PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

ZL2BKC
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Re: PCB Fabricators

Post by ZL2BKC » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:37 am

VK4GHZ wrote: Common niggles with iTeadstudio appear to be poor communication (I reckon it would help if you could speak Mandarin! and so-so silkscreen)
They're coming into their holiday schedule right now.
Adam,

I just watched the video and was surprised to see the silkscreen that far off - out of all of my boards they are smack on. In fact for the ZLPLL boards the 0.5mm pitch QFP package is placed using the silkscreen as a reference and if it was out by 0.3mm I would experience issues.
Have only seen smudges on one board, and I do note that sometimes the silkscreen is of a variable thickness even between boards in the same batch.

The silkscreen overlay printing has a "dot matrix printer" look to it, so it is quite possible it is done using conventional printer techniques and not photo techniques to reduce the cost. Maybe that day the production line was slightly out of alignment.
Yes, you do need to be wary of the holiday periods - this applies to most chineese sellers even on eBay (which I have been caught out by a few times)

Communication has not been an issue so far.... yes it is strange english when they come back saying there is a problem with the board, but they have always attached a picture of the problem which also highlights the problem.

For the price you cannot complain, and it is certainly better than anything you can do at home. I also note that goldenpheonixpcb has Rogers 4350B substrate which is appealing for microwave and high power RF boards which I will keep in mind for the future.

73,
Wayne ZL2BKC

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Re: PCB Fabricators

Post by VK4GHZ » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:05 pm

Hi Wayne
ZL2BKC wrote:I just watched the video and was surprised to see the silkscreen that far off - out of all of my boards they are smack on...
Funny you mention that!
As I was watching that video, I grabbed one of your PLL boards to have a closer inspection of the silkscreen, and it cannot be faulted in any way.
And I note the small print, along with the tiny vias and traces which all looks excellent.
I guess these fab houses all have their good and bad days, depending on who is actually doing the particular job. Like the last time Futurlec didn't print my silkscreen by accident. It just happens.
ZL2BKC wrote:...For the price you cannot complain, and it is certainly better than anything you can do at home. I also note that goldenpheonixpcb has Rogers 4350B substrate which is appealing for microwave and high power RF boards which I will keep in mind for the future.
Absolutely. It's important to remember how much fab houses in Australia & USA etc would charge.
The Rogers option with GP makes me think this supplier is the one to go with initially.

I have just gone through the (painless) registration process with GoldenPhoenix, and emailed them requesting what standard drills they use. That info isn't listed, not that I've found. Will post any reply in this thread.
The GP website back end for registered users is quite good, and allows for order tracking etc. They come across as being a bit more organised, and clearly wanting western business.

Not sure of costings either, not having any Gerber files to upload for the RFQ.
Would be interesting to know what price differences exist between them and iTeadstudio for the same spec boards and Gerbers.
Adam, Brisbane
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Re: PCB Fabricators

Post by VK4GHZ » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:47 am

I emailed GP and wrote:What are your standard drill sizes?
Do you have a table of sizes?
Golden Phoenix wrote:As long as the min hole is >=8mil we are ok

Shane Ph.D of Electrical Eng, Manager
Gold Phoenix Technology Ltd

710 Dorval Drive Suite 200, Oakville, Canada, L6K 3V7
Email: sales@goldphoenixpcb.biz; sales@goldphoenix.biz
goldphoenixtech@yahoo.ca
Web:http://www.goldphoenixpcb.com
I then emailed back and wrote:Hi Shane
Thank you for that.
I was concerned if any of my holes sizes didn’t match your standard drill bits, then your system might round up or down by an unknown amount.
Golden Phoenix replied back straight away and wrote:Hole size tolerance +/-5mil
Adam, Brisbane
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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK4GHZ » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:12 am

This guy is doing double-sided PCBs with a solder mask - at home.
(Turn the audio down. :wink: )



What a lot of mucking around!

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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK4GHZ » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:06 pm

Worth sharing.
Various options to cut blank material:


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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK2OMD » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:14 am

I use a good slide compound mitre saw with a blade designed for cutting brittle hard stuff.
Fig04.jpg
I use a Bosch Multimaterial saw blade, which has a tooth profile as above, and carbide teeth of course. This is designed to cut aluminium, plastics, melamine coated board etc without chipping, and you will get a clean square cut which is as good or better than the factory cut. In fact the cut is so good, you need to be careful not to cut yourself on it... take the edge off with a second cut file.

Properly adjusted, the right hand tooth cuts through the material leaving a tiny protrusion that the left hand tooth cuts off without chipping. I think I paid about $30 inc post for blades in the 150-190mm range.

You can use these blades in a small table saw, but in my experience, a good quality slide saw has less play and gives better results.

I use it for FR4, Veroboard, and acrylic for electronics projects.

Mind your fingers, eyes etc when working with power tools on small pieces. Having grown up in the builing industry, I noted lots of chippies were missing the tops of fingers and it was usually caused by setting up machines on small pieces of materials, drinking at lunch time made injury easier.

