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'[EE] Prototype Board Thru-hole & Surface Mount?'
2006\02\11@175059 by Brooke Clarke

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Hi:

I'd like to make prototypes to try out some ideas where both through
hole and surface mount parts are needed.
If a custom PCB is made for each of the tries the cost is prohibitive. A
PCB that combines both types of parts has been designed, see:
http://www.pacificsites.com/~brooke/BTPS.shtml#PB  Is a mixed part
prototype board available?

Thanks,

Brooke Clarke, N6GCE

--
w/Java http://www.PRC68.com
w/o Java www.pacificsites.com/~brooke/PRC68COM.shtml
http://www.precisionclock.com

2006\02\12@113733 by Phil Keller

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Brooke,

 Not sure what you consider prohibitive but you might take a look at
BatchPCB (http://www.batchpcb.com) from Sparkfun.  They offer inexpensive PCB's
in about 3 weeks.  At $2.50 per square inch plus $10.00 setup fee plus
shipping it's not too bad.

Phil

Brooke Clarke wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2006\02\12@224208 by Brooke Clarke

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Hi Phil:

I checked out the Batch PCB web page and for me there are a number of
problems:
(1) the ExpressPCB software for schematic capture and confirming the
layout is very easy to use and free but learning to use Eagle or one of
the other PCB layout programs (that may or may not have linkage to the
schematic) seems like a lot of extra work.
(2) Express PCB has an extensive library of symbols for the schematic
capture program and a similar set of footprints for the PCB layout program.
(3) The total turnaround time is a few days for EPCB vs 2 or 3 weeks for
Batch PCB.
(4) When the EPCB Standard or Production service is used the cost comes
way down as the quantity goes up.
(5) The free Eagle software is limited to 4 x 3.2 inches and non profit
use.  The limit at ExpressPCB is 12 x 14 inches.
The cost per square inch is lower at Express PCB
So for now I'll stay with http://www.ExpressPCB.com

Thanks for the pointer,

Brooke Clarke

--
w/Java http://www.PRC68.com
w/o Java www.pacificsites.com/~brooke/PRC68COM.shtml
http://www.precisionclock.com

Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 08:35:30 -0800
From: Phil Keller <spam_OUTPhilTakeThisOuTspampkeller.net>
Subject: Re: [EE] Prototype Board Thru-hole & Surface Mount?
To: PICLIST Post <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
Message-ID: <43EF63D2.4010500spamKILLspamPKeller.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Brooke,

 Not sure what you consider prohibitive but you might take a look at
BatchPCB (http://www.batchpcb.com) from Sparkfun.  They offer inexpensive PCB's
in about 3 weeks.  At $2.50 per square inch plus $10.00 setup fee plus
shipping it's not too bad.

Phil

2006\02\13@000549 by Jason

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Is it just me, or is that price very high?

I've been considering ordering from http://www.custompcb.com/

They charge $78 for 2 8x11 panels (double sided), with no setup fee.  That
works out to 44 cents/sq inch.  Of course the price drops as you order more.

Depanalizing is 50 cents/board, or free for boards over 15 square inches.

A 4x3" board, the maximum size from the free version of eagle, is 12*2.50 +
$10 = $40 at batchpcb.  At custompcb, I could pay $84 and get 12 boards.  So
1 board = $40, an additional 11 = $44 more.

Even better, custompcb lets you panelize different designs.  So 1 each of 2
different boards are $80 at batchpcb or 6 each of 2 different boards are $84
at custompcb.

The only reason I haven't ordered is I want to have several board designs to
do at once and I generally only have a couple of projects going at a time.

{Original Message removed}

2006\02\13@004839 by Hector Martin

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Of course it is cheaper when you order in large quantities, but it works
out cheaper at batchpcb when you only want ONE _small_ board. Why would
I make 5 identical boards when most likely I will only need one?

2006\02\13@015857 by William Chops Westfield

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On Feb 12, 2006, at 7:43 PM, Brooke Clarke wrote:

> So for now I'll stay with http://www.ExpressPCB.com
>
Then you are stuck with their policies and restrictions (which is
presumably the whole point of having a "free" design package.)

I didn't understand your original question.  Yes, of course a
board can have both SMT and through-hole parts or areas.  No,
you probably can't get multiple boards with different mixes of
SMT/TH built for you as a single prototype; most of the board
houses seem to be very fussy about that.  "It's a prototyping
service for single boards, not a low volume manufacturing service"
I'm not sure what the difference is (although, based on sparkfun's
experiences, it may have something to do with customers commonly
being able to reject a PCB when it doesn't work.  Having six
designs on one panel would multiple the chances of failure by
six (looking at it from one possible direction.))

>> 2.50 per square inch plus $10.00 setup fee
>
> Is it just me, or is that price very high?
> I've been considering ordering from http://www.custompcb.com/
> They charge $78 for 2 8x11 panel, with no setup fee.
> That works out to 44 cents/sq inch.
>
The batchpcb price is expensive on a per-sq-in basis, and cheap
on a per-board basis.  I could get SEVERAL of the boards I've
designed built by batchpcb (they also allow you to panelize, IIRC)
for less than the price of a single board from anywhere else (not
that most other places offer the alternative of a single board...)

