PCBway - ultra low-cost pc boards

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,171
I have used them the last 2 times, good result.
The offer China post as well as DHL,
Most have stopped shipping C.P. I guess because of the delay, which I was not concerned about.
Max.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,062
I have used them the last 2 times, good result.
The offer China post as well as DHL,
Most have stopped shipping C.P. I guess because of the delay, which I was not concerned about.
Max.
I have a little experience with British (PorcelForce?) and its China equivalent. As much as it hurts me to say it, a very large part of the problem/delay is clearing American customs. DHL, FedEx and other contract carriers clear customs as a whole (i.e., by container, not individual piece as with anything that connects to USPS). That speeds it up immensely and reduces pilferage (I lost some irreplaceable lathe collets to American Customs in NYC a few years back). When I checked prices, there was a $10 USD difference between DHL and China Post/USPS , which works out to be about $1/day for the added delay and lack of tracking. For FedEx, it was $1.50 per day. Either is worth it to me.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,171
a very large part of the problem/delay is clearing American customs.
Don't have that problem with CanPost, I believe one reason is that in the last 10 yrs, there has been so much Chinese imports, etc, that CanBorderServices have become overwhelmed.
Plus they have been centralizing their import points, so it increases the issue drastically of collecting duty.
Max.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,062
My life was data. Here's an example from my most recent order:

upload_2019-2-11_15-3-0.png
China takes 2-1/2 days; USA takes 7 days! Albeit, China is outgoing, and it has less vested interest. I do not have data from a scheduled carrier recently with which to compare, but I have been told the difference is huge. Moreover, two days after customs is completed, I still don't know where my package is. The last one I got took about a week, and there was no tracking until it arrived at the local P.O .
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,062
From a quote I tried: $3 for three boards, $26 shipping (UK).
I can feel your pain, but what is the alternative? Years ago, I made all of my own boards, including double-sided with vias. The blank, double-sided, photosensitized boards were about $7.50 to $9.00 each plus shipping. Labor about a day (forget it). Quality (great, of course ;) ), but no solder resist, silkscreen, or lots nice looking vias -- no comparison. So, $22.50 + $8 = $30.50 vs. $29. Yes, I hate to pay more than 8 times the cost of the product for shipping, but it is still cheaper in many cases.
 

pmd34

Joined Feb 22, 2014
507
Hi AnalogKid, I use PCBway all the time (62 orders) and they are actually pretty fantastic!
They have told me they have the $5 boards to attract customers, as you will see the prices go up quite a bit if you change the specs to a larger size, more layers etc.
The shipping is a pain, as its expensive to have DHL, though I can get my PCB back in hand within 5 days if I do (to Norway) with the regular service at PCBway. E-packet is quite reasonable and is quicker than the normal china post about 2 weeks total delivery time.

The service is pretty great too, you can get an instant quote which is perfect, and they check the board files usually within an hour (any day / time of the week). The only slight trouble you might encounter is that if there is something wrong with your gerber files, they have to wait till "normal" office hours to get someone to reply to you in English.

I actually used to make my own PCBs, but really you cant compete, via pins were always an issue even with rivets, and now for SMD work, plating and solder mask is really essential to prevent solder bridging.

The standard specs of PCBWay are pretty impressive, minimum track thickness, hole size etc. plenty of choice for solder mask colour, and you can even go for thinner board if you want it.
I almost embarrassed to admit that if I need some insulating spacers then its easier to get a batch of PCBs made than try and make them myself in the workshop!!

I actually came across this:

"WOW... and $5!!!"
 
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