Forum: Locked Topics PCB Manufacturing Experience with a New Vendor

Author: PCB Manufacturing Experience with a New Vendor (Guest)
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This post concerns my new project "8-Digit Numeric LED Display" . More 
information available at:
LibStock - 8-Digit 7-Segment LED Display in a mikroBUS Format

PCB Manufacturing Experience

In order to complete the code for this project, I had to construct the 
printed circuit boards for actual hardware testing. It is always a 
challenge for individual experimenters to obtain quality prototype 
boards. The costs involved can be greater than personal budgets allow 
for a hobby. Also, current trends in surface mount components make a 
stencil mandatory which stretch the pocketbook further. Some vendors do 
not offer making a stencil and one has to go to a separate vendor for 
making that item.

After getting a quote from a local PCB manufacturing plant and deciding 
that the price was exceedingly high, I decided to try PCBWay in 
Hangzhou, China. http://www.pcbway.com/n

The website was well made and I was able to get an instant quote by 
filling in the required text boxes. The reasonable prices I received 
encouraged me to place an order. I was also able to request that a 
stencil be made and shipped to me together with the PCBs. After a 
preliminary audit of my Gerber files, I was instructed to send payment 
by PayPal. Since I did not have a PayPal account it took me several days 
to get my Visa card tied in to PayPal service. After that, the payment 
went through and my order was on its way to me. I tracked it on DHL 
using the number supplied. I was expecting a lengthy delivery. 
Surprisingly, the shipment arrived 3 days later. I immediately used the 
stencil and applied solder paste to 2 boards and placed the components. 
I heated the boards in a toaster oven until a meat thermometer reached 
the required temperature and the solder visibly melted all around the 
component leads. The circuit boards worked without any problems and I 
was able to publish the project quickly.

My overall impression of the boards was that they were well made with 
silkscreen on both sides. I went for the gold immersion option and that 
made the soldering so much easier. The shipment with the stencil was 
well protected in hard pressboard so that it would not bend. Shipping 
time was exceptional considering the distance involved. They assigned a 
personal contact to me so that I could communicate any issues in 


I intend to continue to use PCBWay for all my future designs.

Attached is the shipping track

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