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'[PICLIST] PCB Board houses'
2001\07\24@185057 by James Lee Williams

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Can someone tell me where there are some PCB board houses which will
make the PCB boards for inexpensive price.  My boards are only double
layer, but will be using surfacemount footprints.

Regards

James

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2001\07\24@193535 by Ron Anthony

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I might be able to run them for you on my LPKFC30/S, and even stuff the PCB
for you with my PDR1600 infra-red, but of course there'd be a fee.  How much
i really don't know, I'd have to see your gerbers first.

Just a thought anyway...

{Original Message removed}

2001\07\24@201035 by Michael C. Reid

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Can someone tell me where there are some PCB board houses which will
make the PCB boards for inexpensive price.  My boards are only double
layer, but will be using surfacemount footprints.

Regards

James



There are a number of low cost board houses advertised in Circuit Cellar
Magazine.

.....pcbexpressKILLspamspam@spam@yahoo.com

tj2spamKILLspamix.netcom.com

http://www.apcircuits.com

http://www.bacircuits.com

http://www.expresspcb.com

http://www.pcbexpress.com

to name a few!




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2001\07\24@205321 by Scott Beatty

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James

   Huges Electronic Products in Livonia Michigan (1-734-427-8310) will
make very high quality boards in prototype quantities (i.e. two boards).
They charge by the square inch not by the 8' x 4' sheet.  The smaller the
board, the lower the price.  You can also save money by putting several
boards into one gerber file and have them made as one board and then cut
individually.  I have been having boards done by huges for the last four
years and have never had a quality or price issue with them.  As an
example I had 100,  3" square boards done and they costed $17.00 each.
If you contact them talk to R.J.

Scott

James Lee Williams wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\07\25@072843 by Roman Black

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Scott Beatty wrote:

>     Huges Electronic Products in Livonia Michigan (1-734-427-8310) will
> make very high quality boards in prototype quantities (i.e. two boards).
> They charge by the square inch not by the 8' x 4' sheet.  The smaller the
> board, the lower the price.  You can also save money by putting several
> boards into one gerber file and have them made as one board and then cut
> individually.  I have been having boards done by huges for the last four
> years and have never had a quality or price issue with them.  As an
> example I had 100,  3" square boards done and they costed $17.00 each.
> If you contact them talk to R.J.


Scott, did I read this right, you paid $1700 US
for 100 3x3 inch boards???
Even for really top qual 2-sided boards with all
the trimmings this should not have cost more than
$400 US.
-Roman

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2001\07\25@093855 by Ned Seith

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James,

I highly recommend ExpressPCB http://www.expresspcb.com and have used them
multiple times.
They have a special $59 package in which you will receive 3 identical PCBs
that are 2.5" x 3.8".
To use the ExpressPCB service you must download and use their "free"layout
software.
Once the PCB layout is complete, the order is placed at their web site via
credit card and the PCB layout file is uploaded to their web site via a
clever user friendly ordering option within the PCB layout software.
The PCBs will arrive approximately 1 week after placing an order by
conventional mail.
The challenging factor with ExpressPCB is to exploit their 2.5"x 3.8"
required format for the $59 package price. On one occasion, I laid out 3
PCBs per 2.5" x 3.8" panel receiving 9 PCBs for $59!
I placed a rectangular border around each of the individual PCBs and placed
a row of pads between the individual PCBs to facilitate snap apart
separation. These PCBs utilized surface mount as well as pin  through hole
devices.The quality of the PCBs was excellent and the customer service is
very responsive.
I highly recommend ExpressPCB for prototypes and projects that can exploit
the 2.5" x 3.8" format and that don't require Gerber file documentation.

Sincerely,
Ned Seith
Nedtronics
59 3rd Street
Gilroy, CA 95020
(408) 842-0858
G O T    G A R L I C ?
GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL 2001 !
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
At 12:24 AM 7/25/01 +0200, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\07\25@101023 by Douglas Butler

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One place to look is the web site for PCB Design Magazine http://www.pcdmag.com
which has a printed circuit buyers guide listing a few dozen
manufacturers.

Some initial questions:
What part of the world are you in?
How fast do you need the boards?
How many boards do you want?
Is there anything odd about the boards (square holes, gold fingers, very
thin or thick etc.)?
Do you want the board house to test the boards?

