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cubanismo

Good PCB Manufacturer?

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Posted (edited)

I have a few projects nearing the stage where I would like to layout and build some tiny prototype PCBs (VGA cable/adapter, Sega Light Phaser adapter), and eventually maybe bigger things.  Anyone know a good PCB manufacturer to work with for hobbyist/retro-friendly volumes (2-3 prototype boards, orders of ~10-50 production most likely I'd assume).

 

I know this isn't an EE/maker forum, but given how many people on here have done cool projects that require custom PCBs over the years, there seem to be some knowledgeable people around these parts (Looking at you @Clint Thompson, @grips03, @Judas-Prime, whoever's making the cool short cartridge PCBs for AtariAge carts, etc.)  If you'd like to direct me to a more appropriate forum for these types of questions as a response as well, that's fine too!

Edited by cubanismo
fix typos

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For 3 pcbs (alpha,beta, pre-production) use OSHpark (USA), for more than 3 pcbs (production run) use PCBWay and Seeed Studio (China).

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I've been using Osh Park.  They're based in Oregon, IIRC.  They will let you upload Gerbers, but will also take Kicad PCB files directly, so that saves you a step.  They may also take Eagle drawings, but don't quote me on that.

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I would say the nice thing about the China based PCB makers is the price and the options.  You can really get the board you want.  OSHPark has very few options.  So even for small runs I might switch to PCBWay or jlcpcb.  Jlcpcb seems to have the lowest cost.

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5 minutes ago, grips03 said:

Jlcpcb seems to have the lowest cost.

They do, and I used them for a bit, but after they consistently screwed up every other order, and then refused to own up to their mistakes (such as by re-running the problem boards or refunding my monies), I said good riddance and didn't look back.

 

 ..Al

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In the last year I've had 2-3 problems with OSHPark.  They always took care of the issue, refund, replacement, etc.  I've only ordered twice from PCBWay, but so far they have been great.

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I've had good luck (knock on wood) with both PCBWay and JLCPCB. 

One useful quirk of JLCPCB is they are associated with LCSC.  If you have a PCB order with JLC, then go over to LCSC for some components, they will give you a decent discount on faster shipping.

On the down side, best pony up for DHL or fedex, or you will be waiting for a while on your boards.

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Just placed my first order with JLCPCB.  Its a super easy PCB, so hopefully it goes well.

 

I did notice something on the PCBWay website.  If you were going to order a standard pcb, you could save a bit using the quick order option.  In my case it was $31 for standard PCB, and $20 for quick order PCB - using all the same options.  DHL shipping with quick order was also $4 less.

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I used Elecrow for years and never had any bother. But only for prototype runs (batches of 10 or 5) of small boards (2 layer, 10x10 or less). For that sort of thing I've never had any complaints and they've always been very reasonable. For bigger or more complex stuff you're better off elsewhere.

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Got my order from JLCPCB and it was good.  Would order from again.  However, I would price compare to PCBWay.

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5 hours ago, grips03 said:

Got my order from JLCPCB and it was good.  Would order from again.  However, I would price compare to PCBWay.

Would you have the GERBER of your Atari2600 PCB?

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17 hours ago, grips03 said:

Got my order from JLCPCB and it was good.  Would order from again.  However, I would price compare to PCBWay.

I've ordered from jlcpcb several times and they always seem to be of good quality, and cheaper than pcbway 

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