal to the fumes.
>
>
> I was a big proponent of this stuff a couple years ago (check the archives
> for a couple of write ups) but there's a big detail missing in this short
> description. When you first mix the HCL and H2O2, the etch chemistry is,
> basicaly, free chlorine. Nasty, nasty stuff. But once you've added a fair
> bit of copper it becomes a mixture of copper chlorate, wonderful stuff. It
> doesn't stink, and it's completely regenerable by simply adding oxygen (I
> use an aquarium pump to bubble air through it).
>
> Good luck - and watch out for the toxic chlorine gas-
> -Denny

Double the fun-- an efficient etchant *and* a chemical weapon:

> --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine#Use_as_a_weapon


Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..."                          "The Journey is the reward"
KILLspams...KILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com


2008\01\28@135331 by Eoin Ross

flavicon
face
That reminded me of this story... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_trousers

In New Zealand in the 1930s, farmers reportedly had trouble with exploding trousers as a result of attempts to wipe out the weed ragwort. Farmers had been spraying sodium chlorate, a government recommended weedkiller, onto the ragwort, and some of the spray had ended up on their clothes. Sodium chlorate is a strong oxidizing agent, and reacted with the organic fibres (i.e. the wool and the cotton) of the clothes. Reports had farmers' trousers variously smouldering and bursting into flame, particularly when exposed to heat or naked flames.[1][2]

One report had trousers that were hanging on a washing line starting to smoke. There were also several reports of trousers exploding while farmers were wearing them, causing severe burns.

The mystery of the exploding breeches was solved by James Watson of Massey University, New Zealand, whose research found that sodium chlorate becomes violently explosive when combined with organic fibres, such as cotton or wool. For his research, Mr. Watson was awarded the agricultural history award.[3]


>>> RemoveMEwestfwTakeThisOuTspammac.com 28 Jan 08 12:42:00 >>>

On Jan 28, 2008, at 9:21 AM, Denny Esterline wrote:

> When you first mix the HCL and H2O2, the etch chemistry is,
> basicaly, free chlorine. Nasty, nasty stuff. But once you've added  
> a fair
> bit of copper it becomes a mixture of copper chlorate

Copper chlorIDE.  Copper chlorate explodes; avoid it!

(and yes, copper chloride etchant is pretty neat stuff.)

BillW


2008\01\28@135808 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
>> When you first mix the HCL and H2O2, the etch chemistry
>> is,
>> basicaly, free chlorine. Nasty, nasty stuff. But once
>> you've added
>> a fair
>> bit of copper it becomes a mixture of ... > Copper
>> chlorIDE.

Cupric Chloride, fwiw.

One name for this is "Pirhana" :-).

While the properly constituted Cupric Chloride etch bath is
a thing of beauty and a joy forever (if properly maintained)
and about as benign and marvellous as you could hope from an
etchant, the prepare-from-scratch mixture is about as evil a
substance as you would ever hope to meet. This can 'etch' a
PCB in about 10 seconds and you'll probably never have seen
as clean and copper free a piece of blank PCB material
before. Once you are silly enough to get used to it you can
etch boards credibly well in a minute or two. The fumes are
more vicious and breathing discouraging than almost anything
I've ever met - and I've met a fair few substances. (It's
not certain what it is but it's probably Chlorine gas with
vaporised acid and H2O2 mix plus probably a high Oxygen
content as well. High lung and eye damage material and
almost certainly carcinogenic as well.

This comes close to being a NEVER try this at home method,
were it not for the serenely beautiful mixture that can be
made when prepared correctly and very very very slowly and
then used properly.

Few believe the warning signs by the way, nor heed the trail
of gasping bleached eyed astounded forebears limping past
from the other direction.

Here is how to do it properly and why and how it works.
Stray from the strait and narrow path and your lungs may die
and there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of
(corroding) teeth and downcastness of countenance and user
and great may be the fall thereof.


       http://www.xertech.net/Tech/CuCl_ech.html


                   Russell


2008\01\28@144930 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> Reports had farmers' trousers variously smouldering and
> bursting into flame, particularly when exposed to heat or
> naked flames.[1][2]
>
> One report had trousers that were hanging on a washing
> line starting to smoke. There were also several reports of
> trousers exploding while farmers were wearing them,
> causing severe burns.

All entirely probable.
The mystery is that it was a mystery.
The proclivities of NaClO3 were well know long long before
then. One of the most dangerous chemical to use as an
oxidiser. Lethal in the presence of Sul[f|ph]ur. Equally so
with phosphorus. NOT something you want to use for average
pyrotechnics playing. Many fatalities including amongst the
professionals. Controllable in old-experts hands.


       Russell

2008\01\28@153759 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Jan 28, 2008, at 10:56 AM, Apptech wrote:

> Cupric Chloride, fwiw.

