Forums

PCB Express, Advanced Circuits, etc.

Started by Robert Scott March 18, 2004
My favorite local circuit board maker has just gone out of business,
so I am looking at the on-line out-of-town companies for boards in
prototype quanties.  The two that I know of are PCB Express and
Advanced Circuits.  Does anyone have any comments, pro or con, on
these two companies, or any suggestions on other PCB board vendors?


-Robert Scott
 Ypsilanti, Michigan
(Reply through this forum, not by direct e-mail to me, as automatic reply address is fake.)
Robert Scott wrote:
> My favorite local circuit board maker has just gone out of business, > so I am looking at the on-line out-of-town companies for boards in > prototype quanties. The two that I know of are PCB Express and > Advanced Circuits. Does anyone have any comments, pro or con, on > these two companies, or any suggestions on other PCB board vendors?
Price and delivery-wise, Advanced is great. We've had some billing screwups though. They've billed us twice for the same job, once on the credit card and once on account, so stick to a credit card.
> > -Robert Scott > Ypsilanti, Michigan > (Reply through this forum, not by direct e-mail to me, as automatic reply address is fake.)
On Fri, 19 Mar 2004 03:41:16 GMT, Robert Scott wrote:

> My favorite local circuit board maker has just gone out of business, > so I am looking at the on-line out-of-town companies for boards in > prototype quanties. The two that I know of are PCB Express and > Advanced Circuits. Does anyone have any comments, pro or con, on > these two companies, or any suggestions on other PCB board vendors? > > > -Robert Scott > Ypsilanti, Michigan > (Reply through this forum, not by direct e-mail to me, as automatic reply address is fake.)
We use Advanced Circuits and I can't say enough good things about their services. A++ Bob
Hi Robert,

> My favorite local circuit board maker has just gone out of business, > so I am looking at the on-line out-of-town companies for boards in > prototype quanties. The two that I know of are PCB Express and > Advanced Circuits. Does anyone have any comments, pro or con, on
I have used Advanced Circuits for some time and cannot say enough good things about their service, delivery times, etc. However, their prices are on the steep side, especially for prototyping and low-volume production due to high NREs. I have just recently been through a bunch of vendors looking for a good product at a good price, and have decided on www.e-teknet.com. Their ordering system is a little primitive (e.g. it doesn't automatically add shipping costs to your order, you'll get an email from their sales staff asking you to process a second payment!), but the prices are about 30% lower than Advanced Circuits. Also they do not charge extra for large numbers of holes, etc etc. They charge about $96 for 4 2-layer FR4 prototypes (0.01" trk/spc, silkscreen). I've officially changed preferred vendor at my job and for my own projects. Note that AC makes in the USA, and most of the cheaper providers (including e-teknet) outsource to China. I have no experience with e-teknet's rapid turnaround. I know AC's is very speedy and totally reliable. So if I needed a drop-dead urgent board made, I would probably choose AC still. One annoying thing about AC is that it's not possible (apparently) to get non-plated-through holes on the board. They do a single drilling step, it seems. e-teknet does a drill step for the PT holes, then does a second drill run for the non-plated holes. This happens to make my life easier.
"Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" wrote:
> > Note that AC makes in the USA, and most of the cheaper providers > (including e-teknet) outsource to China. I have no experience with > e-teknet's rapid turnaround. I know AC's is very speedy and totally > reliable. So if I needed a drop-dead urgent board made, I would > probably choose AC still.
I was talking to a company that has a sales office in Canada and resources in China. They talked about the possibility of duty charges that I would have to pay. Seems their experience is that the charges are not consistent. Does e-teknet say anything about import duties? -- Rick "rickman" Collins rick.collins@XYarius.com Ignore the reply address. To email me use the above address with the XY removed. Arius - A Signal Processing Solutions Company Specializing in DSP and FPGA design URL http://www.arius.com 4 King Ave 301-682-7772 Voice Frederick, MD 21701-3110 301-682-7666 FAX
> I was talking to a company that has a sales office in Canada and > resources in China. They talked about the possibility of duty charges
E-teknet doesn't mention it in their literature, and I have not had to pay it. In general the issue of how much will be due on an inbound shipment really depends on (a) the total value of the shipment, and (b) the way it's declared. If the total revenue would be less than <some threshhold>, Customs doesn't bother to collect it. The boards I have received came directly through FedEx, without going through a separate broker or even hitting the "regulatory agency delay" stage [when you track the airbill] which means a parcel is waiting for customs clearance.
Robert Scott wrote:

> My favorite local circuit board maker has just gone out of business, > so I am looking at the on-line out-of-town companies for boards in > prototype quanties. The two that I know of are PCB Express and > Advanced Circuits. Does anyone have any comments, pro or con, on > these two companies, or any suggestions on other PCB board vendors? > > > -Robert Scott > Ypsilanti, Michigan > (Reply through this forum, not by direct e-mail to me, as automatic reply address is fake.)
I use http://www.myropcb.com . The boards are made in China but I have yet to pay any duty here in Canada. It takes about a week to process the order and 2 days to ship from China via UPS express. You can pay extra and get the boards faster than a week. Good luck. Mostafa -- ------------------------------------------------------ Mostafa Kassem http://www.hasata.ca Reply to: M DOT Kassem AT ieee DOT org -----------------------------------------------------
On Fri, 19 Mar 2004 03:41:16 GMT, no-one@dont-mail-me.com (Robert
Scott) wrote:

