Dangerous Prototypes

General Category => General discussion => Topic started by: matseng on January 30, 2013, 11:20:11 am

Title: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: matseng on January 30, 2013, 11:20:11 am
I found this smart-prototyping.com (http://http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=59_60&product_id=142) company while cruising the interwebs :)  They seem to have really  good prices even compared to Seeed.

Same specs as Seeed/Itead: 6/6 mil T/T, 12 mil vias, 32 mil text
Standard 95% E-test (Seeed 50%)

10 pcs 5x5cm HASL Green = $10 (Seeed $10)
50 pcs 5x5cm HASL Red = $40 (Seeed $55)
100 pcs 10x10cm HASL Green = $127 (Seeed $190)
100 pcs 10x10cm ENIG(gold) Black = $151 (Seeed $249)

Aaaaaaannnnnnddddd....!  Wait for it!  A Solder paste stencil as an add-on to the order = $24
(No mention if it's just a kapton stencil or a lasered/chem etched stainless steel stencil.)
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: JuKu on January 30, 2013, 12:51:37 pm
A PCB house would have its chem etch process well tuned, so I'd guess you'd get a steel one.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: matseng on January 31, 2013, 08:33:07 am
I got a reply from them telling me that their standard stencil is a laser cut stainless steel with a smallest pitch of 0.4mm.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: Zuph on January 31, 2013, 02:03:44 pm
Woah, this is great.  Another big win: Cheap 4 layer boards.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: bearmos on January 31, 2013, 02:37:30 pm
[quote author="matseng"]I got a reply from them telling me that their standard stencil is a laser cut stainless steel with a smallest pitch of 0.4mm.[/quote]

That's insane for $24!

So who's up for taking these guys for a whirl?
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: Sleepwalker3 on January 31, 2013, 04:38:58 pm
Nice find Mats! I've been emailing back and forth over the past week or so to Seeed and they assure me they are looking into stencils and I've suggested they offer both Kapton for those wanting cheapies for just doing a few and Stainless.
I've found Seeed great to deal with, but it would be great to be able to order the stencils and boards in one hit and with one lot of postage, much less mucking around and cheaper.

BTW, I think it was Arhi that suggested Seeed was doing 100% etest with all stuff and I found this too; In my last couple of batches, all were marked.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: royco on January 31, 2013, 05:22:31 pm
Nice Find!

I'll try them out. I sent them an email asking when is the last day I can order and still ship out before the spring festival. I have some files ready for them.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: bearmos on January 31, 2013, 05:30:24 pm
Cool, let us know how it goes!  Are you going for the stencil as well, or just PCB's?
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: Sleepwalker3 on January 31, 2013, 05:31:24 pm
I'd be pretty happy with 95%! Interestingly, when I select 100%, it doesn't change the price.

I get different prices to you Mats, says $8.90 for 10 units 50mmx50mm Green HASL. Perhaps it's converting to my local currency, but it says $USD up the top.

Might be a problem with their script, but it's showing me the same price ($18.02) for 10 units 50mm x 100mm, as it is for 100mm x 100mm. It takes a few seconds to update (very very slow), but when it does it still comes out the same price - likely a mix up as it seems it might be a new place. If you select 100 units they are completely different prices, so it'll be an error.

I wonder if they have a set thickness of Stencil.

Hmm, will be interesting to see if they're any good.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: matseng on January 31, 2013, 05:39:57 pm
Their script is really slow, but so are their website so it seems like the price calculations is done at the server and not locally at the webpage.

$8.90 is for 1-layer... :-)  Change to 2-layer and you'll get $9.90
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: presslab on January 31, 2013, 05:58:53 pm
4 layer boards are cheap too!  6 layer are a lot more but still reasonable.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: ian on February 01, 2013, 06:09:48 am
Quote
Nice find Mats! I've been emailing back and forth over the past week or so to Seeed and they assure me they are looking into stencils and I've suggested they offer both Kapton for those wanting cheapies for just doing a few and Stainless.

Yes, they told me this too when I was there. It has been demanded for years :)

All my boards from Seeed are 100% etested too. I will ask if this is standard now. I assume it is, but they'd rather process orders than update the webpage.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: JuKu on February 01, 2013, 08:46:08 am
Good resistor and capacitor kits, too. Thank you for the link, I think they get some business from here.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: matseng on February 01, 2013, 08:55:37 am
I also need moar lab power supplies....  This http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php? ... uct_id=103 (http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=66_70_123&product_id=103) for $29 seems very cheap.

The manufacturer claim "Current Control Mode 0-3A adjustable" but I really don't think so. I see no knobs or switches for setting cv/cc mode as on the more expensive version.  Maybe one of each can come in handy. :-)

The http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php? ... uct_id=105 (http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=66_70_123&product_id=105) is cheaper than a similar unit on eBay.

