# How, Exactly, Do I order boards???

#### magnet18

Joined Dec 22, 2010
1,227
Alright, I want to order PCB's from Gold Phoenix.com, but I am confused on what to do. Normally I wouldn't be so hesitant, but I don't want to lose $113 Anyway, they say to pay them using pay pal, and to upload the CVS sheet they send, but you should email them *after* you order, and I don't even know what a CVS sheet is. Also, it appears to be up to the customer to make their own receipt in excel, but it says recipient email, is that intended to be my email?? Am I on the right track?? Any help anyone can give, especially if they've ordered from them before, would be awesome. #### Ron H Joined Apr 14, 2005 7,014 I don't have any answers for you, but is it a CVS sheet or a CSV sheet? If it's CSV, it could mean Comma Separated Values. This is a common data format. Thread Starter #### magnet18 Joined Dec 22, 2010 1,227 #### MrChips Joined Oct 2, 2009 23,078 #### Ron H Joined Apr 14, 2005 7,014 Thanks ron, yes, it is CSV, my bad, sorry Also, I forgot in the first post, I'm getting my information from this page http://www.goldphoenixpcb.com/singlepage.php?tg=specialprice at the bottom where it says "click here to learn more" Does anyone have any advice at all?? I hope their boards are better than their web site. I think I would order from a company whose ordering instructions I can understand. Can you imagine having to communicate with these guys if you have a problem? Thread Starter #### magnet18 Joined Dec 22, 2010 1,227 Oh, I guess so... Hopefully I can find something with a similar price... #### kubeek Joined Sep 20, 2005 5,746 How big is the board that they want 113$ for it?
Here I can get a double sided 100x100mm photoresist etched board, without plated vias, for cca 15$total. The professional stuff with plated vias, silkscreen and solder mask on both sides costs around 50$ for the same size.

#### magnet18

Joined Dec 22, 2010
1,227
How big is the board that they want 113$for it? Here I can get a double sided 100x100mm photoresist etched board, without plated vias, for cca 15$ total.
The professional stuff with plated vias, silkscreen and solder mask on both sides costs around 50\$ for the same size.
155 square inches

#### kubeek

Joined Sep 20, 2005
5,746

#### magnet18

Joined Dec 22, 2010
1,227
it's the boards for 2 of my nixie clocks
Each has 5 small sub-boards, so 10 boards total.

Which is why I was having such trouble finding a decent price.

#### kubeek

Joined Sep 20, 2005
5,746
I didn't whatch your nixe thread closely lately, but are you sure you need to have them made?
If it is mostly discrete or not too many ICs, try porting it to a stripboard, or dremel/cut the traces out of a normal plated board if the pins don't fit. Paying a hundred bucks seems very pricey to me.
Personally, I would rather hand-draw all the traces with sharpie and etch it by myself than pay that price

#### magnet18

Joined Dec 22, 2010
1,227

#### SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,221
I just looked at your boards - you know, your traces are mighty narrow - particularly on the power supply board.

Consider making them all significantly wider. You should be able to go 16 mils between pins on the DIPs, and for the long stretches, go 24 or 32 mils.

The wider your traces are, the less inductance they'll have, and the better they will carry heat away from components.

You're also back to that thing of running traces through pads and vias. That will make it harder for you to solder them, and more likely to lift a pad and ruin a board.

You don't have any holes for mounting the boards. You really should have the board shop do that for you; they don't charge extra for that, and it will be a lot less risky for them to do it than you.

You're doing something a bit strange on the power board; I see LED7 thru LED9 in a row, but they're awfully close to the traces going to the TUBE_POWER connector. That's HV, I presume?

Your trace for the gate driver of the right-hand IRF540 (reference designator missing; that's not good) looks like 10 mils wide, and it's a couple inches long with no resistor. It's probably going to ring like the dickens.

You didn't use a copper pour (polygon tool) for a ground plane. Why not?

#### magnet18

Joined Dec 22, 2010
1,227
You didn't use a copper pour (polygon tool) for a ground plane. Why not?
because I placed the parts, and pressed autoroute.
i guess you're right on all accounts, though i'm not to worried about heat dissipation, nothing is being stressed hardly at all (except the IRF840's)

#### n1ist

Joined Mar 8, 2009
189
I would never trust an autorouter to route a switching power supply. I would redo the power stages, using pours or at least thick low-impedance traces. I would also place the power stage (input cap, FET, diode, output cap) close together in a way to minimize the connections between them.

/mike

#### Yako

Joined Nov 24, 2011
245
Takes longer to etch too if the tracks are too thin, which they are. Auto router can never produce good designs that are done and dusted ready for production. Christ I couldn't be stuffed doing all that for a clock.