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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 20th May 2019, 11:25 am   #1
Steve G4WCS
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Default Double sided PCB manufacture.

Back in the days when I worked in electronics, we had the full set up for producing double sided PCB's using UV etch resist film, and even had a roller tinning machine.

Sadly this is long since gone, and I have a pair of negatives for the PW Meon transverter, that I would like to make some more boards from.

I really don't want to invest in all the kit to produce a few boards, and I was wondering if there are still companies out there who will provide this service, for, say a run of 5 boards ?

TIA
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Old 20th May 2019, 12:39 pm   #2
Argus25
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Most companies now can make pcb's from just a scan of the artwork. You do not need Gerber files or other pcb files. My pcb maker can simply capture jpg images with their software and convert that to an Altium file for example.

Here is an example of a circuit board with more than 65 IC's that was drawn just as a png and then a jpg, that was converted into a pcb file with the clever software tricks the pcb makers can now do:

http://worldphaco.com/uploads/ARCADE_MINI-PONG.pdf

Have a look at the pcb on page 14, its double sided plated through hole.

Just check with the pcb maker what is the minimum file type they can use.

Also, provided there is a single object on the board with some known pin spacing (like a DIL IC) the whole diagram is easily scaled to the correct size.
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Old 21st May 2019, 11:01 am   #3
Steve G4WCS
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Thanks.
Saved myself a job. A ten-tec 1209 turned up on an internet auction site
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Old 21st May 2019, 12:44 pm   #4
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Can anyone name a good pcb maker in the UK or mainland Europe?
Thanks
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Old 21st May 2019, 1:46 pm   #5
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Forget the European or UK ones unless you want to spend £200 on a board and wait two weeks while they faff around and do nothing. China is where it's at. JLCPCB are pretty amazingly good and dirt cheap: https://www.jlcpcb.com/
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Old 21st May 2019, 6:54 pm   #6
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

I have used the Chinese makers, superb service, super boards and very cheap. They know their stuff and will communicate any queries very quickly.

Example... 5x 1" square double sided boards 0.8mm thick with solder resist and screen print. Five dollars the lot with 25 dollars postage by TNT (longer and cheaper available), arrived in 5 days!!! This was from PCBWay.
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Last edited by merlinmaxwell; 21st May 2019 at 6:55 pm. Reason: Price!
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Old 23rd May 2019, 5:22 pm   #7
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

I also use PCBWAY......Send them a gerber file and drill files..... produced and shipped within 2 days..DHL is a bit expensive.. but most convenient..... but if you use them more than once the TAX man gets involved with import duty.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 7:13 pm   #8
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
but if you use them more than once the TAX man gets involved
Still cheap and good.
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Old 24th May 2019, 1:04 am   #9
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsound View Post
Can anyone name a good pcb maker in the UK or mainland Europe?
Thanks
P&M Services (http://www.p-m-services.co.uk/) are used by Work as they still have the capabilty to produce PCBs from photographic artwork and can touch up 40-odd year old masters with peeling Letraset, as well as reading files in obsolete CAD formats. They have a very helpful employee (Trevor Bentley) who can design PCBs.
They are nowhere near as cheap as sending Gerber files to China, but for the first batch of "Sussex" PCBs, did etch-only, undrilled, no silkscreen from Swordholder's originally published .pdf for a price that compared well with buying materials for DIY.
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Old 24th May 2019, 2:00 am   #10
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

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Originally Posted by Wendymott View Post
..... but if you use them more than once the TAX man gets involved with import duty.
If you use the right commodity code, the tax man need have no interest at all.

For amateur radio kits and parts and assembled gear it's 8525600000
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Old 24th May 2019, 5:07 pm   #11
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argus25 View Post
Most companies now can make pcb's from just a scan of the artwork. You do not need Gerber files or other pcb files. My pcb maker can simply capture jpg images with their software and convert that to an Altium file for example.
Which firms do that? I have a circuit drawn with Microsoft Paint, saved as a JPEG and thought I would have to redraw it with KiCAD or something similar - which would be a whole new learning curve to start climbing!

Or do you mean a JPG of an already designed PCB?

John
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Old 24th May 2019, 5:42 pm   #12
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
I am designing a stereo preamp/control unit for the Hi/fi.
Bob
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Old 24th May 2019, 5:55 pm   #13
ThePillenwerfer
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

There's a program called Image to Gerber that converts .JPG or .PNG files to gerbers.

I can't vouch for it as I've never wanted large numbers of the same board making.
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Old 24th May 2019, 6:48 pm   #14
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsound View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions.
I am designing a stereo preamp/control unit for the Hi/fi.
Bob
I have just ordered boards for a Wireless World Linsley Hood modular pre-amp. By some mistake I’ve ordered ten so if you want a couple send me a pm…
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Old 24th May 2019, 7:39 pm   #15
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsound View Post
Can anyone name a good pcb maker in the UK or mainland Europe?
Thanks
At work we use these people :-

https://www.pcbtrain.co.uk/products-and-services

To date they have always been reliable and there is a sensible level of technical support.
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Old 24th May 2019, 8:24 pm   #16
MrBungle
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Even the cheapest 10 day turnaround from them is an order of magnitude more expensive than JLCPCB
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Old 24th May 2019, 9:28 pm   #17
mole42uk
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBungle View Post
Even the cheapest 10 day turnaround from them is an order of magnitude more expensive than JLCPCB
Ouch! 20x the price…
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Old 25th May 2019, 9:21 pm   #18
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evingar View Post
At work we use these people :-

https://www.pcbtrain.co.uk/products-and-services

To date they have always been reliable and there is a sensible level of technical support.
I've used them extensively too - and also had their manufacturing arm supply and fit components to the boards. While they may not be cheapest, they're easy to contact and have always been reliable.
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Old 25th May 2019, 11:17 pm   #19
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendymott View Post
I also use PCBWAY......Send them a gerber file and drill files..... produced and shipped within 2 days..DHL is a bit expensive.. but most convenient
Third thumbs up for these guys. Used them a number of times. I pay the additional $27 for DHL, and from sending the Gerbers to receiving the boards is four days. For stupidly cheap, perfect boards. Just about to send a bunch more layouts to them.

I tried hard to find a UK supplier. PCBtrain quoted £400 for ten day turnround for the same boards I got for $30 (plus $27 for DHL, and a tenner for VAT and clearance - so fifty quid for five boards) from China. And Cleveland's quoting system requires you to estimate how many per annum you might order before quoting for prototype quantity. The UK board houses need to wake up.

Craig
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Old 30th May 2019, 7:14 pm   #20
Bobsound
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Default Re: Double sided PCB manufacture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mole42uk View Post
I have just ordered boards for a Wireless World Linsley Hood modular pre-amp. By some mistake I’ve ordered ten so if you want a couple send me a pm…
Richard
Can you point me at the edition of WW so that I can have a look at the circuit?
Thanks
Bob
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