Edit: removed extra c from first url
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: bearmos on February 01, 2013, 02:07:05 pm
[quote author="matseng"]I also need moar lab power supplies....  This http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php? ... uct_id=103 (http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=66_70_123&product_id=103) for $29 seems very cheap.[/quote]

This is probably one of the cheapest adjustable supplies I've seen.

Looks like your link had an extra 'c' on the index (fixed in the above quote).

Quote
The manufacturer claim "Current Control Mode 0-3A adjustable" but I really don't think so. I see no knobs or switches for setting cv/cc mode as on the more expensive version.  Maybe one of each can come in handy. :-)
It looks like there's a button on the bottom - this might make select between CC/CV modes.

Quote
The http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php? ... uct_id=105 (http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=66_70_123&product_id=105) is cheaper than a similar unit on eBay.
I'm assuming this is basically an adjustable +/-15V supply (the description says 0-30V), but the +/-/GND suggest dual rails.

I wonder how these would stand up over time (and what shipping to my side of the pond would be like).
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: matseng on February 01, 2013, 04:19:56 pm
According from a mail I got from the company the shipping costs for .au is in their system...

Quote
The shipping cost table is uploaded in the moment for following countries (up to 30kg):
all EU countries
USA
Canada
Mexico
Australia
Russia
Japan
Taiwan
North Korea
South Korea
Singapore
India

If you want to ship to another country then let me know and we will add the shipping cost table for it. Also a heavier package or lower shipping cost (with longer shipping time) are available on request.

No Malaysia yet, but I just check the shipping costs for Singapore since they should be more or less the same.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house
Post by: Royce on February 01, 2013, 06:26:49 pm
[quote author="matseng"]Their script is really slow, but so are their website so it seems like the price calculations is done at the server and not locally at the webpage.

$8.90 is for 1-layer... :-)  Change to 2-layer and you'll get $9.90[/quote]

From what I could tell, they key off a change in focus, not a change in value. So go select something in another field and it will do the price update right away.

Anyway, nice find!
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: digistump on February 01, 2013, 11:51:04 pm
While I haven't tested their PCB service yet - I just made the plunge for a big test of their store:

Reflow Oven AT-R1825 $299.99
DC Power Supply LW PS-1503D (0-15V/0-3A) $29.99
SMD Book R0402 $19.99
Multimeter Victor VC830L (U,I,R) $7.99 (can never have too many of these!)
Sub-Total:   $357.96
Express: 3-8 days, with tracking & insurance, dimensional weight (21.85kg):   $103.25
Total:   $461.21

I'll post an update when I get it - ordered last night, got a confirmation, but nothing else yet - of course it is now nearly the weekend there.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: bearmos on February 02, 2013, 02:50:00 am
nice - so this all this in anticipation of the next digispark production run :)?
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: digistump on February 02, 2013, 04:00:14 am
That would kill me to run Digisparks on such small equipment - right now they get run on multiple full size pick and place machines at the factory. But this is for making some pre-assembled SMT shields as well as prototyping new products, I'm tired of soldering 0402s by hand.

The next prototype board I need I'm going to give these folks a try - that is of course if they ship my oven in the mean time.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: matseng on February 02, 2013, 04:04:45 am
[quote author="bearmos"]
[quote author="matseng"]
The manufacturer claim "Current Control Mode 0-3A adjustable" but I really don't think so. I see no knobs or switches for setting cv/cc mode as on the more expensive version.  Maybe one of each can come in handy. :-)[/quote]
It looks like there's a button on the bottom - this might make select between CC/CV modes.
[/quote]

Nah, I found a clear picture of it. It's only CV. The left button is the power button, and the right is just a placeholder/blank for the output terminals of the bigger brother of this power supply.  But for $29 I'm ok without a adjustable current limiter.

I like that they have labeled BOTH output terminals as GND :-)

[attachment=0]
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: digistump on February 02, 2013, 04:54:31 am
[quote author="matseng"][quote author="bearmos"]
[quote author="matseng"]
The manufacturer claim "Current Control Mode 0-3A adjustable" but I really don't think so. I see no knobs or switches for setting cv/cc mode as on the more expensive version.  Maybe one of each can come in handy. :-)[/quote]
It looks like there's a button on the bottom - this might make select between CC/CV modes.
[/quote]

Nah, I found a clear picture of it. It's only CV. The left button is the power button, and the right is just a placeholder/blank for the output terminals of the bigger brother of this power supply.  But for $29 I'm ok without a adjustable current limiter.
[/quote]


Good catch! I honestly threw it in on my order and didn't look twice because of the price and it didn't add to shipping.

