Revision as of 08:50, 5 April 2017 by Rab (talk | contribs) (Updated details of Elecrow experience.)

Places to get your circuitboards made, or even populated with parts:

if you just want to prototype a circuit ASAP you can do it at sudoroom (or noisebridge?) with this one neat trick

not a fab house link, but if you can read German you'll find a lot of information on this wiki

hackvana has an IRC channel on freenode, #hackvana where you can talk with others for advice, including Mitch Davis who runs the company, and ask about your order. Jerkey has used them with satisfaction. They are friendly with KiCAD, the best FOSS circuit CAD project. They prefer Paypal, or someone in Australia who can pay in person.

Jerkey used Elecrow once and they fucked up the order, sent boards of the wrong thickness, and at least 2 out of 15 boards were defective. If this weren't enough, they have a "new" and "old" website and they can't decide which one you should use, neither site uses TLS, and they're both horrible, and they reject your credit card even if it's fine. Then send emails saying your order is on its way, even though it's been rejected, and weeks later you ask WTF and they're like "oops"

Jerkey says DON'T USE ELECROW.

Rab ordered 10pcs- 2 layer PCB four times. Each order was satisfactory. No extra charge for typical silkscreen colors. Faint marks on the pads indicate 100% e-test. No manufacturer's mark placed on either side. 2-3 extra copies were included with each order, possibly to offset any failures. No electrical failures. Some PCBs exhibited: light scratches in solder mask; minor inconsistencies in board outline routing; silkscreen faded or smudged. With Shenzhen DHL shipping (~$20 extra), 7 calendar day turnaround from order placed to received. HOWEVER: most recent order was shipped via Registered Airmail rather than DHL as requested, resulting in total turnaround of 3 weeks. When contacted, Elecrow apologized and immediately refunded the difference in shipping charges. New website is operational and works fine.

Rab recommends careful review of order confirmation email.

Rab abused their job preview function and noticed that it doesn't appear to display tented vias properly. (Renders as untented). Better check your gerbers with gerbv.

You work with a million-dollar truck that's also a one-of-a-kind scientific instrument. Every noteworthy function on this truck passes through a single PCB full of relays and optocouplers in an inaccessible location. Thanks to a PCB design flaw, the board fails in the middle of a three-million-dollar project on another continent. The spare board is also faulty. The manufacturer only made two boards.

After performing the field repair of your career and returning home victorious, you volunteer to reverse-engineer and create a clone of this goddamn board. One so much better designed and more reliable that it never fails again. Your reputation is on the line. Money is no object. And you need the PCBs in 72 hours. Where do you turn?

(Also reportedly used by National Instruments for PCB prototypes)


I used Gold Phoenix for the AHA! badge v1, seems to be on the expensive side but they did good work. I didn't provide them with a pick-n-place file, they figured it out from the gerbers. They sent me a query about it because my footprint for my buttons had 5 pads but the buttons only had 4 legs. They edited my silk screen for the better, I had a label that collided with a diode and they moved it. They sent me 5 assembled boards to verify before they made the rest. They also gave me some resistors for free because I had the wrong quantity on my BOM. They pointed out the error and I was like "plz populate both those resistors, quote me for the extra parts" and they were all "don't worry about it," of course it was only like $0.14 worth of extra parts.

  • Gold Phoenix For newbs who screw up their BOM and don't know how to make pick-n-place files.