Sherpa Doug

> {Original Message removed}

2001\07\25@105010 by Dale Botkin

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I can second this recommendation.  If you don't need to have the board
layout in a portble format, they're really good.  You have to use their
software to lay out the board, but the software is free and works well.
They offer everyhting from no-mask cheap quick service to full blown
production quality with solder mask and silkscreen.  I've been very happy
with them.

Dale

On Wed, 25 Jul 2001, Ned Seith wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\07\26@051327 by Tsvetan Usunov

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>James
>
>    Huges Electronic Products in Livonia Michigan (1-734-427-8310) will
>make very high quality boards in prototype quantities (i.e. two boards).
>They charge by the square inch not by the 8' x 4' sheet.  The smaller the
>board, the lower the price.  You can also save money by putting several
>boards into one gerber file and have them made as one board and then cut
>individually.  I have been having boards done by huges for the last four
>years and have never had a quality or price issue with them.  As an
>example I had 100,  3" square boards done and they costed $17.00 each.
>If you contact them talk to R.J.
>
>Scott
>

Rough estimation shows that we do 100 pcs 3"x3" FR-4, 1.5 mm, 1/1oz copper,
double soldermask + component print for about $330 i.e. $3,3 /each
normal turnaround of 15 working days

Cheers
Tsvetan
---
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2001\07\26@135331 by Ken Hewitt

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>
>Rough estimation shows that we do 100 pcs 3"x3" FR-4, 1.5 mm, 1/1oz copper,
>double soldermask + component print for about $330 i.e. $3,3 /each
>normal turnaround of 15 working days
>
>Cheers
>Tsvetan
>---
>PCB prototypes for $26 at http://run.to/pcb (http://www.olimex.com/pcb)

I have used Tsvetan's service recently and it was very good 1"x1.5"
double sided PTH, 2 solder masks and silk screen for $1.00 each
delivered you can beat that and all in less than 3 weeks.

Ken.

+-----------------------------+--------------------------------------------+
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|      /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/      |  Homepage   http://www.welwyn.demon.co.uk  |
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2001\07\26@141832 by Andrew E. Kalman

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>  >
>>Rough estimation shows that we do 100 pcs 3"x3" FR-4, 1.5 mm, 1/1oz copper,
>>double soldermask + component print for about $330 i.e. $3,3 /each
>>normal turnaround of 15 working days
>>
>>Cheers
>>Tsvetan
>>---
>>PCB prototypes for $26 at http://run.to/pcb (http://www.olimex.com/pcb)
>
>I have used Tsvetan's service recently and it was very good 1"x1.5"
>double sided PTH, 2 solder masks and silk screen for $1.00 each
>delivered you can beat that and all in less than 3 weeks.


I've also used Tsvetan's service -- approx. 2.5" x 2.5" 2-layer PCBs,
2 soldermasks and 1 silkscreen, PCBs arrived as advertised on a rush
schedule, no complaints!
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2001\07\30@133640 by Soren Knudsen

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Hi All!

Just a tad on the topic:

I'm about to design some printlayouts, and while it may be posible to do one
layers I was wondering if it is any cheaper to have one layers made in board
houses. The prices i can find is all double layered or more. -Please let me
know:))

Thx in advance...

Yours truly
Soren K.

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2001\07\30@144159 by Scott Beatty

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Soren

       The price for PCBs will be about the same for single or doubled
layered.  The reason is that it takes about the same amount of time to make
a single sided board as it does to make a double sided board.  Some times a
single sided board is more expensive because copper clad board has copper on
both sides already which means that the board huse has to remove all of the
copper on one side, this can take a long time.

Scott

> {Original Message removed}

2001\07\30@153351 by Garber, Mike

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>         The price for PCBs will be about the same for single
> or doubled
> layered.  The reason is that it takes about the same amount
> of time to make
> a single sided board as it does to make a double sided board.
>  Some times a
> single sided board is more expensive because copper clad
> board has copper on
> both sides already which means that the board huse has to
> remove all of the
> copper on one side, this can take a long time.
>

Really?   This doesnt quite have the "ring of truth" to it.
I mean.... the entire plated thru process is skipped.
And I gotta beleive that single sided stock is cheaper
than double sided stock.

