EMRFD Message Archive 14929
Message Date From Subject 14929 2018-07-20 12:31:51 arfghans Cheap PCBs with great results
I just did a run of 10 small boards, 2x4 inches, double-sided with silkscreen and wanted to share the results. A fellow ham is doing production work and pointed me at the el-cheapo Chinese fab houses. I was skeptical, but gave it a try and it came out great.
I started at https://pcbshopper.com/ which gives you a bunch of instant quotes from all over the world. The shop I picked was JLCPCB.com. You fill in a simple online form and upload your Gerbers. I happen to have a high-end design package but almost any design tool (except PCB123 and ExpressPCB) will produce them. A few hours later, the design was approved and I did the PayPal thing. Order status is updated online as your job progresses.
Total price with very fast DHL shipping was $20.46 (the boards themselves cost 20 CENTS each!!). What's most amazing is that from the time I uploaded my files until I had the boards in my hand was exactly 5 days. If I had done this with with PCB123 it was going to cost $36 each...
Quality is as good as any commercial production I have seen, including fine lines, smooth plating, and very sharp silkscreen lettering. Vacuum-packed in a protective bag, too. And they threw in a nice fine-point pen.
With this kind of service, I can afford to make more mistakes ;-)