>My favorite local circuit board maker has just gone out of business, >so I am looking at the on-line out-of-town companies for boards in >prototype quanties. The two that I know of are PCB Express and >Advanced Circuits. Does anyone have any comments, pro or con, on >these two companies, or any suggestions on other PCB board vendors? > > >-Robert Scott > Ypsilanti, Michigan >(Reply through this forum, not by direct e-mail to me, as automatic reply address is fake.)
Hi Robert, Last fall I used pcbexpress to get 20; 4 layer 3"x6" prototypes. They were quick and cheap. The only problem I had was I have a power connector on board which was layed out with 3 slots. The pcbexpress website says explicity they dont do routed holes, only round holes. So it was my mistake and my assembler just modded the 3 pins to fit the round holes and everything is fine. The have a large volume affiliate with even lower prices for more than 20 boards. They also have affiliates that do assembly for small production runs (I did not use them). Regards, ~Steve
Lewin A.R.W. Edwards <larwe@larwe.com> wrote:

Hmm,
 
  I was all over the e-teknet.com one, until you said it was sent to 
China.  I've had some pretty negative experiences with Pacific Rim 
PCB makers and Eastern Europeans ones too.  I really like AC and another
that I'm currently fond of is Imagineering (pcbnet.com).  Both USA, both
fast, the latter is a little cheaper on the low volume stuff though.

DLC

: Hi Robert,

:> My favorite local circuit board maker has just gone out of business,
:> so I am looking at the on-line out-of-town companies for boards in
:> prototype quanties.  The two that I know of are PCB Express and
:> Advanced Circuits.  Does anyone have any comments, pro or con, on

: I have used Advanced Circuits for some time and cannot say enough good
: things about their service, delivery times, etc.

: However, their prices are on the steep side, especially for
: prototyping and low-volume production due to high NREs. I have just
: recently been through a bunch of vendors looking for a good product at
: a good price, and have decided on www.e-teknet.com. Their ordering
: system is a little primitive (e.g. it doesn't automatically add
: shipping costs to your order, you'll get an email from their sales
: staff asking you to process a second payment!), but the prices are
: about 30% lower than Advanced Circuits. Also they do not charge extra
: for large numbers of holes, etc etc. They charge about $96 for 4
: 2-layer FR4 prototypes (0.01" trk/spc, silkscreen). I've officially
: changed preferred vendor at my job and for my own projects.

: Note that AC makes in the USA, and most of the cheaper providers
: (including e-teknet) outsource to China. I have no experience with
: e-teknet's rapid turnaround. I know AC's is very speedy and totally
: reliable. So if I needed a drop-dead urgent board made, I would
: probably choose AC still.

: One annoying thing about AC is that it's not possible (apparently) to
: get non-plated-through holes on the board. They do a single drilling
: step, it seems. e-teknet does a drill step for the PT holes, then does
: a second drill run for the non-plated holes. This happens to make my
: life easier.

-- 
============================================================================
* Dennis Clark         dlc@frii.com                www.techtoystoday.com   * 
* "Programming and Customizing the OOPic Microcontroller" Mcgraw-Hill 2003 *    
============================================================================
On 24 Mar 2004 21:29:48 GMT, Dennis Clark wrote:

> Lewin A.R.W. Edwards <larwe@larwe.com> wrote: > > Hmm, > > I was all over the e-teknet.com one, until you said it was sent to > China. I've had some pretty negative experiences with Pacific Rim > PCB makers and Eastern Europeans ones too. I really like AC and another > that I'm currently fond of is Imagineering (pcbnet.com). Both USA, both > fast, the latter is a little cheaper on the low volume stuff though. > > DLC > >: Hi Robert, > >:> My favorite local circuit board maker has just gone out of business, >:> so I am looking at the on-line out-of-town companies for boards in >:> prototype quanties. The two that I know of are PCB Express and >:> Advanced Circuits. Does anyone have any comments, pro or con, on > >: I have used Advanced Circuits for some time and cannot say enough good >: things about their service, delivery times, etc. > >: However, their prices are on the steep side, especially for >: prototyping and low-volume production due to high NREs. I have just >: recently been through a bunch of vendors looking for a good product at >: a good price, and have decided on www.e-teknet.com. Their ordering >: system is a little primitive (e.g. it doesn't automatically add >: shipping costs to your order, you'll get an email from their sales >: staff asking you to process a second payment!), but the prices are >: about 30% lower than Advanced Circuits. Also they do not charge extra >: for large numbers of holes, etc etc. They charge about $96 for 4 >: 2-layer FR4 prototypes (0.01" trk/spc, silkscreen). I've officially >: changed preferred vendor at my job and for my own projects. > >: Note that AC makes in the USA, and most of the cheaper providers >: (including e-teknet) outsource to China. I have no experience with >: e-teknet's rapid turnaround. I know AC's is very speedy and totally >: reliable. So if I needed a drop-dead urgent board made, I would >: probably choose AC still. > >: One annoying thing about AC is that it's not possible (apparently) to >: get non-plated-through holes on the board. They do a single drilling >: step, it seems. e-teknet does a drill step for the PT holes, then does >: a second drill run for the non-plated holes. This happens to make my >: life easier.
Another nice feature on A.C.'s website is the online DFM -"design for manufacture" - rules checker. It has caught several inadvertent blunders that Protel DXP blissfully passed on through. Bob