And as far as longer etching time for double sided stock....
I dont beleive it.

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2001\07\30@155222 by Robert E. Griffith

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The trick is probably finding a good board house that still caters to the
single sided board market and does enough volume to take advantage of the
lower cost.

I think most board houses saw that the future of single sided boards is dead
and went with new equipment and stock that assumes at least double sided.
That new equipment is expensive up front, but allows them to crank out
boards very cheaply and pass the savings onto you as long as they do enough
volume to utilize it fully, It's quicker and easier for them to run a common
(2-sided) board through their equipment and processes than to do something
out of the ordinary - even if that out of the ordinary something is more
simple.

Now if you are building the boards yourself, it still holds true that more
simple is less costly.

--BobG



{Original Message removed}

2001\07\30@161217 by Douglas Butler

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There are still a lot of single sided boards done for things like
lighting panels, circuit breakers, thermostats, places with more
mechanical constraints than electrical.  My company builds underwater
robots and about half our boards are single sided.
In high volume single sided boards are cheaper because they can be
punched instead of drilled.  There are also double sided NON-plated
through boards, for special applications.

Check out the site http://www.pcdmag.com which is the site of Printer Circuit
Design magazine.

Sherpa Doug

> {Original Message removed}

2001\07\30@161222 by Scott Beatty

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It is true that the plated thru process is skipped.  But most board houses
that I have delt with carry a large stock of soubled sidded clad and not
much single sided clad.  So the single sided clad will be more expensive
since it is bought in lower quantities.  Hence, the copper still hase to be
etched on both sides.  If a board house has alot of single sided stock they
may have a lower price.
> {Original Message removed}

2001\07\30@201731 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 03:33 PM 7/30/01 -0400, you wrote:
>
>Really?   This doesnt quite have the "ring of truth" to it.
>I mean.... the entire plated thru process is skipped.
>And I gotta beleive that single sided stock is cheaper
>than double sided stock.

It's both true and not true. ;-) Ommmmm...
If you go around asking
for boards in quantities like 500 or 2,000 pieces from
domestic manufacturers you'll see very little price saving
unless you are in a country where consumer electronics is
made.

Then, going for a single-sided punched board on paper-based
phenolic can be astoundingly cheap, but there is a tool
cost $$$$ to prepare the punch set. There is no drilling, just
*whap* in the punch press and the board pops out, including
whatever outline you can draw (within reason). They can even
punch the outline out and shove it back into the surrounding
panel for easy handling. It's all very low-tech, using
screen printing, air drying (well, maybe UV curing) etc.
Typically these boards are priced per m^2 rather than per in^2 !.

There are a few remaining manufacturers who still
do this for domestically made appliances and so on, but
the tooling cost is very high and they expect big runs.

Best regards,
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2001\07\30@210248 by Drew Vassallo

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Just my $.02:

Have a look at http://www.ExpressPCB.com.  They have a nice price for
prototype-style PCBs and have free layout software, too.

I think it comes to around $20 for each board with their special pricing.
Not bad for a few prototype boards.

Their software is pretty simple to use, too, and you don't have to worry
about Gerber files and such.  Just create the PCB and e-mail it to them and
you'll have your boards.

Just an idea, it worked nicely for me on a few projects.

--Andrew

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2001\07\30@224816 by Dmitry Kiryashov

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Hi Andrew.

Dealing with Gerber is more standardized way
being compared with create 'n email custom
software made boards. ;)

Just imagine if you'll need to send that
board to somebody else ;)

Regardless what PCB software you are using
Gerber translated is must to have.

WBR Dmitry.


Drew Vassallo wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\07\31@012706 by Al Williams

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The real cost of single sided PCBs is that they are usually larger for a
given circuit.

Suppose you have a circuit that you can put in a 2" x 1" format with double
sided. That's 2 in**2. If I have to make it 2" x 2" to accommodate single
side routing, the board area goes to 4 in**2.

So if a double sided board is 50% more expensive than a single sided board,
you are still losing money. Say the 1 sided board is $0.10/in**2 and the
double sided is  $0.15/in**2. The boards mentioned would cost $0.30 and
$0.40!

