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Getting started making PCB with software like Eagle

Jouellet

Feb 2, 2015
86
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Feb 2, 2015
Messages
86
Hi Folks,

I just want to share my experience of getting started with my first "professional-like" PCB.

For years, I've made PCB: first using a pen, on bare boards, then migrated to tape & rub-on kit. The next step was using positive sensitive boards. That allowed me to produce more than one of the same....Was great !

First ones were using tape and still, those rub-on kit, but on a transparency ! My last migration was to use Autocad (custom object, like DIP, pad, etc ) and a LASER printer. Results were pretty impressive.

Many time I had tried to learn software like Protel, Eagle, Orcad, etc ... But the "getting-older" bear in me was just getting frustrated as these software did not seem "user friendly" enough.

That was until I found Jeremy Blum's tutorial; I hate this kid...Everything about electronic seem so simple, so obvious. I went thru his 3 tutorials, and that was enough to get me started "full-throttle" with Eagle. Here are the links for those interested:

Tutorial #1:
Tutorial #2:
Tutorial #3:

I watched them about 3 weeks ago, and since then, I have created a library that included all the components that I regularly use. Makes my life easier ! Should have done that many years ago ! (well giving Jeremy's age, he was probably not born yet !)

Now in terms of having my PCB manufactured, I've done a fair amount of research, and settled for www.pcbway.com (which is also the same as www.pcbgogo.com . Figured that out while requesting a quote from both..)

The price was pretty good: 10 boards for 10$ (up to 100mm x 100mm per board). If you are in no hurry, shipping with EMS was 10$. The process of submitting your design could not be any simpler...

Made an order of 4 designs at 10 boards each, with DHL delivery (Canada). 65 $ for 40 boards...not bad ! Sent order on Tuesday, received my boards the next Monday! Damn good if you ask me !

I received my boards yesterday. I must admit that I was <beeep> IMPRESSED ! BTW, they are not good in math, as I received 11 boards of each design !!!! (I guess that's fairly standard practice)

OK...2 of my design were wrong (one had a trace overlap, the other had a wrong footprint for a relay, but these were caused by me still in the "learning curve") but the quality is just amazing. Once assembled, my boards look like commercial made boards ! Silkscreen and soldermask is not something I was used to with my "hand-made" ones. I almost cried....

Some of you won't be impressed as they've been making their board like that for years, but let me just enjoy that moment !!!

I've ask Aimee (from PCBWAY.COM) if they could have other offer, like smaller boards (50mmx50mm) at a better price, or if I could combine multiple design on one 100mm x 100mm board (let say at 15$), because sometime, I have many small one-of-a-kind design. I will see what she reply, and keep you posted if there is any interest !

Anyway, as far as I'm concern, they have "won my heart" and my business..

That's it folks ! I had to share it with people who care, because my wife didn't give a <****> about it ....
 
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Colin Mitchell

Aug 31, 2014
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Aug 31, 2014
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Elecrow allow you to have 4 boards on the one panel for $15.00 and you cut them yourself.
Eventually I got PCBWAY to accept this proposal but it took 7 emails and wasted 2 weeks of my time and so I went to Elecrow
 

Minder

Apr 24, 2015
3,479
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Apr 24, 2015
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3,479
I prefer Kicad open architecture, free, no size restriction, plenty of tutorials and supported by Cern!
DirtyPCB made super boards 10cmx10cm for $25.00. p.paid.
Also Itead is good.
M.
 

SLYartfeather

Jun 28, 2016
1
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
1
I'd like to share with you another easy-to-use PCB design software. EasyEDA is a free, zero-install Web-based EDA tool which integrates powerful schematic capture, mixed-mode circuit simulation and PCB layout. Try and register on it to win 5 dollars coupons of making PCB.

Moreover, EasyEDA also offer electronic hobbyists customized PCB manufacture service. You could make and order PCB at low price but high quality. It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to design your PCB and order it directly from EasyEDA.

Find more tutorial about create a schematic, simulation and pcb layout from https://easyeda.com/feather/Getting_Started_with_EasyEDA_Part_1_Create_Schematic-gCwOI0iAt
 

Jouellet

Feb 2, 2015
86
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
86
Follow up about PCB manufacturer

Note that this is my personal experience, and other peoples might have different opinion about it !

