[time-nuts] TAPR Oncore M12+ kit

Bob Stewart bob at evoria.net
Fri Apr 28 14:31:59 EDT 2017

Hi Bob,
It may be because the process of cutting the boards apart is not part of the board milling process.  Yes, cutting holes in boards for through-hole parts is part of the business - round holes.  The fab house for OSHPark won't make oval holes.  They won't overlap two holes, either, nor make square notches.  This is only a guess, but I'd say that this is because they use actual drill bits to make those holes, rather than a laser.  Drill bits are expensive, and it takes a lot of time to change a drill bit when you've got hundreds of boards to mill.  It's not something I would want to do, either, without a serious penalty for the customer for a broken bit due to odd shaped holes and missed deadlines.

And OSHPark seems to use different fab houses for the small runs vs the large (10+) runs.  With the small runs, the boards are connected to each other by small tabs.  Often small boards arrive still tabbed together.  I don't know whether they route the distance between these tabs, or use a laser.  On the larger runs, there are no tabs, and the board edges are smooth, as if they were cut apart in one single operation not part of the milling process.

NB, I don't work for a fab house, nor have I ever toured one.


      From: Bob kb8tq <kb8tq at n1k.org>
 To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement <time-nuts at febo.com> 
 Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 1:06 PM
 Subject: Re: [time-nuts] TAPR Oncore M12+ kit

If you go with the PCB approach, the nice thing is getting stuff like
the slot for the D connector done at the PCB fab. That way you 
have something that drops right in and works. The downside is that 
not every pcb house is happy doing that sort of “CNC work”.  I 
have absolutely no idea why. They all have to run some sort of gear
to cut the boards apart. Cutting slots or weird holes with it is pretty



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