Of course, if you can punch cheap phenolic, that's fine but that is
typically much higher tooling costs. And, if you want to do them yourself,
single sided is the way to go.

Awhile back I read that single sided boards are not as reliable as double
sided because the plated through holes anchor the copper better against
things like cracks, vibration, etc. So that's something else to consider.

Regards,


Al Williams
AWC
* Floating point A/D: http://www.al-williams.com/awce/pak9.htm

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2001\07\31@035839 by Terry

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Going single sided is for 1 reason and that's cost reduction. FR4 is
typically more then twice the cost of Phenolic, not 50% higher. Proper
circuit and layout analysis must be considered before you even think of
going single sided.


EMC and the number of jumpers required to route the board will often give
you a good indication on the feasibility of doing it single sided.
There's no point if a 1 layer board will require twice the area or
require so many jumpers the cost of inserting those jumpers and the total
number of drill holes equal a double sided board.


Some feasibility guidelines i use:


.How fast and noisy is the circuit.

.Will the layout fit into the maximum allowable outline.

.Type of board, carbon ink, silver thru hole or no ink.

.Is the minimum drill size 0.60mm or greater.

.Will there be a significant reduction of drill holes.

.How many thru hole components need to be mounted opposite the SMT
side.

.How much cost reduction will i really get.


A well designed 1 layer board will give me better yield then a double
sided board. With proper hole sizing, annular ring, use of elongated pads
and teardrops the problems you mentioned will only occur with improperly
mounted thru hole parts or during rework.


The cost reduction can be very significant for the right product. You
need to know what you're getting into and factor in the layout costs
which is usually 2.5 to 4 times more.


Cheers

Terry Heng


Design Consultant

T3DESIGN

Innovative Product Development

<italic>Thinking out of the box.

</italic>


At 12:10 AM 7/31/01 -0500, you wrote:

>The real cost of single sided PCBs is that they are usually larger for
a

>given circuit.

>

>Suppose you have a circuit that you can put in a 2" x 1" format with
double

>sided. That's 2 in**2. If I have to make it 2" x 2" to accommodate
single

>side routing, the board area goes to 4 in**2.

>

>So if a double sided board is 50% more expensive than a single sided
board,

>you are still losing money. Say the 1 sided board is $0.10/in**2 and
the

>double sided is  $0.15/in**2. The boards mentioned would cost $0.30
and

>$0.40!

>

>Of course, if you can punch cheap phenolic, that's fine but that is

>typically much higher tooling costs. And, if you want to do them
yourself,

>single sided is the way to go.

>

>Awhile back I read that single sided boards are not as reliable as
double

>sided because the plated through holes anchor the copper better
against

>things like cracks, vibration, etc. So that's something else to
consider.

{Quote hidden}

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2001\07\31@041952 by Soren Knudsen

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Wooow!

Thank you ALL for your replies. It has led me to what I was suspecting, that
I should go double sided. Because its easier to design, the cost is almost
equal for proto's, its what the most manufacturers carry, I dont need to
solder jumpers and on and on:))

Bye for now, and thanks again...

Soren K

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2001\07\31@093834 by Lawrence Lile

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Ok, fine, so what board houses do people use and recommend?

I've had it with Advanced Circuits http://www.4pcb.com  (nice guys if you have some
volume)  and don't want to mess around with the proprietary software of
expresspcb  http://www.expresspcb.com    I don't want to go so far as to order
boards from Tstevan in Bulgaria (I'm in the US) although that would make
sense in Europe.

I'm looking for a prototype house in the midwest (Chicago - Denver -
Phoenix - Dallas radius)  to keep shipping costs and delays low.  Just need
bare double sided boards.


-- Lawrence Lile

{Original Message removed}

2001\07\31@171812 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
I've had pretty good success success with APC in Canada.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

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2001\07\31@190333 by Drew Vassallo

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>Dealing with Gerber is more standardized way
>being compared with create 'n email custom
>software made boards. ;)

Hehe, I realize this Dmitry :)  What I meant, simply, was that if you were
doing a hobby project, or a one-time shot of a prototype board and weren't
really planning on full production, then their software was a simpler,
cheaper (free), and quicker way to go (I think they're only a few days for
delivery at a set price of ~$60 for 3 boards).

