[sdiy] Board manufacturing questions

Tim Parkhurst tim.parkhurst at gmail.com
Sat May 16 22:28:29 CEST 2009

On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 3:57 AM, Tom Bugs <admin at bugbrand.co.uk> wrote:
> Hi Aaron
> Well, I've liked PCBCart - they're actually not *too* bad prices for
> proto-typing -- sometimes it may be worth getting, say, 10 units of a
> protoboard - slightly wasteful if something drastic is wrong, but then
> better value if you've got everything correct.

Hi Aaron,

tom pretty much nailed it. I've been ordering boards from PCBCart for
almost three years now, and I'm very happy with their work. A few

1) I go with the standard thickness unless I specifically need higher
mechanical strength (a backplane for example).

2) The standard HASL finish is great and highly recommended unless you
intend to sell a lot of boards in the EU.

3) 1oz. seems to work just fine as long as you have reasonable size
pads. Bigger pads help resist lifting. However, there shouldn't be too
much unsoldering and swapping in an established circuit with a tested
BOM. 2oz. copper is heftier, but does cost more.

4) Don't know about Eagle, but I would run a DRC with the different
limits set by PCBCART and find the widest trace/space you can run
under. As far as the number of holes, I run a "Drill Report" which
gives me a Postscript picture of the drill locations on the PCB and
the number of each drill size. I was surprised to find that my boards
consistently run over 400 holes (no wonder I hate making my own
boards). I end up selecting the "300 to 600 holes" option of course.

I always have more problems with a PCB (problems of my own making)
when I don't thoroughly breadboard the circuit first. I still
generally have one 'protoype' revision and then a real rev.

Tim (Mankato currently on Rev 03) Servo
"Sire, the church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers."
- H.L. Hastings

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