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Topic # 223696 13-Oct-2017 10:26
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I'm building something and I really should put the sensors on a PCB.

 

 

 

It will be about 16cm long x 3cm wide and will consist only of an rj45 on one end with 4 traces down the length of the board with 4 sets of 4 holes to put in a 1x4 header pin. So single layer is fine and there's no SMT or anything like that. It's just a neat packaging method for 4 sensors.

 

 

 

I'm after recommendations (local preferred but overseas ok) for cheap manufacture of 4-8 of these boards. Also important to me is how simple the specification is - can I provide a PDF or image file? Or does it need to be some sort of cad file? Is there a simple online app to draw up something this simple?

 

I'd prefer not to use prototype board and wires.

 

Cheers - N

 

 


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  Reply # 1882854 13-Oct-2017 10:34

How many sensors on one board? Would something simple like veroboard work for you?

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  Reply # 1882865 13-Oct-2017 10:49
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You could try oshpark.com but it won't be cheap at that size.  The Chinese factories are normally cheaper but they have set sizes they work with for pricing and at 16 x 3 you'd be looking at the 20 x 10 price.  If you can get it down to under 10cm an any direction then you'd be looking at US$10 for 10 plus shipping so probably about US$15.

 

With most solutions you'd need to use Eagle or similar.  Eagle has a free version but has a steep learning curve.  Easier if you can get someone to design the board for you, it'll only take them a few minutes for something that simple.


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  Reply # 1882868 13-Oct-2017 10:50
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If it is going to be a simple design with wide traces. Make your own boards. Jaycar sell everything you need to do so.





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  Reply # 1883200 13-Oct-2017 23:03
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Are you saying you need someone to design the board as well as make the blank board?

 

Unless you are busting for the commercial look then making them yourself will be a good option.

 

You have a few choices:

 

vero board (copper strips, pre-drilled holes)

 

proto board (holes but no copper)

 

blank / plain board, cut tracks with knife then drill

 

blank plain board, draw tracks with marker pen then etch then drill

 

others ?......

 

All the other options require artwork to be designed first.

 

The hard part is cutting blank PCB into nice straight lines - a guillotine is best but PCB might be a bit too thick for the office unit.

 

Have a look online cos there's some ingenious methods for DIY PCB .


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  Reply # 1883227 14-Oct-2017 02:18
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Jaycar HG-9980 A special film that you stick in a laser printer or photocopier, then print your PCB artwork onto. Use a clothes iron to transfer the artwork onto a blank PCB, etch the board and you are done. Apart from needing to drill the component lead holes.

 

As for cutting the PCB, find someone who has access to a bandsaw with a fine tooth blade - metal cutting blade. Otherwise just use a hacksaw and clamp the board in a vice with packers to stop it getting scratched.






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  Reply # 1883257 14-Oct-2017 09:33
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I use elecrow.com for my prototype PCBs.

 

Pretty quick and they offer registered mail delivery keeping costs down.

 

Ten double sided PTH boards 10x10cm generally only cost me about NZ$15.

 

 





Gordy



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  Reply # 1883260 14-Oct-2017 09:54
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Thanks everyone... I am aware I could make them myself or use veroboard etc, but as mentioned I need to make at least 4 (for one set) and more likely 8 or maybe 12... I'm sure taking into account my time that getting them made properly is a better idea.

 

I looked at Cadsoft eagle but my board won't fit in their freeware footprint (they support 10*8cm and I need 16x3). I found EasyEDA which is dead simple to drive online... I haven't explored if I can get the correct format out of that to send somewhere else for manufacture though - anyone know?

 

Here are the two options... the top is 2 sided and has holes in the board for the temp sensors - the bottom is single sided and the temp sensors will face the other way (so the whole assembly would be a lot thicker. If I had to make it myself I'd go for option 2. I presume I would have to have much bigger traces and gaps if I made my own compared even to a quickturn board from somewhere.

 

Click to see full size

 

Cheers - N


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  Reply # 1883270 14-Oct-2017 10:22
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Have you considered a hybrid option?

 

Get adapters for the specialist connectors and use veroboard for the easy connectors. Screw the two together.

 

You might only need a few hand soldered jumpers to connect the boards up.

 

 





Gordy



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  Reply # 1883561 14-Oct-2017 19:57
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Given the environment these will be in, I want as few connectors as possible - hence the original request for a PCB.

 

CHeers - N

 

 




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  Reply # 1883565 14-Oct-2017 20:05
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Gordy7:

 

I use elecrow.com for my prototype PCBs.

 

Pretty quick and they offer registered mail delivery keeping costs down.

 

Ten double sided PTH boards 10x10cm generally only cost me about NZ$15.

 

 

 

 

Wow - that's exactly what I wanted and pricing looks good too... Now to figure out if I can export Gerber files and see if I can understand their panelisation options!

 

Cheers - N

 

 




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  Reply # 1883567 14-Oct-2017 20:12
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Double Wow... The EasyEDA thing I am using has an order option from the editor and looks like about $2 per board...

 

I'm going to go through and try to check I have all the things I need and then try ordering some.

 

If anyone is more up to speed with this than I am and is prepared to have a look at my file to see if I have made any awful errors, please let me know and I'll share the project on easyeda.

 

(Oh, and EasyEDA does allow export of the Gerber files as well)

 

Cheers - N




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  Reply # 1884515 16-Oct-2017 18:54
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Well I just placed an order with EasyEDA so in 10 days or so I'll see how many mistakes I made :-)

 

Cheers - N

 

 


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  Reply # 1884653 16-Oct-2017 22:27
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Ensure you report back,... interested also 




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  Reply # 1887660 22-Oct-2017 09:31
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Just followed up on this with EasyEDA to see what the status of the order was and it's been shipped (by DHL) and is in Christchurch. I should get the shipment on Tuesday!

 

Hopefully I've not made any big errors on the design. (I've already realised I should have included mounting holes in the design - but there's enough free room for me to drill easilt)

 

 

 

Cheers - N


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  Reply # 1887677 22-Oct-2017 10:30
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Nice one - pls post pics.


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