BillW

2006\02\13@023816 by Jason
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In my experience, if you need one board, you *always* order at least two.

There's always a chance you're going to ruin the first board.  I don't have
to mention all the things that could go wrong in assembling a prototype.

Even if everything works perfectly, it's still a prototype, you might decide
you want to try a slight variation without changing the first so you can do
side-by-side comparisons.

There's no reason I can see where I'd only want one board *especially* since
12 are only double the price.

The same place also does 4x5.5" boards, 2 for $18.

Jason

{Original Message removed}

2006\02\13@025755 by Denny Esterline

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Scott Adams coined the phrase about telephone companies, but it fits here as
well - confusopoly.

BatchPCB is just an order pooling sevice, they don't actualy make any
boards. Their charge is $10/order $2.50 per inch but it includes shape
routing, solder mask and silk screen on _both_ sides. Delivery times can be
nearly a month while they wait for enough orders to fill a panel.

GoldPhoenix  (http://www.goldphoenixpcb.biz/special_price.php) is $89.99 for
155 in sq including worldwide shipping (some exceptions)  The site's a
little confusing, but I think they charge an extra $30 if you put more than
one design on a panel. These are the same guys that BatchPCB uses.

CustomPCB is $78 for 2 8x11 panels, but then they charge for the extras:
$15/setup $4/panel PER SIDE for solder mask, $48 setup $3/panel for
silkscreen (doesn't specify one side or both- I suspect that's per side),
$20/ setup for complex shapes. $8/setup per design to merge layouts,
$0.50/board for depanelizing, and they will not depanelize customer merged
files.

4pcb is $33 for a 60 square inch board (min 3 unless you're a student, then
min1) with silk and solder mask - but no panelizing allowed.

Olimex is $33 for a (about) 6x4 inch board with silk and solder mask,
panelizing allowed (and they'll merge your files and depanelize for free)

Futurlec (http://www.futurlec.com/PCBService.shtml) is $15 setup and $0.65
per inch plus $12 per side for each solder mask and silk.

ExpressPCB is either $51 for three 2.5 by 3.8 inch boards - no silk or
solder mask or $179 for four 21 sq inch boards with silk and soldermask and
shape routing.

And let's not even mention non-standard drill size charges......

So which is cheapest? Is anybody else as confused as I am? I think I'll go
to bed now.

-Denny

BTW, I've mixed through hole and surface mount parts on lots of boards and
never had any problems getting them made.

> Is it just me, or is that price very high?
>
> I've been considering ordering from http://www.custompcb.com/
>
> They charge $78 for 2 8x11 panels (double sided), with no setup fee.  That
> works out to 44 cents/sq inch.  Of course the price drops as you order
more.
>
> Depanalizing is 50 cents/board, or free for boards over 15 square inches.
>
> A 4x3" board, the maximum size from the free version of eagle, is 12*2.50
+
> $10 = $40 at batchpcb.  At custompcb, I could pay $84 and get 12 boards.
So
> 1 board = $40, an additional 11 = $44 more.
>
> Even better, custompcb lets you panelize different designs.  So 1 each of
2
> different boards are $80 at batchpcb or 6 each of 2 different boards are
$84
> at custompcb.
>
> The only reason I haven't ordered is I want to have several board designs
to
> do at once and I generally only have a couple of projects going at a time.

2006\02\13@031203 by William Chops Westfield

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On Feb 12, 2006, at 9:05 PM, Jason wrote:
>
> I've been considering ordering from http://www.custompcb.com/
>
> They charge $78 for 2 8x11 panels (double sided), with no setup
> fee.  That works out to 44 cents/sq inch.  Of course the price
> drops as you order more.

Note that that price doesn't include soldermask or silkscreen,
which would be one of the main reasons (for me, anyway) to go
to a professionally manufactured board.  The double soldermask
and silkscreen adds another $78 in setup fees to your 8x11 panels,
plus $22 to the board costs ($11/panel.)


> The same place also does 4x5.5" boards, 2 for $18.

Two for $38, according to their web site...
Dual soldermasks add $20 to the small board order cost (2 boards),
and a silkscreen doesn't seem to be available at all.

It is really annoying how hard it is to figure out how much a
simple prototype or two is going to cost at one of these places.
I read custompcb's "panelizing rules" several times and I STILL
can't figure out whether there's a charge for putting multiple
boards on a panel if the customer does the gerber merge...

BillW

2006\02\13@060448 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Olimex is $33 for a (about) 6x4 inch board with silk
>and solder mask, panelizing allowed (and they'll merge
>your files and depanelize for free)

Note that this is silk screen one side only, and there are restrictions on
the range of hole sizes available to stay within that price. Otherwise I
find them good value once you work within the restrictions.

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