PCB Manufacture

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I often read in the NG's about the dissappointments some have in using
off-shore PCB manufacturers.
Well, heres some good news!! - and this is NOT spam.

For the past few months I have been using PCB Cart ( www.pcbcart.com ) - I
came across their name through another posting on a NG.

Recently I placed and received an order for 200 pieces and had requested
WHITE solder mask. The boards arrived GREEN.

So I thought  "Here goes, just another 'don't care' "outfit. So I emailed
them about the problem. Within an hour or two I received a relpy email
wherein they acknowledged their mistake and took responsibility, indicating
they would make good the order at their cost.

Five days later, I received via DHL the 200 WHITE boards - SURPRISE,
SURPRISE!

So, full marks to PCB Cart and their service. The quality of their work
equals their service, and pricing is fair.

Hopefully this post will benefit others looking an opinion when looking for
for a quality reliable honest PCB manufacturer.

Regards.




Re: PCB Manufacture


Thanks,

I just run quick quote by them. For prootype (2 layers), they are more
expensive than Futurlec, but may be good to use for small production runs
and 4 layers PCBs.

Rudolf

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How big were these boards and roughly what was the cost?
How many layers etc?

I've never had any problems with PCB manufacturers, ever. The only slight
problem I had was when then got a few decimal points wrong about the
accuracy you could go to when you had tracks passing via's that resulted in
a few shorts.



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using

Pardon me if I have got this wrong, but SOLDER MASK is the layer which
protects the outside copper layer/s and prevents solder going where it
shouldn't. If you asked for a WHITE SOLDER MASK they probably thought
"what kind of a gook request is this? If we make the SOLDER MASK
white, what colour are we going to print the component overlay?"

In my experience SOLDER MASK default is usually GREEN and component
overlay text is WHITE. (unless otherwise specified).


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Which is exactly what he did apparently. (specify otherwise that is)

MrT.



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Well, not exactly, he didn't. In order for your supposition to be
accurate the OP should tell us what colour he specified for the
component overlay text. If he simply told the PCB manf he wanted white
solder mask and didn't specify the overlay color then what are they
going to do? put white text on white solder mask? I don't think so....

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Re-read the word "apparently".

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Since the job was re-done at the manufacturers cost including express
shipping, I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Not that I really care anyway.

MrT.



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There was/is no text. The boards need to be white as they are used in a
lighting application etc. etc. etc. as specified by my customer.
At the PCB Cart Website you have the option to choose the colour of
soldermask - I chose, as explained, white.
The boards measure 100 x 20 (mm) and the total delivered cost was +/-
US$170.00
Take a look at their site and run a dummy quote to find out all the options.

Cheers.




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component
is)
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white
they
so....
express
a
options.

Thanks for the clarification - strange that there was no component
overlay for such a quantity though. Some customers make decisions on
perceptions of cost saving which are completely incorrect. Having to
continually refer to printed sheets for component placing during
stuffing wastes more time and money than the cost of having an overlay
in my opinion. It also helps later on for repairs and maintenance.

My concern was because I had seen a similar situation where the
ordering officer in my section provided conflicting specifications
with an overseas manf and due to the difficulty in both language and
the means for immediate contact (there was mo email then), the manf
just made a "guess" which meant the order was wrong and had to be done
again - with some argument of course.

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In this case there are minimal components, plus it is a 'never' to be
repaired item (throw away) plus and most importantly the slightest
distraction from white, even text, impedes on the final required result of
the performance of the PCB - too complex to explain here.

It is not a mandatory requirement that PCB's have a text overlay - that is a
decision of the designer etc. etc.
PCB's start from a 'raw' single sided board (no solder mask, overlay and so
on) through to multilayer masked complete with overlays etc. It's all
depends on what you want/require/need/cost etc. etc. etc. etc........




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Now  you've got my curiosity piqued...

What is the application and why "even text" degrades the function?

Why...?
--
John English


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PCBcart offer Green, Blue, Red, Black, Yellow and White solder mask as
standard options in their on-line quote drop-down box. Along with
White, Black, Yellow and Red silkscreen.
So it wasn't a "gook request".

Dave.


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I just got some PCBs in from our usual Taiwanese manaufacturer (speedy
circuits) and the white overlay had a funny purple tinge to it. Looked
really trippy against the gloss black solder mask. Speed live up to
their name though, 7 different 4 to 10 layer board designs delivered
on my desk in 4 days from Taiwan. Amazing.

Dave.


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Hi Dave, how are their prices?

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I have only used them for high end short turn stuff, so don't have a
figure for run-of-the-mill stuff yet. But a board I sent today is
300x200mm 8 layer, 5/4 clearance, immersion gold with all the
trimmings, and it was US$400ea + US$600 setup for a 3 day turn. So not
exactly hobbyist pricing.
But they appear to work round the clock, even sending emails at 2am
their time, and you really do get the boards in 3 days to your door
from Taiwan.

Dave.


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Cost per square inch/cm?


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I've just ordered some boards from PCB Cart.
I really like their online ordering system, works superbly and allows
you to easily optimise your pricing based on QTY and all sorts of
options. Gold finish was only a few cents more per board so I went
with that.
Easy payment by PalPal which I like, and file upload is simple at the
end of the order. File is held online so you can simply reorder if
needed.

Will report back on how it turns out, but I'm impressed so far.

Dave.


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I just got my first job back from PCBcart and I am impressed.
Quality is very good (for the price), I got exactly what I asked for
(with unusual options like 0.8mm material, gold plate, black solder
mask, and slots), and got it the exact day they said I would get it.
All boards are marked as being electrically tested as well.

Everything went smooth as silk - got my online quote, uploaded gerber
files, got confirmation email with day it would be shipped, payed by
PayPal, they shipped the day they said they would ship (and you can
check progress online), and I got the package the day they said I
would. I also got the tracking number and was able to track the
package online to my doorstep.

The only thing I didn't like was that they added the "UL 94V-0 mark
right on the top side overlay were I didn't want it.

I'll be using them again for sure.

Dave.


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