I just asked them if I could switch to this one and pay the difference: http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php? ... uct_id=105 (http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=66_70_123&product_id=105)

They sent me an email that the oven I ordered was OOS until after the new year - I responded that I'll happily wait, gives me confidence to hear from them. They even asked if I wanted to switch to one of the other ovens in the email - so far service looks good!
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: bearmos on February 02, 2013, 03:16:04 pm
matseng, the picture is a nice find - so much for my optimism!
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: neslekkim on February 21, 2013, 10:53:11 am
Did anyone order and test these powersupplies?, the PS-303DM looks nice, but wonders if it was 0-30 or -15 to +15..
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: Zuph on March 01, 2013, 03:43:52 am
I just got back some 2-layer PCBs and a PS-303DM power supply:

(http://http://i.imgur.com/FOyPPsBl.jpg) (http://http://imgur.com/FOyPPsB)
(http://http://i.imgur.com/FO8ZulCl.jpg) (http://http://imgur.com/FO8ZulC)
(http://http://i.imgur.com/3eNW8AFl.jpg) (http://http://imgur.com/3eNW8AF)
(http://http://i.imgur.com/hTzkYQ1l.jpg) (http://http://imgur.com/hTzkYQ1)

The power supply appears to work well.  I tested it through its range with a multimeter, and put a couple of resistor loads on it, and it was as accurate as my crappy radioshack meter, at least.  It's a little on the light side compared to similar power supplies, but for under $50, I can't complain at all.  The switch on the back was set to 220V when I took it out of the box, so that's something to look out for.

The PCBs are fine quality.  They aren't anything special, since they're for a through-hole kit I'm thinking about selling on Tindie, but the drill hits and solder mask are at least as accurate as seeed studio, if not a little better.  I ordered 10 and received 12, but one of them had a pretty bad scuff-mark from shipping.  The bundle of PCBs was stuffed against the side of the box with just a thin layer of bubble-wrap.

For the price, I'm happy.  Shipping was a little on the pricey side ($40), but it arrived just 5 days after shipping, a week after I placed the order.  If I'd had a choice for cheaper shipping, I would have picked it, but with the heavy power supply, I wasn't able to choose slow shipping.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: ferdinandk on March 17, 2013, 01:59:35 pm
[quote author="digistump"]While I haven't tested their PCB service yet - I just made the plunge for a big test of their store:

Reflow Oven AT-R1825 $299.99
DC Power Supply LW PS-1503D (0-15V/0-3A) $29.99
SMD Book R0402 $19.99
Multimeter Victor VC830L (U,I,R) $7.99 (can never have too many of these!)
Sub-Total:   $357.96
Express: 3-8 days, with tracking & insurance, dimensional weight (21.85kg):   $103.25
Total:   $461.21

I'll post an update when I get it - ordered last night, got a confirmation, but nothing else yet - of course it is now nearly the weekend there.[/quote]

Did you receive the oven yet? I've been playing with the idea of buying one since I found this store. Googl'ing didn't bring up any reviews, so I'm eager to hear your story :)
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: ccesaretto on March 18, 2013, 02:34:27 pm
I have received my PCBs too.
I also tried the SMD stencil because it was very cheap ($25).
Arrived in perfect good shape and I am happy for the service.
Definitely will use them again.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: Sleepwalker3 on March 19, 2013, 12:52:19 am
How good was the stencil (and for that matter the PCB's)? Any pics?
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: ccesaretto on March 19, 2013, 01:01:36 am
[quote author="Sleepwalker3"]How good was the stencil (and for that matter the PCB's)? Any pics?[/quote]
Unfortunately I can't post a picture because I am leaving for some holidays soon. maybe when I came back.

The pcbs are good quality in my opinion.similar to seeedstudio I think.
Regarding the stencil, I was expecting a simple steel sheet instead I have received a framed one.
it's quite big and robust.

I will post a picture in 10 days but if you are considering buying a stencil, don't esitate. I can't believe it's only 25$
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: Elpis on March 19, 2013, 01:50:16 pm
Seeed Studio start producing stencils as well: http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/pcb-st ... ?cPath=185 (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/pcb-stencil-service-p-1391.html?cPath=185)

I think that they are a little bit at the expensive side... (well, the price its OK for the steel ones but I was hopping that they will offer together with the steel ones and cheap kapton/polyester ones for the hobby community)!
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: Taniwha on March 29, 2013, 07:12:19 am
I tried these guys out mostly a happy customer - wrote a report here

http://http://dangerousprototypes.com/2013/01/31/another-cheap-pcb-fab-house/#comment-163394
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: avishorp on April 15, 2013, 11:15:56 am
I've also tried them (PCB + components). You can read my impressions in a blog post (http://http://blog.avishorp.me/2013/04/xser-part-and-smart-prototypingcom.html) I wrote.

