making a PCB

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Sonoma_Dog, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Sonoma_Dog

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    does anyone have a good recommendation on a PCB manufacturer? I am looking for some thing cheap, not so much on the quality.

  2. S_lannan

    Active Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    How many PCBs do you want 1 or 1000?
  3. Sonoma_Dog

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    around 50 - 100.
  4. darenw5

    Active Member

    Feb 2, 2008
  5. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    You might check out these folks:
    $10 setup, $2.50 per square inch for a double sided board. No limits on vias, etc. There are minimums/maximums for drill size and minimums for trace widths and clearances. You can use a wide variety of tools to generate your Gerber and Exillon drill files. They're cheap but minimum turn-around time is around 3 weeks.

    If you want the boards faster, they suggest Advanced Circuits:
    Others on this board have used AC, and have been pleased with their results.

    The problem with ExpressPCB is that their software generates proprietary files which can't be read by other PCB manufacturers. While this isn't necessarily a show-stopper, the cost of the boards may be prohibitive.

    You might try your hand with the Eagle Layout Editor from Cadsoft. The free version is limited in schematic size, board size (about 4"x3") and number of layers (2), but other than that it's a very useful tool.
    It's a bit quirky to learn. Go through the Eagle tutorial on the above site.
    Also, go through this tutorial:

    If you want to start from the beginning of their sample project, start here:
  6. teratron

    New Member

    Sep 22, 2008
    I read the question of sonoma dog, and the suggestions. I would like to know if I can use Orcad layout 7.1 to generate the pcb layout and then print a mask, or take a CD ROM to the manufacturer. Another question: if I want to build my own pcb, can I use the orcad layout and what kind of pcb kit I can buy? I used in the past -15/20 yeas ago a pcb kit, but today, are there any improvements?
  7. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    Of course, that's what the program is designed for. You export the design in a gerber mask set, which the manufacturer knows how to handle. You also need to export an NC drill file.

    If you want to make it, there are a number of ways. Photolithography or a press and peel method (toner, or specific products)