[sdiy] Best chinese PCB manufacturer (cheap and fast) to Canada and USA ?

Mike Bryant mbryant at futurehorizons.com
Sun Aug 29 16:52:49 CEST 2021

I tend to have my PCBs SMD loaded and then once back in the UK I pay a couple of 'desperate for some cash' students to add in all the TH stuff.  For things like resistors and so on the JLCPCB price is possibly cheaper, but if you're soldering loads of 40 pin DIL sockets the students win out.  Remember all the TH stuff also incurs the $4(?) per component type charge for getting from their stores so you really need to reduce your number of types of components.  Not a problem here in the UK of course - I just send the PCB and the parts to be soldered in.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Synth-diy [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org] On Behalf Of Mike Beauchamp
Sent: 29 August 2021 04:40
To: synth-diy at synth-diy.org
Subject: Re: [sdiy] Best chinese PCB manufacturer (cheap and fast) to Canada and USA ?

On 8/28/21 8:20 PM, Mike Bryant wrote:
> They withdrew their original matte black a few years ago after I complained it was terrible and they refunded me.  I've heard the new one is much better but haven't used it yet.   Their packaging is always very good and I've never had scratches on the red resist I normally use.
> Their assembly is currently a bit hit and miss still as so many parts are hard to get.  Six months ago they said they were working on taking consignment parts for hand soldering, but not for machine placement as they would need to be programmed into the SMD machines.  But their thru hole works out pretty expensive on a per joint basis.  Far better to convert everything to SMD if you can, even if it gives a more expensive BOM.
> I don't use their jacks but they've just switched to a nice range of XLR compatibles.  They're not quite Neutrik quality but for lower cost fixed applications where you aren't replugging all the time offer very good value.

Can anyone share their experience with JLC for TH assembly? I recently noticed they had that as an option and tried a small run of boards, having them attach a few capacitors, resistors and JST male connectors. 
I'm still waiting for them to arrive, and can report back if anyone is itnerested. I'd love for this to come out well.. saving myself the TH soldering would be fantastic.

I found their price reasonable as well, but this was my first time speccing out TH assembly. Mike, if you said that JLC is pretty expensive on a per joint basis, do you have any alternatives for places that also do TH assembly or what prices to expect per joint?


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