--Andrew



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'[PIC]: PCB Board houses'
2001\08\01@151858 by Bob Barr
picon face
Bob Ammerman wrote:

>
>I've had pretty good success success with APC in Canada.
>

I'll second that. I believe that the full company name is "AP Circuits". A
small test equipment manufacturer that I consult for has been using them
exclusively for several years.

High quality, fast turnaround, reasonable pricing (particularly for their
prototypes)

The website is:

http://www.apcircuits.com


Regards, Bob


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2001\08\01@220839 by Brian Kraut

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I will third that.

Bob Barr wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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'[PIC]: PCB Board houses THANKS'
2001\08\02@101445 by Lawrence Lile

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Thanks to all who replied.

It seems there are several strong votes for APC.  I got a few statistics on
a particular board quote from several outfits:

These are all double sided boards on 0.062" FR4 with 1 oz copper, plated
through holes

AP Circuits http://www.apcircuits.com  "Proto1"  No component silkscreen, only
rectangular boards,  1 business day turns, $155

AP Circuits "Proto2"  Component Silkscreen, any board shape, 2 week turns
minimum 1 panel (approx 11" X 11")  ~$350

AP Circuits requires a minimum order of $300 average per month to open a
business account, which knocks me into the "COD" category.

Advanced Circuits http://www.4pcb.com   Component silkscreen, any shape, 3-day turn
$118
1-day turns    $418

Advanced Circuits is uncomfortable offerring business accounts for
"infrequent orders under $500" a category I fall sqarely into, ordering a
board like this about once a month.

Hughes Electronics  http://www.hugheselectronics.com   Minimum order 6" x 9" panel,
$366 for twice as many boards as I need, 3 day turn, any shape, component
silkscreen.  OK with small-lot  business accounts

AP Circuits "Proto1" is a pretty good bang for the buck, considering the
speed of turnaround.  If you can live without a component silkscreen, and
with a rectangular board (or cut them yourself) but need a quick turn, they
are the top choice IMHO.

So far Advanced Circuits has the best deal for a real production-type
prototype, with a silkscreen and any board shape, if you can live with a
3-day turn.

I'm still grumpy that none of these guys want to deal with me on a business
account.  I order similar quantities from Digikey, Mouser, Newark, and
everybody else with a convenient verbal purchase order.  All of the circuit
board houses seem to snub anybody with my level of volume.  Oh well, I'll
quit complaining and get back to work designing boards.

--Lawrence Lile

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2001\08\02@134400 by Bob Barr

picon face
Sorry, I sent this reply directly to Lawrence rather than the list. (I
really need to watch that 'Reply To:' field more closely.)

>
>Lawrence Lile wrote:
>
>Advanced Circuits http://www.4pcb.com   Component silkscreen, any shape, 3-day
>turn
>$118
>1-day turns    $418
>
>

Haven't you forgotten to include the $290 NRE for prototype testing listed
on their website? Or is it possible to waive testing and get that charge
waived?

(Lawrence's reply indicated that it is indeed possible to waive testing.)

For production quantities, their $149 tooling NRE and $290 testing NRE
could be spread over a large number of boards. For prototype quantities,
their $290 NRE pretty much rules them out for me.

Regards, Bob


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2001\08\03@090753 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I'm still grumpy that none of these guys want to deal with me on a
business
> account.  I order similar quantities from Digikey, Mouser, Newark, and
> everybody else with a convenient verbal purchase order.  All of the
circuit
> board houses seem to snub anybody with my level of volume.  Oh well, I'll
> quit complaining and get back to work designing boards.

I find business accounts are a hassle for low volume for me too as a
customer.  Setting one up usually requires bank references and lots of
paperwork that wastes a lot of time.  I find a business credit card usually
works very well.  No hassles, just supply the credit card number with the
order.  I have an American Express small business card, but I think other
companies offer similar things.  The other good thing is that American
Express will go to bat for you in case of problems.


********************************************************************
Olin Lathrop, embedded systems consultant in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, spamBeGoneolinspamKILLspamembedinc.com, http://www.embedinc.com

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