another (cheap?) PCB fab: Hackvana

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Re: another (cheap?) PCB fab: Hackvana

Postby vk5hse » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:56 am

A few months ago I came across a clearance sale of 17 segment LED displays and thought... that'd be great for a morse keyer readout, and was the ideal motivation to finally learn PCB design.

I taught myself gEDA, and designed the prototype PCB. I mentioned on the local amateur radio club monday night radio net that the next step was to get someone to make PCBs. Someone on the radio net said Mitch at Hackvana had been doing PCBs for the local radio amateurs doing near space helium balloon launches (project horus).

So, I got the contact details and got in touch with Mitch. He was incredibly helpful with fine tuning the layout, is really approachable, turnaround times have been amazing, and the boards look great; standard runs are double sided, PTH, green soldermask with white silk screen, and 1oz copper. No issues at all with fairly fine pitched PS/2 and USB pinouts.

The first thirty boards worked out so well, I just put in an order for another 100, and I'm getting another 35 boards made for my DIY lighting control system, five of the 35 boards are for a scary Molex 16 (8x2) x RJ45 port module -> terminal block breakout board.

So, nothing but praise for Mitch. And this is an unsolicited endorsement. He already has my money for the latest order!!

Cheers

Erich
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Re: another (cheap?) PCB fab: Hackvana

Postby bearmos » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:29 am

I sent in ths PCB. Pricing in super small quantities is a little more expensive than Seeed/ITead, but having the ability to talk with Mitch is great and the flexibility (copper weight, internal routing, "real"penalization options) is really nice. All boards will be 100% etested.

Since I didn't spring for fast turn or expedited shipping, I'm expecting the boards in around 3 weeks (5 day turn and 2 weeks shipping to USA). We'll see how it goes.
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Re: another (cheap?) PCB fab: Hackvana

Postby bearmos » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:19 am

boards arrived a couple days ago. Overall, the quality is great, all holes are centered in their vias, nice clean traces, etc. There's a slight misalignment on the bottom silkscreen, but probably wouldn't be noticeable if the test points hadn't formed a sort of bulls-eye. The order had twice the number of PCB's I ordered and Mitch threw in some electrolytics as well. I don't have a decent scanner, so these off-axis pictures will have to do for now. As a reference the fine-pitch components near the top of the board are 0.65mm pitch. Most of the board uses 10 mil trace/space, the tighter areas around the top SOP's are probably closer to 7 mils.

So in summary, it was a great experience - Hackavana definitely gets my recommendation.
Attachments
PCBOrder.jpg
entire Hackvana order
PCB_BOT_small.jpg
Hackvana sourced PCB (bottom)
PCB_TOP_small.jpg
Hackvana sourced PCB (top)
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Re: another (cheap?) PCB fab: Hackvana

Postby ian » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:48 am

We met with Mitch and did an interview in Shenzhen, should be up this week. I will also order boards and stencil to show as an example of the service.
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