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PCB Manufactures in China?

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Posted: 1/10/2013 5:18:46 AM
RS Theremin
From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA
Joined: 2/15/2005

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I need to order more printed circuit boards and thought I would try China for the cost savings on a small order. I know a few of you have your favorites which I would like to try.

A couple manufactures that I found wanted me to do a wire transfer of funds to China which appeared shaky being they don't qualify for a Master Card account. I also avoid Paypal.

I was born at night but ...

Thanks for any recommendations.

Christopher

Posted: 1/10/2013 7:08:23 AM
Thierry
From: Colmar, France
Joined: 12/31/2007

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http://www.pcbcart.com

That's where I order my circuit boards, i.e. for the famous modules. 

You have to create a customer account (free), you enter the technical description of your desired board (materials, number of layers and holes, size, etc.) and the desired quantity. Then the system calculates automatically a quote including shipping costs.

When you accept, you pay either by credit card or PayPal. Then you upload the CAD files for your board (they accept many file formats, including the free Eagle layout s/w). After 24 to 48 hours they will send you the result of the file importation and conversion as a bunch of pdfs, including the copper layers, the drilling mask, the silk screen printing, etc. for approval. You may then either approve or upload corrected files until you are satisfied. Finally you give green light for the production and get your pcbs about two weeks later.

Posted: 1/10/2013 6:50:16 PM
RS Theremin
From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA
Joined: 2/15/2005

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Thierry said: "When you accept, you pay either by credit card or PayPal. Then you upload the CAD files for your board (they accept many file formats,"

Thanks Thierry for the info. Your words here are key as I got all the way to clicking payment through MasterCard/PayPal and they never mentioned, that I found, about uploading Gerber files, so I bailed out. My board is 3" x 8" single side with 380 drilled holes. It is a fun yet endless project just pushing things around slightly so every delay creates opportunity for adjustments. I think of the board as Art with restraints in how big I allow the canvas to be.

I have self etched boards so many times that I now would rather have a box of never used commercial theremin pc boards, each as a medallion to my journey that had many bumps along the way.

Christopher

Posted: 1/19/2013 1:35:43 AM
RS Theremin
From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA
Joined: 2/15/2005

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Hi All,

Do we need activity on this board?

Something I find interesting is after submitting to three manufactures the possibility of making my circuit boards in China they probe my website now.  I post at the top of my main webpage the two most active countries of “the week”.

For me my theremin research has a specific purpose but wouldn't it be great if a China toy manufacturer came out with a product that was competitive against today’s professional instruments as we know them, yet  with quality, reasonably priced and geared towards kids? The theremin may not be able to compete against the modern day digital mind control games but do kids really take piano lessons anymore?

Christopher

Posted: 1/19/2013 2:28:23 AM
dewster
From: Northern NJ, USA
Joined: 2/17/2012

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"... would it not be great if a China toy manufacturer came out with a product that was competitive against today’s professional instruments as we know them, yet  with quality, reasonably priced and geared towards kids?"  - RS Theremin

It's totally doable, particularly by going the digital route.  A few coils, plus a cheap processor and small CPLD, maybe even just a processor with PWM (I haven't looked into that particular avenue) could do it.  $50 retail ($10 parts and slave labor) could be a fantastic toy, $100 could beat a lot if not most Theremins out there IMO, particularly in terms of features.  I believe the main reason no one has jumped in the market is it's just too small.  They want a safe bet, so electronic musical instruments built by the major manufacturers are pretty dull lately.  Zero (or negative?) innovation going on in the corporate space, NAMM puts me to freakin' sleep.

I (like you I imagine) am concentrating more on the professional space, where expectations (drift, tone, linearity, etc.) are more exacting.

Posted: 1/19/2013 3:47:29 AM
RS Theremin
From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA
Joined: 2/15/2005

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dewster said: "I (like you I imagine) am concentrating more on the professional space, where expectations (drift, tone, linearity, etc.) are more exacting."

Theremin experiments led the direction of my design; which is evolution. There are NO Exaggerations in any statements I have mentioned on my webpages or about my theremin design.

I need an invitation from a So. California Classical Thereminist that I can set up for, to validate my theremin research & response.

dew.. I hope you exhaust the digital oscillator approach before you come back to LC oscillators. Using two simple NPN transistor LC oscillators is found perfect linearity, thermal drift resistance and a very respectable theremin voice, not a dry whistle that needs reverb. An audio amplifier follows this and there is something about my PCB I discovered I do not make obvious in the graphic. Currently my webpage is to sense public interest before I get pc boards made.

Christopher

Posted: 1/19/2013 6:07:44 AM
dewster
From: Northern NJ, USA
Joined: 2/17/2012

threads posts

"I hope you exhaust the digital oscillator approach before you come back to LC oscillators."  - RS Theremin

It is very much an LC oscillator, but with digital logic sensing the resonance (90 degree delay) point.  Nothing all that unusual really.

Posted: 1/21/2013 4:25:50 PM
FredM
From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K.
Joined: 12/7/2007

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I STRONGLY ADVISE PEOPLE NOT TO USE THIS SUPPLIER!

This company is, IMO, completely incompetent as well as being dishonest.

NOT from Canada - From China !

Promise to deliver on schedule, and a week after recieving Gerbers, inform me that the drill files are corrupt.. I waste time checking and confirming the files are not corrupt, and eventually get an accidental admission that the boards are delayed due to Chinese New Year!

I cancelled my order and have been forced to buy from a European supplier on 6WD, adding £100 to my cost.

 

This may be of interest - boards from Canada.. on Ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prototype-PCB-fabrication-Etching-2-layers-10cm-x-10cm-10-PCS-free-shipping-WW-/270984706532?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f17f279e4

Have not used them. <EDIT> I have NOW, unfortunately!

Fred.

Posted: 1/21/2013 6:42:41 PM
RS Theremin
From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA
Joined: 2/15/2005

threads posts

Thanks Fred,

I sent them my Gerber files for a quote. China is a bargain until one gets the shipping charge which was almost $100 by itself. My board is much larger than the eBay boys advertise. Being they don't indicate their company name has me concerned. I am not very familiar with the workings of eBay. I would enjoy having 10 boards made for my personal use, the market for giving away appears to be non-existent anymore. The University Students have all graduated, with honors I hope. The youngsters I talk to today all want to be game programmers. Do they understand how difficult and competitive that must be? It might be easier to become a movie star.

Christopher

Posted: 1/21/2013 9:09:21 PM
FredM
From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K.
Joined: 12/7/2007

threads posts

This Canadian supplier has the best price on 10cm x 10cm x 10 boards that I have seen - about 1/2 the price that I can get the same boards from PCB Cart (China) .. and from China shipping costs are not included (wheras from this Canadian supplier PCBs are free postage to U.K.)..

China has been a "bargain" - But this supplier is cheaper! ... I do wonder though - are they really making the boards in Canada?, or do they simply email your gerbers to their factory in China or some other place where people work at slave wages and expensive "niceties" like health, safety, and the environment are disregarded.

I recon that for 10 boards, factoring P+P in, the cost will be about 1/3 of what I could get from any other supplier (if I only want 10 boards).. Its enough to make me re-draft my boards to 10cm x 10cm. Small runs of PCB's are probably my biggest overhead - Clients want PCB's not breadboard, and even one PCB - and one 10cm x 10cm will cost about $85 + P+P, 10 boards clocks in at about $100 +P+P, so I end up buying 10 anyway, and giving the spares to the client.

I would be interested to see how their price compares for different board size to 10cm x 10cm - but expect its going to be a lot more expensive - Hope im wrong..

Fred.

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