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DIY PCB The Easy Way

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  • hongrn
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    I can't wait to see how your design works out. I hope you post the whole build soon. You've got some talent there my friend.

    Leave a comment:


  • neildavis
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Originally posted by hongrn View Post
    Neil,

    How could you possibly compare your PCB to mine???
    I wasn't making a comparison--just pointing out that manufactured boards are a lot less expensive than they use to be, and that the quality of these low-cost boards is amazing.

    That board in the picture took me over two months to lay out--it is the most complicated board I've ever made, and I know that it is pretty far from "mainstream DIY". But a year ago it would have been 4 times as expensive, and 5 years ago I wouldn't have attempted anything like that just because of the prohibitive cost. These new low-cost DIY-oriented board services are "game-changers".

    I think that if you look at the manufactured cost of the board you designed you would be surprised at how affordable this technology has become. I used to make a lot of DIY circuit boards using most of the techniques described in this thread, but with these new services and good free PCB software, it makes a lot of sense now to get the board made rather than go the DIY route. I've made a number of very simple boards by adding them to another design as an extra panel, or by combining multiple designs onto one PCB. That way, the costs get spread across multiple projects--that's how I would make the board you showed in your original post.

    I'm pulling your chain here, but with this board I can power up the amps individually in software, so in some ways this board includes a soft-start circuit. How about that for a comparison :D ?

    Leave a comment:


  • hongrn
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Neil,

    How could you possibly compare your PCB to mine???

    Leave a comment:


  • neildavis
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Originally posted by randyohoh View Post
    ...but, wow, so cheap.
    I just got the 22-channel amp boards back. They had a $5 off special for National Day, so even with shipping I got 10 of these boards for $60.19. It took a couple of days to make and 2 weeks to ship (economy air), so if you are in a hurry you might want to pay for premium shipping or look elsewhere. The boards look good. I was concerned about the tiny silkscreen font I used, but it turned out OK. The smallest lettering is somewhat fuzzy but useable.



    Leave a comment:


  • randyohoh
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    I just ran a test quote on the site that neildavis provided. A 3.00 x 3.00 x 1/16 FR4 pcb with 1 oz copper two sides, plated through, tin-lead HASL finish, solder mask two sides, & silk screen one side, is $37.55 for 10 parts and $45.10 for 20 parts.

    There are a few simple rules to follow as far as file naming but, wow, so cheap.

    Leave a comment:


  • randyohoh
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Neil, those prices are great and the board quality looks good too. The DesignSpark software looks like a winner too being free and without the restrictions of the Cadsoft Eagle product. Hobby level printed circuit boards can now be indistinguishable from commercial offerings, amazing.

    Leave a comment:


  • davidroberts
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Lots of good information here. I have been looking to do a single sided board for an Arta box for speaker measurements which will be my first attempt at a PCB.

    Leave a comment:


  • philthien
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Originally posted by neildavis View Post
    Double sided, plated vias, HASL finish, 1oz, silkscreen are all included at that price.
    That is nothing short of phenomenal. What a world we're living in.

    Leave a comment:


  • neildavis
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Originally posted by randyohoh View Post
    Neil,

    Were those pcb's single sided or double sided and plated through? 1 oz copper? 2 oz available? any silk screen? Sounds like a real bargain.
    Double sided, plated vias, HASL finish, 1oz, silkscreen are all included at that price. 4 layer boards are about twice the price, and there are extra charges for 2oz copper, different board colors, additional board thicknesses and panelization. They also sell stencils. The boards look nice, but I haven't done any assembly or testing yet. Here is the direct link for their small batch service: http://www.itead.cc/open-pcb/small-b...layer-pcb.html.

    So far I'm impressed with their service and responsiveness--I hadn't checked the bottom solder mask checkbox when generating the Gerber files on the last design, and they got back to me quickly by email and created a service ticket.

    My wife has the good camera and this picture is rather poor (looks *much* better up close): Click image for larger version

Name:	shield.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	138.4 KB
ID:	1169911. It didn't take that long to lay this out in DesignSpark, since someone had already posted a design for the Arduino shield. I started with that and dropped in my own circuitry. This is an ADAU1701 digital crossover board, comparable to the miniDSP, but using an Arduino instead of their proprietary micro.

    Leave a comment:


  • randyohoh
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Neil,

    Were those pcb's single sided or double sided and plated through? 1 oz copper? 2 oz available? any silk screen? Sounds like a real bargain.

    Leave a comment:


  • neildavis
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Originally posted by Mark Bunte View Post
    If I were to use it today, I'd use a laser printer.
    I've been cleaning up old project areas in our house and came across a package of this:



    Looks like they still sell it at Digikey (TTS-10-ND). If someone wants it and a pack of drills to go with it, send me a PM. I used to have just about every size drill bit down to #80, but I've used quite a few through the years. Still have quite a few packages, though. Otherwise, this TTS kit goes in the trash. Note: it requires a laser printer.

    I don't do any of those home PCB's anymore because it is just so cheap to get excellent boards made by mail. I had an Arduino shield made a couple of months ago by ITEAD, and for small boards (2.5" by 2.5"), the cost was $19.50 for 10 boards. I went for DHL shipping that was kind of steep at $23, but even so, that's less than $5 a board for small quantities. I just uploaded the DesignSpark files and had no problems getting them produced. I haven't yet received the last boards I had made. They were 9.6cm by 17cm--fairly large and complex, but the cost was only $51 for 10, with an extra $15 for economy shipping. At those prices it doesn't pay to make your own boards anymore, unless you are really in a hurry or only need one.

    ITEAD is a DIY-oriented company--if you make the design "open source" they will send you extra boards for free. DesignSpark is nice open-source PCB software with lots of video tutorials to get you started. There's a learning curve with it, but it's not as steep as other PCB programs.
    Last edited by neildavis; 10-18-2015, 09:39 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pete Basel
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Originally posted by philthien View Post
    K2 is the brand, I think they're now defunct. The unit is an actual router, it uses a Bosch Colt as the spindle.

    I think an engraver could work, but I don't have a lot of experience even with my router, and I've got none with engravers.
    I have a Bosch Colt, hmmm I'll have to look into it, that is powerful for a desktop unit.

    Leave a comment:


  • hongrn
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    ... and here's the circuit on jpg if anyone wants to try this.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • hongrn
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    Originally posted by randyohoh View Post
    Hey Hongrn, do you have a schematic of the pcb that you started this thread with? I could see this being useful to other members as there seems to be more amp projects being done.
    Here you go Randy.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • randyohoh
    replied
    Re: DIY PCB The Easy Way

    OH yea, if the connectors need to be in specific locations or just approximately as you have done please say so.

    Leave a comment:

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