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Manufacturers of PCB prototypes - Recommendations

Posted on June 12, 2012 at 16:35:13

Posts: 213
Joined: January 29, 2004
I am looking for a manufacturer of PCB prototypes offering reasonable quality and prices for small productions.

Any recommendation -based on experience- will be greatly appreciated.



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RE: Manufacturers of PCB prototypes - Recommendations, posted on June 12, 2012 at 17:13:17
John Swenson

Posts: 2422
Location: No. California
Joined: October 13, 2002
I use PCBFabExpress a lot. They have a fairly high setup fee but a very low per inch and multiple board charge thus they are great for larger boards.

For small boards I use OSH Park, it's $5 per inch for 3 boards, $5 gets you three copies of a 1 square inch board. There is no setup or shipping charges, when it says $5 that is all you pay. I just did a display board for a DAC I'm building and it cost $7.50 for three boards, thats it!

But if you want to go with say a 4 x 10 inch board that's $200 for three boards, PCBFabExpress will do that for $120 including shipping.

If you do tiny little SMD boards oshpark is great, but when you start doing tube circuits with large high voltage caps etc PCBFabExpress is definitely the way to go.

John S.


RE: Manufacturers of PCB prototypes - Recommendations, posted on June 12, 2012 at 18:13:04

Posts: 6230
Location: Oregon
Joined: August 11, 2005
I've always use PCBexpress up in Mulino, Or. About 100 mi. N. of here but in all the years I've never had a problem and so no reason to run up there.

Their prices are substantially higher than they used to be, probably because post-industrial America doesn't do much anymore, but they have loosened their requirements so that you can do multiple boards on a panel now.

I still find them competitive especially for the typical 6-8 layer boards but I'm going to eyeball the vendors John mentioned also. Hobby boards can stand longer lead times...

Best, Rick

Edit: Had inadvertent send.


Second for OSH Park, posted on June 12, 2012 at 18:29:17

Posts: 2342
Location: chain o' lakes
Joined: February 20, 2003
The quality is great. The only drawback is that which you mentioned.

Still, good for up to 4" X 6" or so.

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.


RE: Manufacturers of PCB prototypes - Recommendations, posted on June 12, 2012 at 21:39:32
Ivan Beaver

Posts: 232
Location: Atlanta GA
Joined: September 1, 2007
pad-2-pad makes good circuit boards and their software is real easy to use. You can get small quantities and quickly. But as the quantitiy goes down and the lead time shortens-the price goes up.


RE: Manufacturers of PCB prototypes - Recommendations, posted on June 13, 2012 at 15:16:08
Posts: 213
Location: So. Oregon, State of Jefferson
Joined: October 1, 2007
I do a lot of quick 2 sided boards to try stuff. I use Advanced Circuits in Colorado

If you can live with no silk screen or solder mask, they will do a run OVERNIGHT for about 70 bucks. I can usually get 10 smallish boards for that. 1.25 square is the smallest size, must be square or rectangular.
"bare bones special"
Excellent quality.

Adam in Ashland OR


RE: Second for OSH Park, posted on June 27, 2012 at 16:20:35

Posts: 83
Location: tehran
Joined: December 20, 2010
Hi folks
I am thinking to wood for pcb ,and i do not know anything about pcb!
Is wood better than usuall pcb ?
i want use about 6mm thik wood that grooved for wire & filled with
beewax (on wire grave)! !
can wood keep insulation quality in high tempreture?
maybe it is not matter for crossover but what about behind the heatsinks ?


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