Owen

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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK4GHZ » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:47 am

Just placed an order with iTead Studio, and you can now upload your gerber files (as a single zip) right there from the order management page.
Easy as!

Place the order, get redirected to PayPal, pay, come back and manage the new order, and upload the .zip file.

Image

Ten double-sided PCBs (with vias, silk screen and solder mask) for just under AUD$20.
If anyone is making PCBs the old fashioned way at home still, you are CRAZY :crazy: - you would spend more on chemicals alone, and end up with an inferior result!

Incidentally, this project is for a simple microphone preamplifier, all SMD.
The PCB is only 23.5 x 17.7mm.
You'll note the SOIC-8 package, a 4mm square trimpot, and I deliberately use "large" 1206 resistors and capacitors to make it easier to solder.

I like the 3D modelling that DIPTRACE offers, to help check and visualise the board.

What?
No 3D model for the particular part you want?

I found the 3D model file for the Bourns trimpot at: http://www.3dcontentcentral.net/3DContentCentral/

http://www.3dcontentcentral.net/3DConte ... =1&lang=en


Top side:
Image

Bottom side:
Image


DIPTRACE software package + iTeadStudio = HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! :thumbup:


Posted in the interest of communicating information :D
Adam, Brisbane
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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK2ZRH » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:25 pm

I like it! :D

I'm only writing this extra paragraph to avoid the nerdy limation of having too few characters, which denies a posting. :J
73, Roger Harrison VK2ZRH

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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK3ANZ » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:57 pm

I'd be interested to know how long it takes for them to deliver and also your opinion of the quality of the finished boards.
Susan VK3ANZ

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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK3MIX » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:03 pm

Is shipping including in the Price Adam?

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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK4GHZ » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:57 pm

VK3ANZ wrote:I'd be interested to know how long it takes for them to deliver and also your opinion of the quality of the finished boards.
Typically 3 weeks to arrive via standard airmail, which is standard for things out of China.
I've used iTeadStudio twice before, and quality is very good.

VK3MIX wrote:Is shipping including in the Price Adam?
Yes!
Regular postage was USD$4.52, so total = USD$14.42.
This is less than a PCB etching kit from Jaycar.

There is an option to use DHL which adds around 23 something USD$, and you will have them about 6-7 days later, if you're in a hurry.
itead_postage.PNG
You can see what's on offer here: http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/p ... yping.html
Note that QTY=1 ordered is actually for 10 pcs.
itead_order.PNG
:D
Adam, Brisbane
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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by ZL2BKC » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:24 pm

VK3ANZ wrote:I'd be interested to know how long it takes for them to deliver and also your opinion of the quality of the finished boards.
Susan VK3ANZ
I have used ITeadstudio many times, and the average delivery time (to NZ) is typically 3-4 weeks. More recently I batch up my orders for 3 or 4 boards at a time which help justify an upgrade to EMS express shipping which takes 1 week (plus 1 week for the fabrication)

Quality is good. With over 300 boards from them I am yet to find any defect in them. The copper clad and silk screen fab is first class. The boldness of the component overlay printing is quite variable and sometimes smudged, but perfectly acceptable for prototypes or small batch runs.

Note that the quality of the white/black silkscreen mask (based on 2 samples) which costs more is actually far superior to the green mask.

73,
Wayne ZL2BKC

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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK4GHZ » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:45 pm

In case you are wondering how long it takes to get order confirmation back from iTeadStudio.

Just received!
Only 25 ½ hours since placing order later, confirmation that gerber files have been checked, and job in the production queue.
Capture.PNG
Can't complain about that. :thumbup:
Adam, Brisbane
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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK4GHZ » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:39 pm

A follow up, for anyone interested!
PCBs arrived today from iTead Studio, 25 days from order to being on the front door using the lowest cost postage (USD$4.52) option.
Inside packaging is a sealed air-tight bag.

Image

Not unusual with PCB facbricators, but an extra PCB was received. :D
Therefore unit cost is revised down from AUD$1.93 ea to $1.75.

Image

Although the silkscreen is a bit light on in some areas, but considering the price point, the quality and finish is excellent.
I will use a bold font for silkscreen next time - solved.

A close up crop, which does little more than reveal the limitations of the consumer-grade (and non-macro!) lens I was using to take this image.

Image

Plated through holes cannot be faulted. Some vias covered with solder mask, and some without, I'll have to check my artwork on that, but nobody here really cares!
Pads are 0.067" and holes are 0.043".

Very pleased. :thumbup:


And yes, I should be on commission! :mrgreen:
Adam, Brisbane
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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK3ALB » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:15 pm

What will you use the preamps for Adam?
Lou - VK3ALB

I'll decide how I enjoy my hobby.

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Re: PCB software / PCB Fabricators?

Post by VK4GHZ » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:55 pm

VK3ALB wrote:What will you use the preamps for Adam?
Lou, to provide mic level to line level required for the mini quad's VTX.
Most FPV operation uses vision only, so the audio provides a second sense of what the motors are doing.
Prototype was a Veroboard job, as described here, and PCBs make any project a tad 'nicer'. :D
Adam, Brisbane
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