PCB Manufacture

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peterwaller
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PCB Manufacture

Postby peterwaller » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:08 pm

Having virtually exhausted my supply of speed controller boards I decided to have a go at updating it a little to get the size down.
I haven't gone as far Rory as I wanted to keep the option of plug and play so having decided to retain the Lemon receiver I reduced the controller to the same size as that.
I am using the MX612 driver chips that Rory found which needs either more counters or at least re-configuring them in real time so I bottled it and just added a couple of OR gates to switch the PWM signals around. This meant that apart from inverting the data table there are no software changes.
Any way to get to the point of this post I was looking for somewhere to get the boards made and found this place call RAGWORM.
http://www.ragworm.eu/
They manufacture in this country and the price for 6 off of these boards was just under £20 including VAT and delivery with a 7 working day turn round which I thought was really good.
It seems I could have ordered just one for £3.89 but that seemed a bit mean.
I ordered the boards today having got them to check my Gerber files first lets hope I got the layout correct. :roll:

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Rapidrory
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Re: PCB Manufacture

Postby Rapidrory » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:43 pm

Ooh, interesting!

I've been using this place recently, which is cheap and has an ~8 day turn around, but shipping is about £20 which is a pain. http://www.smart-prototyping.com/PCB-Prototyping.html
Rory Mangles - Team Mangler

Robots: Too Many...

NanoTwo antweight speed controllers. (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2128)

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peterwaller
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Re: PCB Manufacture

Postby peterwaller » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:11 pm

I have had a couple of problems the drilling output was set to symbols not actual sizes and the sizes when added were in mill not mm but hopefully with those two problems cleared up it should got ahead when they get my email on Monday.
I will let you know how it works out and these are purely for me so not trying to complete with you.

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BeligerAnt
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Re: PCB Manufacture

Postby BeligerAnt » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:52 pm

I recently stumbled across this site which gives prices from a number of low-cost prototype vendors:

http://pcbshopper.com/

The only downside is all the manufacturers seem to be based in China or the USA so shipping time can be an issue (long or expensive!). I've yet to find anywhere in Europe that can compete on very low cost and reasonable delivery. Ragworm look promising but only for very small boards - bigger boards get expensive very quickly. :( We use PCB Train at work and they are very good and really quick if you want a 2-layer board without solder resist or silkscreen. However they're expensive for hobby use.

Still looking for a good, cheap supplier preferably in Europe if anyone finds one...
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

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peterwaller
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Re: PCB Manufacture

Postby peterwaller » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:26 pm

I know I have put this info in my antweight section but for completion I thought I ought to put it here also.
The final data I had missed got to them on the Monday and they were dispatched the following Monday and received on the Tuesday.
The boards seem to be well made and even had gold on all the solder pads.
The bare boards
Image
While trying to solder extra wires to the processor to allow me to reprogram it in situ I managed to bridge the battery power and 5 v rails which resulted in the destruction of every chip on the board but I was able to remove and replace them all without loss of any pads or tracks which my home made boards wouldn't have survived.
In fact when you consider the cost of the photo resist board and the ferric choride plus the rivets for the plated through holes I recon these were cheaper than homemade.
The built up board
Image
Last edited by peterwaller on Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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peterwaller
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Re: PCB Manufacture

Postby peterwaller » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:58 pm

I just had an interesting email from Ragworm today it appears that that actually make more boards than you order and put them in what they call there life saver service.
In my case I ordered 6 boards and they have another 6 already made and I can buy these at £1.64 each (originally £3.29) and they will dispatch them 1st class post free of charge.
I don't know whether you can depend on this when deciding how many to order or if it depends on how much of the standard size board they have spare but it could make it even cheaper.

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BeligerAnt
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Re: PCB Manufacture

Postby BeligerAnt » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:51 pm

With very small boards like this you may often get a few extra, but it will depend on how they fill the panels when they run the boards. A good deal if you get the offer and can make use of it though!
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

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peterwaller
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Re: PCB Manufacture

Postby peterwaller » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:36 pm

I have had 2 boards for a micro sumo made and sure enough they came back to me a week or two later offering me two more at half price.
Unfortunately due to a couple of features in my layout (mistakes) I decided not to take up the offer.
On a slightly different track I had noticed a fairly high failure rate of the MX612 motor drive chips.
Once working they were fine but quite a few seem to be faulty.
As I had just ordered another 30 chips I decided I needed a way to test them before I soldered them in so I bought a test socket.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321419838795? ... EBIDX%3AIT
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131988355166? ... EBIDX%3AIT
I was really pleased I had as the chips arrived lose in what appeared to be an ordinary plastic bag so I hooked it up to one of my controller boards and found all 30 worked fine.
I was just thinking how much time and effort I had wasted but remembered I had 6 of the old chips left.
Of these only 4 worked, the other two appeared to have different faults one didn't drive at all and the other only in one direction, so at least I have saved trying to use 2 of them.

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peterwaller
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Re: PCB Manufacture

Postby peterwaller » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:42 am

I recently got my 4th set of boards from ragworm and in every case they offered me the same quantity again a week later at half price.
This time I had anticipated it and only ordered half of what I needed. and have just received the remainder.
This means that the actual price is just 75% of what they originally quote.


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