Yeah, the etching reaction goes CuCl2 + Cu --> 2 CuCl or something  
like that, so both cupric and cuprous chloride are involved, and I  
left it as "copper chloride." :-)

>
> One name for this is "Pirhana" :-).

"pirhana" is the acid/peroxide mix.  In particular, "pirahna" usually  
refers to an etchant made from CONCENTRATED sulfuric acid and  
hydrogen peroxide, widely used in the semiconductor industry cause it  
doesn't attack silicon or glass.

>
> While the properly constituted Cupric Chloride etch bath is
> a thing of beauty and a joy forever (if properly maintained)
> and about as benign and marvellous as you could hope from an
> etchant, the prepare-from-scratch mixture is about as evil a
> substance as you would ever hope to meet.

Are you sure you're not mixing up "real" pirhana with the HCl/
household peroxide etchant most people use as the starting point for  
CuCl2 etchant?  IIRC, I used about half pool acid and half 3%  
peroxide for an end acid concentration of less than 20%, and didn't  
find it any worse to deal with than, say, plain HCl.  (better than  
concentrated HCl, which has obnoxious fumes.)  Of course, I did most  
of this in a "leave it running in the outbuilding for a while", and  
it didn't come close to the 10 second etch time you also mentioned...

BillW

2008\01\28@191043 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

> On Jan 28, 2008, at 10:56 AM, Apptech wrote:
>> One name for this is "Pirhana" :-).
>
> "pirhana" is the acid/peroxide mix.  

FWIW, it's "piranha" (in Portuguese at least; pronounced quite similar to
the Spanish "piraña").

Gerhard

2008\01\28@203107 by Forrest Christian

flavicon
face
Sean Breheny wrote:
> I don't have a suggestion for single-sided boards BUT I've got to ask
> why you would think AP Circuits was still the best option for online
> PCBs? For example, SFCircuits.com has similar prices but includes
> silkscreen and soldermask. There are many others which do the same. If
> you look for specials which they run sometimes, you can get full
> double-sided PCBs (soldermask, silkscreen ,etc.) for a fair amount
> less than AP Circuits.
Actually it's more than AP circuits...for typical projects.

Most of my prototype boards are rather small... typically under 15-20sq
inches, and many are under 10sq inches.

Let's take a 20 sq inch design as an example....  4x5 inches.

At sfcircuits, these would cost me $35 each for minimum quantity of 3,
so $105+shipping.  And they wouldn't ship till 5 days from now.

At ap circuits, these would cost me a total of 67.16+shipping for a
quantity 2, but they would ship tomorrow.   Typically I can work on a
design over the weekend, submit it by monday a.m. and the boards will
ship tuesday and be here by thursday, which then gives me the weekend to
work on them and possibly rev them the following weekend.   If I have
multiple designs they will bundle them for shipping, and shipping isn't
that much different than stateside.

About the only thing I've found close (and it wasn't originally) is the
Advanced Circuits Barebonespcb.com service.  Right now, the costs are
neck and neck with the AP circuits service - primarily because of the
new US/CDN exchange rate.   I find the restrictions on the AP circuits
less restrictive for my needs than the barebonespcb.com service...  but
either would work for the majority of my designs.

-forrest



2008\01\28@213745 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Jan 28, 2008, at 5:30 PM, Forrest Christian wrote:

> Let's take a 20 sq inch design as an example....  4x5 inches.
>
> At ap circuits, these would cost me a total of 67.16+shipping for a
> quantity 2, but they would ship tomorrow.

Their estimator says $85+...

If you got it down to 3x3.9 inches, Olimex would send you two for 30  
EUR; otherwise you experience an annoying mismatch with their  
standard panel sizes...

BillW

2008\01\29@035746 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
The proclivities of NaClO3 were well know long long before
then. One of the most dangerous chemical to use as an
oxidiser. Lethal in the presence of Sul[f|ph]ur.

So highly dangerous around Rotorua then ...

For those who haven't visited NZ, Rotorua is a very active thermal area,
which almost always smells of rotten eggs, due to the sulphurous gas from
the thermal activity.

2008\01\29@074047 by Forrest Christian

flavicon
face
William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
> Their estimator says $85+...
Hmm... their price moved since this morning...  I've noticed it's been
creeping up with the moving us/cdn exchange rate..   Maybe time for
another look around.

-forrest

2008\01\29@122230 by Dwayne Reid

flavicon
face
At 10:36 AM 1/28/2008, Sean Breheny wrote:
>I don't have a suggestion for single-sided boards BUT I've got to ask
>why you would think AP Circuits was still the best option for online
>PCBs?

APcircuits is not the bargain they used to be.  Not only did they
have a significant price increase last year, but the Canadian Dollar
trading near par with the US dollar has hurt them as well.

