[time-nuts] OT: ExpressPCB (cross-post from volts-nuts)

John Ackermann N8UR jra at febo.com
Fri Dec 9 15:34:38 EST 2016

That points out a key difference in the PCB house pricing models: 
ExpressPCB and the Advanced Circuits $33 prototype are flat fee up to a 
size limit (for Advanced Circuits 4 x 6 inches) while others go by the 
square inch -- OSH Park is $5/in2 for three copies of two layer, and 
$10/in2 for three of four layer.

So for small boards, OSH Park is great but for larger boards, the price 
difference reduces (a 4 x 6 board ends up being just about the same 
price as Advanced Circuits).  And if you can stand the slower 
turnaround, the Chinese board houses can't be beat for any size.

On 12/9/2016 3:18 PM, Bob Stewart wrote:
> I built my first set of boards with ExpressPCB, but they get expensive quickly if you want to make something that's not in their special form factor.  I use KICAD and OshPark.com to make my boards (there are other board makers).  I just ordered some boards that are .7" x .63" that cost $8.40 for 12.  You buy in multiples of 3, so that was actually $2.10 for a set of 3 times 4 sets.  Using surface mount, I was able to put an SOIC-14, an SOIC-16, an SOT23-5, three 0805 caps, a 3 pin header, and a 5 pad connector on the board.  Something like that would be wastefully expensive on ExpressPCB.
> Bob
>        From: BIll Ezell <wje at quackers.net>
>   To: time-nuts at febo.com
>   Sent: Friday, December 9, 2016 1:58 PM
>   Subject: [time-nuts] OT: ExpressPCB (cross-post from volts-nuts)
> Sorry if I'm behind the times, just did a new project that required a
> pcb, and ExpressPCB is my go-to vendor for one-off boards. I just
> noticed they now provide the low-cost boards (fixed size, 3x5, quantity
> 3) that I've always ordered with silk screen and solder mask for $71. I
> got my latest boards that way and they're beautiful. No relationship to
> them, just a happy customer. You can still get the barebones boards for
> $51. The hack I used to use was to put the component id and such on the
> top copper layer as tiny text, but that was a bit of a pain for layout.
> (Oops, can't put that label there, it's copper and there's a trace there
> also) Really nice to be able to get real boards, even if it does end up
> being ~$23/board.

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