Avishay
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: neslekkim on July 16, 2013, 03:11:17 pm
did anyone test these psu's that smart-prototyping sells?, kinda like the ps-305, but wonder if it is any good, say, how low can it controll current?, and the price is $49 for the psu, but shipping is $58, so maybe one of the bigger would be better, say the rxn-305D-II

Anyone know what is the difference of linear or switching mode on these? are the switching versions effecient and not to much noisy?
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: neslekkim on July 16, 2013, 03:52:32 pm
blah, the email adress given for shippingquestions there doesn't work, so maybe they are already out of business?
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: Sleepwalker3 on July 16, 2013, 04:02:54 pm
Site still going, try their contact form
http://http://smart-prototyping.com/index.php?route=information/contact
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: matseng on July 16, 2013, 04:08:57 pm
Try cherry@smart-prototyping.com I've had email conversations with her as late as this Friday. She usually replies within a few hours.

-mats
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: neslekkim on July 16, 2013, 04:27:18 pm
yes, that adress worked, got replay that they are on vacation (until tomorrow), so I'll wait and see.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: matseng on July 16, 2013, 07:42:30 pm
[quote author="neslekkim"]did anyone test these psu's that smart-prototyping sells?, kinda like the ps-305, but wonder if it is any good, say, how low can it controll current?, and the price is $49 for the psu, but shipping is $58, so maybe one of the bigger would be better, say the rxn-305D-II[/quote]

I bought both the RXN-1503D (Linear 0-15V/0-3A) and the PS-305D (Linear 0-30V/0-5A, 1mA Display) from them a while back. I haven't really tested them yet.  Tomorrow I'll try to do some measurements on them and see how well they regulate the current in CC-mode and what the practical ranges are. I'll also make some tests for voltage transients on power on and power off.

I've planned to to these tests for  while now but never got around doing them. So for now I just pull the positive cable from the contacts before turning them on or off. It would not be so nice if they put out an unregulated spike of 25-30 volts at power off.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: neslekkim on July 16, 2013, 08:56:26 pm
thanks, will be interesting, is the fan noise high?
If they give an spike, it should be possible to create an small protection circuit that one can attach?
I mean, where else can you find an "decent" psu like this for about $100 with shipping..
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: red on September 25, 2013, 02:17:32 pm
I've been using these guys since May 30th.  It was the $20 stencil that made me move from iteadstudio (which I also received great service from btw).

The reason I decided to post was not so much as a "Me Too" post but to share that we're actually going through the quote process for PCB assembly.  We're 90% there with BoM and assembly costs.  This includes soldering by hand a somewhat gnarly 30 pin FPC!

I'll let you guys know how it turns out!



Red
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: Sleepwalker3 on December 11, 2013, 01:41:53 pm
Anybody tried Seeed lately and if so, were things back to good again or still a bit iffy? I know Eric was on here and trying hard, but I looked at their PCB again (as I'd always used them in the past) and suddenly it's changed from 10 boards down to 5 boards - effectively the price has doubled!  Mats, is Smart-Proto still doing fine with your orders?
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: doub on December 11, 2013, 02:02:08 pm
I don't know for Mats, but I recently ordered with Smart-Prototyping, and I've had a mixed experience. I have still a pending issue with them, but I'll give a thorough review soon.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: Sleepwalker3 on December 11, 2013, 05:10:19 pm
Thanks Doub, good to get various feedback.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: ericwertz on December 13, 2013, 05:06:20 am
[quote author="Sleepwalker3"]... but I looked at their PCB again (as I'd always used them in the past) and suddenly it's changed from 10 boards down to 5 boards - effectively the price has doubled!  Mats, is Smart-Proto still doing fine with your orders?[/quote]

Their qty=10 prices are still the same -- they've just added a qty=5 option.
Title: Re: One more PCB fab house - Cheap stencils
Post by: Sleepwalker3 on December 13, 2013, 06:28:48 am
Well if that's the case either they must have made a mistake on the webpage, or I'm missing something, because here (on the left) http://http://www.seeedstudio.com/service/index.php under the 'Fusion PCB' heading, the text says  "Customized PCB;  $9.9 for 5 pieces of 1-2 layers PCB...".

In the past I've always paid $9.90 for 10 boards (50mmx50mm, everything standard), so unless I'm missing something, then I should now be able to get 5 boards for $4.95 (that would be great!).

I'm more than happy to be corrected if I'm wrong!