However, I reside in Alberta.  If I get the files into them by 11:00
AM my time (or even after that, if I call them to let them know the
files are on the way), I'll have PCBs in my hands 48 hours
later.  That's hard to beat.

Their quality is second to none.  I've had problems exactly once (bad
plating) - APcircuits phoned me before the boards had even arrived to
let me know of the problem and to NOT use the boards that would be
arriving shortly.  Replacement boards arrived the next day.  That's
once out of hundreds of orders.

APcircuits has my highest recommendation.

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <spamBeGonedwaynerspamBeGonespamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2008\01\29@135739 by Peter Todd

picon face
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Tue, Jan 29, 2008 at 10:22:04AM -0700, Dwayne Reid wrote:
> At 10:36 AM 1/28/2008, Sean Breheny wrote:
> >I don't have a suggestion for single-sided boards BUT I've got to ask
> >why you would think AP Circuits was still the best option for online
> >PCBs?
>
> APcircuits is not the bargain they used to be.  Not only did they
> have a significant price increase last year, but the Canadian Dollar
> trading near par with the US dollar has hurt them as well.

Bargain for larger orders or bargain for small stuff?

If I'm not mistaken they seem to have eliminated their setup fees, so
for instance the cheapest price is for 2x 1"x1" boards is
$16.74+shipping while before I remember it being that, and a ~$50 setup
fee. Also silkscreening and soldermasks are only another $4, while
before it was another $90 or something.

They're far cheaper now for what I need them for.

> However, I reside in Alberta.  If I get the files into them by 11:00
> AM my time (or even after that, if I call them to let them know the
> files are on the way), I'll have PCBs in my hands 48 hours
> later.  That's hard to beat.

Defintely!

> Their quality is second to none.  I've had problems exactly once (bad
> plating) - APcircuits phoned me before the boards had even arrived to
> let me know of the problem and to NOT use the boards that would be
> arriving shortly.  Replacement boards arrived the next day.  That's
> once out of hundreds of orders.

Heck, on my first order with them, I accidentally managed to submit the
order twice. When two sets of boards arrived, which I really couldn't
afford, I called them up, they canceled one of the orders, and told me
to keep 'em both.

- --
http://petertodd.org
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)

iD8DBQFHn3X43bMhDbI9xWQRAtL0AJ4iAMdVf979iToszC/hbdgLlqDe8ACfYIHR
CZtcLRSwVuSkXULbEMT6/e0=
=m7fb
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

2008\01\29@144810 by Dwayne Reid

flavicon
face
At 11:52 AM 1/29/2008, Peter Todd wrote:
>
> > APcircuits is not the bargain they used to be.  Not only did they
> > have a significant price increase last year, but the Canadian Dollar
> > trading near par with the US dollar has hurt them as well.
>
>Bargain for larger orders or bargain for small stuff?
>
>If I'm not mistaken they seem to have eliminated their setup fees, so
>for instance the cheapest price is for 2x 1"x1" boards is
>$16.74+shipping while before I remember it being that, and a ~$50 setup
>fee.

Not a bargain for larger panels.  I'm used to combining several
boards into a single layout, and thus avoiding the individual setup fees.

Specific examples (all in C$):

Order from last June: 6 pcs of a board 4.0" x 4.2" was $146.23, its
now $178.50

Order from last May: 6 pcs of a board 4.9" x 11.1" was $364.07, its
now $459.36.  This board had 1 extra drill size plus a high-density
drill charge of $27.43 (about 1800 holes).

The last example above is actually pretty common for us.

So yeah - not the bargain they used to be.  Our business with them
has definitely decreased since the new price list went into effect.

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <TakeThisOuTdwaynerEraseMEspamspam_OUTplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2008\01\29@175032 by Forrest W. Christian

flavicon
face
Dwayne Reid wrote:
> Not a bargain for larger panels. I'm used to combining several boards
> into a single layout, and thus avoiding the individual setup fees.
I'm going to compare the next couple of orders and perhaps submit a
couple elsewhere...   However, I cannot complain at all about AP
circuits quality and customer service.

Personally, I really just want 1-2 of each board I send to them.  
Anything over 1-2, it's cheaper to send out through QualityPCB and get
it made overseas, and get a hundred of them silkscreened and the like.  
For this, the AP circuits pricing could not be beat... at least until
the whole US/CDN exchange rate started to change.  

-forrest

2008\01\29@205813 by peter green

flavicon
face

> Bargain for larger orders or bargain for small stuff?
>
> If I'm not mistaken they seem to have eliminated their setup fees, so
> for instance the cheapest price is for 2x 1"x1" boards is
> $16.74+shipping
maybe i'm missing something but there seems to be no info on thier site
on what shipping they offer and at what price.

