Where can I get the cheapest PCB's made?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by magnet18, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    I need to get 5 different PCB's made, each one about 3*4 inches, and at the moment I only need 1 or 2 of each for prototyping reasons, does anyone know where I can get these for really cheap?
     
  2. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    I heard china is the way to go these days. However, I still try to use the local market whenever possible. Just so that if something goes wrong I can yell at the one responsible in person. Moreover, the elevated domestic cost is almost leveled by the customs fares.
     
  3. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
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    I highly recommend www.10pcb.com
    It's a company based in China, and I've had several boards made there. The price is cheap, the quality is good, and shipping time is excellent. I ordered boards on monday and they arrived at my door on thursday--surprising considering they were sent from China! So that means that they were made and shipped in only 3 days! Anyway, definitely worth looking into!
    Der Strom
     
  4. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    has anyone ever used gold-phoenix before?
    Also, does eagle-free allow the creation of multi-design panels?
     
  5. John P

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2008
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    I was going to mention Gold Phoenix. I've ordered from them twice, and both times it worked out very well. You send them Gerber files and arrange payment via Paypal, and you'll get the boards in about 10 days. Both times they sent me about twice as many boards as I'd paid for.

    See here:
    http://files.myopera.com/John98wbr/albums/661338/panel.jpg

    And here:
    http://files.myopera.com/John98wbr/albums/661338/pcb.JPG

    The panel shown was designed to fit their offer of 155sqin of mixed boards for $140. I didn't waste much!

    http://www.goldphoenixpcb.com/singlepage.php?tg=specialprice
     
  6. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Good lord that is damn fast! I can get one day manufacturing but how did you have them shipped? Did you pay extra for 1 or 2 day or overnight shipping?

    Stuff I get from China off EBay with "standard" shipping seems to cross the Pacific by boat and takes 2-3 weeks to arrive.
     
  7. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
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    The first time I had boards made, they were shipped via DHL, no extra cost as far as I could tell (unless it was rolled into my overall price). Second batch of boards were shipped via UPS, which took about a week, but they were ordered on thursday, so it was shipped over the weekend. All things considered, though, the quality is great and the service is excellent. I wouldn't have boards made anywhere else.
    Der Strom
     
  8. mcasale

    Member

    Jul 18, 2011
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    12
    A lot of good information in these responses. You did not say if these boards are prototypes for a future product, or just one-offs. In either case, I have used ExpressPCB at http://expresspcb.com/

    They have tools for schematic entry & layout that are FREE. Once you have bought a few prototype boards (they do not load them), they will sell you the Gerbers for doing production somewhere else. I have used them for THT designs, and it's a pretty fast learning curve.

    It's worth a look. Good luck.
     
  9. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    I use apcircuits. May not be the cheapest but they will ship the next day. They also have a prototyping service which is what I use every time: no silk screen, no solder mask.
     
  10. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    QFT. I have used them many times, like their free tools, excellent service that breaks the "good/fast/cheap" rule of "only pick two."
     
  11. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    They have strange pricing:
    2 of 1 inch square PCBs $10
    10 of 1 inch square PCBs $84.90
    Both are $28 shipping.
     
  12. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    OK, I have looked at the prices and determined that in order to get a halfway reasonable price (under $150), I need to be able to put the boards together (as in side by side, to be broken apart later) in the production file. If I do this, I can get 2 and 2/5 of a clock (12 boards) for $100 from gold phoenix.
    Eagle won't let me do that, what will? (preferably without re-doing the schematic... again)

    LIKE THIS-
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  13. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    1,232
    124
    Wondering, if I put the boards together in one panel, can I just send it as 1 board, separate it myself, and save on the $30 "multi-design panel" fee?
     
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