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PCB Manufacturers???

PCB Manufacturers???

PCB Manufacturers???

I was wondering what printed-circuit board manufacturers people like to use.  I work on small EE projects at home, and would like to find a someone to make prototype boards at a low cost.  I've used PCBExpress in the past, but it seems like I should be able to get one made for less than $50/board.

The typical boards are usually:  2 layers (top and bottom), almost always thru-hole, hardly ever more than 36 inch^2, standard drill-hole sizes and trace width, hardly ever more than 50 components.  I use OrCAD Layout to create the gerber files.  So as you can see, the boards are generally simple.

Also, I've tried making my own boards or using perf. board, but there are two problems w/ this 1) I'm lazy and they take a long time, 2) I like the finished product to look professional.

Thanks to anyone w/ input!

RE: PCB Manufacturers???

I have used Triad and Sonic.  Both are in the Chicagoland area and both do decent jobs.

RE: PCB Manufacturers???

I don't think you will get much better pricing than that. Prototype board mfging is a highly competitive market so most board houses are priced that way. I use AP circuits in Canada. I recently got 12 3"x2" boards for $120 US, including shipping. The trick is to try to use a whole sheet as defined by the mfg. This may involve several different boards on one sheet to get more bang for your buck. If you don't use a whole sheet you still pay for it.

RE: PCB Manufacturers???

I have used Olimex in Bulgaria.  About $29 plus shipping, another $20.  Very high quality.  Price includes soldermask and silkscreen.


Be careful about supplying your credit card number.  If possible use a limited use card.  They do a pretty good job, as in only accepting it by fax, but you never know.

RE: PCB Manufacturers???

Somewhat depends on your preferences. I like using board houses that are fairly local, which for me is the Carolinas area. I use http://www.americancircuits.com which is located in Charlotte NC.

RE: PCB Manufacturers???

Thanks to everyone's suggestions.  I've already received quotes from some of these companies for a new project I'm working on.  Most of them have been under PCBExpress' price!  Now I think it is just a matter of convenience.  Thanks again.

RE: PCB Manufacturers???

hey tdbeng;

I am in roughly the same situation as you with the high cost of doing prototypes at home via the internet. I have been contemplating doing boards at home. Many websties explain in detail the ins and outs of home board building. A website that comes to mind is: http://www.robotroom.com/PCB.html ; Good luck with those PCB's.

Cy Drollinger

RE: PCB Manufacturers???

I have been using Alberta Printed Circuits (www.apcircuits.com) for several years.  The Canadian dollar currently has a depressed value which makes their prices very attractive.  Their price includes overnight delivery and two day processing.

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