This is particularlly important for non-canadian customers as most
couriors have stupidly high import brokerage charges for packages that
are shipped without brokerage paid upfront.

Thier prices are good if you want very small boards but not so good as
the boards get bigger.

2008\01\29@212025 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
peter green wrote:
>> Bargain for larger orders or bargain for small stuff?
>>
>> If I'm not mistaken they seem to have eliminated their setup fees, so
>> for instance the cheapest price is for 2x 1"x1" boards is
>> $16.74+shipping
> maybe i'm missing something but there seems to be no info on thier site
> on what shipping they offer and at what price.
>
> This is particularlly important for non-canadian customers as most
> couriors have stupidly high import brokerage charges for packages that
> are shipped without brokerage paid upfront.
>
> Thier prices are good if you want very small boards but not so good as
> the boards get bigger.

I could not find that either but noticed a search box there so entered
"shipping" and found this:
==============================
FEDEX is our EXCLUSIVE carrier. There is a minimum charge of $25.00 that
covers most Prototype orders. In some rural areas the only delivery
service available is two-day. Check with your FedEx rep at
1-800-GO-FedEx (US and Canada only).

If you are in the N.A.F.T.A. zone, there will not be any duty charges or
brokerage fees on your shipment if FedEx is used.

NOTE: If we ship your order to you using your FedEx account number we
will charge a $5.00 handling fee to your invoice
==============================

I generally add on US$25 to their quoted price to cover the shipping.  I
have ordered numerous proto boards from them for work.  Most orders have
been $50 to $100 and boards come back in two days.  It definitely jump
starts projects!  Plus for a business, it's nice to have test fixtures
and small one-off projects on a pcb to show customers.  But they do seem
to be moving in the wrong direction with their pricing...

2008\01\29@215433 by Forrest W Christian

flavicon
face
Marcel Duchamp wrote:
> FEDEX is our EXCLUSIVE carrier. There is a minimum charge of $25.00 that
> covers most Prototype orders. In some rural areas the only delivery
> service available is two-day. Check with your FedEx rep at
> 1-800-GO-FedEx (US and Canada only).

I just pulled the last 4-5 orders, and they all have $25 shipping on
them, other than a few I ordered on the same day ... for those, they
only charged $25 shipping on one of the orders shipped each day.   I'm
assuming that AP circuits is similar shipping cost for overnight service.

Since I have the invoices, I figured I'd compare a couple invoices.
What I found is that for rather small boards (under around 10 square
inches each), that AP circuits is less expensive for a pair of boards,
whereas the barebonespcb.com service seems less expensive once you get
over 10 square inches.

Which basically validates what I was doing - since most of my designs
are under 10 square inches each  (I have lots of little designs, typically).

To take this full circle, I think I'm going to reevaluate either milling
or in-house board etching for my one-off, non-production boards.   I
don't see how I can get much cheaper.

-forrest

2008\01\30@043340 by peter green

flavicon
face

> FEDEX is our EXCLUSIVE carrier. There is a minimum charge of $25.00 that
> covers most Prototype orders. In some rural areas the only delivery
> service available is two-day. Check with your FedEx rep at
> 1-800-GO-FedEx (US and Canada only).
>
> If you are in the N.A.F.T.A. zone, there will not be any duty charges or
> brokerage fees on your shipment if FedEx is used.
>
>  
In other words I can probablly add about £30 brokerage plus whatever
they decide to charge for delivery to the UK if I get them to deliver to
me in the UK.

This is a big probelem with using larger suppliers in north america
(mainly the USA but from this example it doesn't look like canada are
any better), they very often insist on using couriors who in turn insist
on charging ripoff brokerage fees.


'[EE] Dirt Cheap PCB protos?'
2008\10\04@102527 by Marc Nicholas
picon face
I just submitted my first prototype order to APCircuits.
I have to tell you that the DRC bot is MUCH better than some of the
competition. For kicks I ran my board through someone else's DRC bot and it
approved my board for production, and APC found two issues and raised a
question in a third area. Obviously for those of you who make perfect boards
all time, this is not a bonus ;)

I do wish they had an Expresspost shipping option for those of us in Canada,
though. Although I understand why they prefer FedEx because it likely makes
their NAFTA paperwork easier.

One thing worth mentioning is that APCircuits has an even cheaper service
at:

http://www.e-pcb.com/special.html


-marc



On Tue, Jan 29, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Dwayne Reid <RemoveMEdwaynerspamTakeThisOuTplanet.eon.net> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\10\10@082156 by PicDude

flavicon
face

If you can wait, batchpcb.com collects orders from different customers, runs
them as a single panel (to get you a better price), then depanilizes and
ships to you.





Forrest W Christian-2 wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> --

More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 2008 , 2009 only
- Today
- New search...