[OT]Homebrew PCB fabrication

From: Paul Koning <pkoning_at_equallogic.com>
Date: Mon Feb 21 15:25:53 2005

>>>>> "Doc" == Doc Shipley <doc_at_mdrconsult.com> writes:

 Doc> Paul Koning wrote:
>> You should be able to do a whole lot better for board prices --
>> grab any copy of EE Times and look at the ads in the back.

 Doc> Some of my friends who are into electronics design
 Doc> professionally - I'm at the Rat Shack Casual level. They use
 Doc> Advanced Circuits (www.4pcb.com) for runs of anything over a
 Doc> dozen or so. AC takes gerber files.

I think that's true for a lot of places. Usually there are a half
dozen different vendors, all with slightly different terms, offering
low volume PCB design at low prices in EE Times.

>> Some PCB shops offer free layout software, but chances are that
>> isn't such a good deal because you're tied to that shop for fab
>> and are charged extra.

 Doc> PCBExpress. The same friends use them for one-off designs,
 Doc> because they're considerably cheaper on orders of less than 6
 Doc> boards. They anly accept their proprietary file format and
 Doc> their software is Windows-only, but I'm told it runs well in
 Doc> VMware and VirtualPC.

Hm. The other issue is whether it's a decent program.

As I mentioned before, I've been using Eagle CAD for quite some time.
That produces Gerber files if that's what you need. (It also produces
PostScript output, in case you want to produce the masters on a laser
printer...) And there are shops that take the Eagle board files
directly. That's really handy because it means that there are a bunch
of design details you don't need to handle, the board shop does.

I dealt with one: PCB-Pool, which is in Ireland (maybe in the USA now
too). They do quantity ONE stuff at decent prices, and they would do
so not just for two layers but also for four layers. (I had a mixed
analog/digital board involving high speed clocks and 120 pin LSI, so I
really wanted power/ground planes, not just power/ground wires with
vias -- i.e., four layers was required.)

Received on Mon Feb 21 2005 - 15:25:53 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:37:39 BST