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Olimex alternative for PCB manufacturing

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Anonymous, Jan 22, 2013.

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  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    As you probably know, Olimex is having capacity problems and has therefore
    stopped taking orders for PCB's to be manufactured. As I needed some boards
    made I decided to look into

    I found this one:

    Apparently, their boards are manufactured in China. They're also dirt cheap,
    cheaper even than Olimex, so I decided to give them a try. I got the boards
    back about a week after them
    being shipped from China. They confirmed my order about a week before they
    were shipped so it took about a week for them to be manufactured. The boards
    I got back were small (5cm x 5cm)
    and double sided. I also noticed that I could have ordered even cheaper ones
    ($10 including S&H) if I had picked the green boards (I picked the more expensive
    red boards by mistake). Since the Chinese have
    longer working hours and less vacation time the boards were processed even
    during the holiday season. The Bulgarians (Olimex) shut their factory for two
    months during the summer and during the
    Christmas holidays as well, so this is a real boon. Especially if you need
    boards made during in the summertime.

    I got 10 PCB's for about $18 including shipping and handling. Their site has
    Eagle ULP and CAM scripts available which you can use to check your design
    with their design rules and to produce
    manufacturing files.

    All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with these guys so I'll be ordering more boards
    in the future. They even do multilayer boards and SMD stencils! In general
    it's unusual to see Chinese
    manufacturers do low-volume PCB production, but so far my experience has been
    a happy one.
  2. TTman

    TTman Guest

    I've used them a couple of times and 100%
  3. Bill Martin

    Bill Martin Guest

    Are those time limited promotional prices? I see everything shows "sold
    out" on this particular page...
  4. Guest

    I think you can get any size and possibly shape you like, the sizes
    are just maximum sizes and what you pay for, i.e. if your board fits
    within 5x5 you pay for 5x5

    I haven't used iteadstudio or seeedstudio (they seem similar)
    but I've considered it many times, the prices are crazy, I haven't
    found anywhere that will make one board for what they will make ten
    boards for

  5. Guest

    you could have put the enc28j60 on the adapter board, the schematic is

    if you can make a 25MHz in the FPGA you could skip the xtal too

    but then again, if you look at ebay you can get enc28j60 boards for
    ~4$, that's less than on
    ic cost at digikey

  6. Guest

    indeed and sometimes they trigger others to start making stuff

    I just saw had 10 year anniversary, started with one guy
    a pic programmer from olimex and deciding to make it easier to get
    stuff in the US so he started selling it, now it is 135 employees
    and building stuff

  7. passerby

    passerby Guest

    responding to
    Do you by chance know if Iteadstudio can make v-grooves for snapping smaller
    PCBs apart? I need a bunch of tiny boards made (1/2"x1/2") and don't want to
    populate each individually. Could not yet find a cheap manufacturer that can
    do v-grooves. BatchPCB suggests putting a string of (almost) touching drill
    holes alongside the separation but that means that some boards will look like
    postage stamps on three sides. Looks like they can make the small boards but
    they would charge at minimum and mine is 1/4 of that, and besides I
    cannot deal with them individually anyhow. Anyway, just wondering if you ever
    came across v-grooves mentioned while ordering your boards.

    By the way, end of January / beginning of February sounds like the worst time
    of the year to be ordering PCBs due to the Lunar New Year in China. I don't
    know if Olimex is really backed up quite as bad, but it may be because some
    people cannot wait till the end of February and order from Bulgaria instead?

  8. pcbcart will do v-groove
    Lunar New Year/Golden week is around Feb 10 this year, so longer
    delivery time orders are coming up against the deadline.
  9. passerby

    passerby Guest

    responding to
    Thanks, Spehro:

    I've looked at their site ( ) but, since nothing is
    available before creating an account there, can you comment on their pricing?
    Do they describe somewhere on the site how the grooves have to be defined?
    I've done Gerber files for simple milling (through) but not for v-grooves (not
    all the way through and a different end mill?). Regardless of who I pick,
    there will have to be some learning experience on my part here. Cheers!

  10. I think they're maybe not the cheapest but competitive. Lots of
    options with mask colors and so on. They're kind of slow, IIRC.

    The V-groove I've used has only been for rectangular boards, so for
    that just define the edges the way you'd normally do (for example, use
    the mechanical layer, or maybe you can get away with defining it on
    the silk screen layer).

    This might be useful:-
  11. passerby

    passerby Guest

    responding to
    Thank you for the link! That's quite a bit to take in, actually. For one
    thing, I never realized the groove is done on both sides of the board, so my
    guess is that it needs to be defined twice then. I guess, I'm going to have to
    heed his advice: "The PCB designer should collaborate with the PCB fabrication
    shop..." Yeah, it does not seem like an "upload and get it accepted in 2
    minutes" type of an option...


  12. Guest

    very few boards, that isn't just cut out to a shape, but needs to
    panelized in some
    way to make pcb house and manufacturing happy, are ..

  13. Actually, I think that's kind of a CYA statement by Mentor-- you
    should be able to do just that if it's just an outline of a
    rectangular board. PCB makers do a fair bit of manipulation of the
  14. RU google translate?
  15. Guest

    Maybe my fingers and my brain aren't always fully connected, but I
    don't think
    I've gotten a Google implant just yet :p

  16. I just draw lines on the drill plot where I want the grooves, they sort
    it out. It only got tricky when I was doing manual "breaking" of the

    "I want the groove deep enough so I can break them easily without
    stressing the parts, but not so deep they all fall apart during pick and
  17. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    Sign up. It's free. They don't spam.
  18. Guest

    Or just use a chain saw to separate them.
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