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Notes: PCB ordering resources



PCB ordering resources

Jan 12, 03:26 PM

I’m considering getting my final boards professionally etched, screened & masked. I’ll even pitch in for some real solder paste to reduce the urge to put a bullet in my head by the end of feb. Don’t get me wrong, I love etching my own boards, but I’ll be working with some tight pitches and 100% SMD components, and I’m feeling a little spoiled with having used solder masks in the past.. they’re so nice. – Used these guys at MERL for the low-quantity boards for the mocap system. Good turn around time, okay prices. They’ll be my baseline for pricing other sites.

Also, a good tip from an instructable for PCB etching—drilling thru-holes for components is rough. The drill likes to wander. This is how the author of the instructable suggests solving the problem:

“Here’s my secret to drilling lots of tiny holes with a hand-held drill: use a scrap piece of acrylic as a drill guide. Drill a hole in the acrylic, then drill through that hole and through the board. The clear acrylic makes it easy to line up the drill bit correctly on the center of each pad. After a dozen holes or so, the “guide hole” in the acrylic will start to “loosen up” — just drill another guide hole & keep going. “

Nice! Here’s a link to the whole thing, if you’re unfamiliar with this technique: