contract pcb layout

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Hi,

What are you guys paying these days for contract PCB layout?

And as long as I'm asking, how about FPGA design? I'm getting quotes
in the $125 to $175/hour range.

John

**********************************

John Larkin, President
Highland Technology, Inc

jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com
http://www.highlandtechnology.com

Precision electronic instrumentation
Picosecond-resolution Digital Delay and Pulse generators
Custom laser controllers
Photonics and fiberoptic TTL data links
VME thermocouple, LVDT, synchro   acquisition and simulation

Re: contract pcb layout
On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 16:17:03 -0800, John Larkin

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I think both of us are in the wrong place!  ;-)

Re: contract pcb layout
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Keep in mind that the self-employed pay for their own office space, the
lab gear, computers, supplies, 100% of the health care Dollars (VERY
painful expense), full FICA taxes, insurances, and so on. Oh, and there
ain't no such thing as sick days or paid vacation time for them. You get
sick, you have no income.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

Re: contract pcb layout

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Understood, if they have their own facilities.  I thought John liked people
working in close proximity ("engineering is not a non-contact sport", or some
such).  Almost all the jobs I've looked into are the same; on-site.  None at
those sorts of rates (most now are in the $60-$65 range, with some weirdos
trying to find people for $40.  

As far as "sick days" go, I haven't had such for five years[*] (PTO only).
Five years ago I had no paid days at all and I was making half that ($75/hr).
I'm "contracting" (a contract-to-hire gig) now but do get PTO (only 10d/yr).

[*] Actually, I've never had such a thing as "sick days".  At IBM, if you were
sick you stayed home.  Period.  I can count the number of times I was sick on
one hand and I missed an average of less than two days a year (hard to get
into work when you can't walk).

Re: contract pcb layout
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On-site can be different. However, major difference: Those people are
often essentially like employees. Meaning they get paid 40h/week. True
consultants do not. We have to do our own book keeping, marketing, tax
prep, and a big one is continuing education. All considered overhead,
meaning hours spent at zero Dollars revenue. I had that a could weeks
ago where I needed to bone up on how a bus worked. That was non-billed time.


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Careful. The company is walking a rather fine line here between what is
deemed contractor status and what is not. Can have unpleasant
consequences a few years down the road.


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Same here. I only bowed out if there was a serious chance that I could
infect people with some bug. International travel has its risks in that
area. Sadly, one guy returning from Africa died from a virus. Before
they had the lab test list worked off he was gone :-(

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

Re: contract pcb layout

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When I was at LM, I got paid straight contract price, though it was W2, not
1099.  Everything I did, from the minute I got there to when I walked out the
door (usually 60-80hrs per week) was chargeable.  That's the common mode,
these days.  Government has made paying live-in contractors on 1099s as rare
as hen's teeth.  

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Yes the government is into every part of our lives but they do it regularly.
There are dozens of contractors now and only one is what I'd call a real
"contractor" (a layout guy).

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Same here, though if I caught the bug from work, they're already infected.
It's usually those with children in school who are the typhoid Marys.  My wife
works in a bank so gets sick fairly often (money is filthy with disease) but
if I catch a cold from her it's minor and lasts maybe a day.

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It doesn't have to be Africa.  The last time I was out sick I caught the flu
on the train from Tijuana back to SD (the guy sitting across the aisle was
hacking up all sorts of uglies).  That was a nasty one.

Re: contract pcb layout
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Most layouters prefer fixed bid. Eye-balling the work they sink into
projects I'd say $30-$40 is typical. Bay Area can be higher :-)

This assumes that the super-tough stuff such as switchers and RF
circuits are prescribed to the layouter. In other words where the
layouter does not have to be a seasoned board level design engineer.
Although one of my layouters is, he just likes doing layouts a lot (I
don't ...).


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For cutting edge high speed stuff where they have to juggle things at
the gate level that sounds about right.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

Re: contract pcb layout

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Yikes, $30 is only the equiv of $60K, with no benefits.


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I enjoy it in small doses, like doing a little board now and then, or
doing some placement or tweaking on a big layout.

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It's like programming: some people are five times faster than average.


--

John Larkin, President       Highland Technology Inc
www.highlandtechnology.com   jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com  

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Re: contract pcb layout
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Most also do small EE projects.

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Same here, I do enjoy the really tough stuff. Like advising on
re-layouts where the EMC test was blown because of a noisy switcher or
an RF stage failed susceptibility.

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Those people are quickly identified and they usually also earn five
times more than average :-)

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

Re: contract pcb layout
On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 18:57:12 -0800, John Larkin

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...minus expenses...not much left over for internal revenue.

I expect there are differences depending upon an initial review,
schedule,where the resource routing and whether there's 'agency'
overhead. The latter can double any quotation.

RL

Re: contract pcb layout

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Thats really low. I know some freelancers in NL charging that kind of
rates for EE work. Crazy unless you don't have to pay for mortgage or
rent.

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Perhaps. But getting it done right and in a way someone else can take
over a piece of software is even more difficult :-) In one of my
previous jobs it was up to me to get software written by externals to
production grade (fix bugs and fix potential pointer & memory leak
issues).

--
Failure does not prove something is impossible, failure simply
indicates you are not using the right tools...
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Re: contract pcb layout
On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 18:57:12 -0800, John Larkin

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...minus expenses...not much left over for internal revenue.

I expect there are differences depending upon an initial review,
schedule,where the resource routing and whether there's 'agency'
overhead. The latter can double any quotation.

RL

Re: contract pcb layout
On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 16:17:03 -0800, John Larkin

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 $65/hr  No fixed quotes.  I estimate and follow up with intermediate gerber
files and time spent as the design progresses.  More often than not the
customer wakes up screening in the night because they realized that something
has to be changed.  No biggie. The clock is ticking.  
--
Boris

Re: contract pcb layout
On Sat, 04 Feb 2012 07:58:20 -0500, Boris Mohar

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  Is that Arnold's disease?

Re: contract pcb layout

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I thought that was Bobbitts disease?



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