Got frustrated by PCBway, because I've sent them a board design, that was actually 2 designs, merge into 1 Gerber file, still within the 100M x 100mm limit. They were charging me 24$ (instead of 10$) for that reason. I asked them not to cut the inside of the board, to consider it as a bigger PCB, and I would take care of the cutting...still, 24$ which is more than if I had submitted 2 separate designs... They told me that is was because it was a "Panel"

Maybe someone can correct me, but when they refer to "Panel" my understanding is : many exact same design, arranged in some sort of array, each of them "half-cut" so you can "snap-break" them apart. My combined design, are different designs, arrange to fit within the specified limit, with an overall square shape, to make their life easier.

Did some research and found other supplier.Note that my results are always for 10pcs of the same board.

DirtyPCBs:
For a 50mm x 50mm, their price is 14$, including basic shipping !
100mm x 100mm is 25$. Again, basic shipping is included.
They don't care is it's 1 or 20 designs....they will produce a board that you have to cut yourself.
Got my first 50mm x 50mm (3 designs) from them. good quality !

EasyEDA:
100mm x 100mm is 17.60$
Shipping is on top of that.
Exchange a few E-mail with one of their employee. He offered me coupon (pretty interesting coupon).Willing to get Your business, but a bit pricey. Will probably give them a try.
From the conversation we had, they are likely to accept multiple design within 1 board

SMART Prototype:
Their price is 11.90$ for a 100mm x 100mm
Shipping is only with major courier (way faster, but more expensive)
Not sure about multiple design within 1 board

Maker studio:
100mm x 100mm is 9.60$
Looks like they accept multiple design within 1 board
Shipping is only with major courier (way faster, but more expensive)

FirstPCB:
100mm x 100mm is 10.00$
Just placed an order: will see if they accept multiple design within 1 board
Shipping is only with major courier (way faster, but more expensive)
Offer you a 10$ coupon on your first order.

PCBWay:
100mm x 100mm is 10$
Basic shipping for 10pcs @ 100mm x x100mm is 10$
Offer a 5$ coupon on your 1st order
Ordered a few time from them. Good quality
** DO NOT accept multiple design within 1 board **

My conclusion:
1 board, 1 design, up to 100mm x 100mm, basic shipping: PCBWay
1 board, multiple designs, up to 50mm x 50mm, basic shipping: DirtyPCBs
1 board, multiple designs, up to 100mm x 100mm, basic shipping: DirtyPCBs
More than 1 board, multiple design or not, 100mm x 100mm: FirstPCB, MakerStudio & SMART prototype

And also, be careful when getting stuff shipped by courier: I don't know anywhere else in the world (I'm in Canada), but DHL charged me 18$ to collect 3$ worth of taxes on my last shipment....UPS, Fedex and Puro and not any better...UPS has some kind of "flat rate" of 30$ when I order stuff from USA...

Just received an invoice from FedEx (as I was typing this..): 16.43$ for an item with declared value of 34$...2.39$ of real taxes...hate those courier...

That's it folks. Hope that some of you will find this helpful !
 

Minder

Apr 24, 2015
3,479
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Apr 24, 2015
Messages
3,479
And also, be careful when getting stuff shipped by courier: I don't know anywhere else in the world (I'm in Canada), but DHL charged me 18$ to collect 3$ worth of taxes on my last shipment....

I have been caught by DHL ONCE!
Almost as bad as US Ebay sellers that use the GSP (Global Shipping Program) by Pitney Bowes and touted by Ebay, many times ridiculous prices, I refuse to buy unless they change it to USPS shipping.
M.
 

Ferrcoloe

Dec 21, 2016
2
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
2
I tried a PCB prototype service previously called Seeed Studio Fusion and was happy with the cost and lead time, the price of 10pcs double layer 10cm x 10cm is $9.90.
 

ZFpcba-Downey

Dec 23, 2016
5
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
Messages
5
[Moderator edit: full citation of post #1 deleted. Unnecessary to quote the full post. Harald Kapp]
10usd for 10 boards? Holyshit, the price is unbeliveable. Just as question, are they in good quality? Like solder by machine or is it OK to repair the boards if solder wrong?
 
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