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Good service from PCB manufacturer.

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
As most of you on here know, I usually build projects on veroboard, however in my new job which includes R&D, designing, prototyping etc. I needed to be using PCB's.

I'm not sure where I saw the link, I'd presume it might have been on these forums?.

Anyway, the company, in China, is at https://jlcpcb.com/

I've had two orders from them now, on their 1o boards for $2.00 offer for prototyping, maximum board size 100mmx100mm.

The first I ordered on Monday 9th April, and we paid for DHL delivery, total bill was about $25.00 (£18.61 in real money), they arrived the following Monday, excellent quality, and ten boards for $2.50 each. The same Monday I also emailed for a quote from a UK company my new boss has used before, for 25 boards - they didn't send the quote until Wednesday, and wanted £6.31 per board, plus £60 tooling, plus postage, plus VAT :eek:

We were so pleased with these boards we ordered a further hundred, they don't qualify for the £2.00 offer, but still are very reasonably priced, they also don't come as quick, I think it said 7-10 days manufacturing time. This was on Monday 16th April, and I also redesigned two existing small boards that we use to build splitters on, they simply have four diodes, PCB pads to solder to, and fit in a small plastic box that is then potted. I ordered those, and noticed an option for multiple PCB's per board, so clicked on 3x3 (which will fit on the 100mmx100mm board).

These boards arrived late this afternoon, so again a week from order to receiving them, and the same high quality boards - which snap apart to get the individual boards, and a total cost of £0.12 per board - 180 boards in total.

So if anyone is interested, it's well worth a try, and we've been VERY happy with their service, and the quality of their products.
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I keep hearing about them and I plan to try them out for my next board design. I was thinking they have the capability to do larger than 100mm x 100mm boards, but it will cost a little bit more. Perhaps I was mistaken? Are they only able to do 100 x 100 mm?
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I keep hearing about them and I plan to try them out for my next board design. I was thinking they have the capability to do larger than 100mm x 100mm boards, but it will cost a little bit more. Perhaps I was mistaken? Are they only able to do 100 x 100 mm?
No they do bigger, but the ten prototype boards for $2.00 only covers up to 100mm x 100mm, you just upload your gerbers and they show how much it will cost depending on the size and quantity.

The original ten boards I ordered were £1.41, and the 100 the same I've ordered were £36.11 - not covered under the special prototype deal, but still only £0.36 per board - I think they are 89mm x 75mm or so?. The board price is £40.74 per square metre - but that seems pretty cheap anyway. I've got another smallish board to do later this week, again nothing complicated, one chip and a battery - just to update an existing design.
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I've not used this company but I have used several of the Chinese suppliers, all with great results. I believe many of them use the same fab house, based on the format of the lot codes that used to be on every board.

A couple tips. The boards can be any shape you want that fits in a 50mm x 50mm or 100mm x 100mm square. Round boards are no problem or any shape you want.

If you need a long, thin board, lay it out on the diagonal of the square. It takes a little work to orient things on a 45° angle, but it's good exercise for the mind ;)
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
It's incredible how cheap circuit boards have become! If you watch any of the videos showing the fabrication process, the amount of work going into making a board is astonishing.
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
When you streamline the process (allow only certain capabilities), the economies of scale kicks in.

Add something ODD, like hard gold for elastomer contacts or blind vias, then your in trouble. Let's not forget "burried components" between layers.
 

Carmine _Abbate

New Member
For PCB production I have used several times https://jlcpcb.com/, that I have know by EasyEda website. The quality and costs of this PCBs are incredible. Good and reliable products. The sercice can be used for some prototype or for mass production. I suggest you to try this service.
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
Seems like every Youtuber is pushing these guys. I tried them out a couple weeks ago. Quality is about the same as I would get from Seedstudio or Elecrow. They shipped right away and the DHL shipping was fast and I didn't get any tax or brokerage charge here in Canada, which I was pretty worried about. I'll use them again. It's cheaper to get from Seeed with regular shipping, but waiting for 1 to 3 months is pretty crazy.

They are the same company as EasyEDA and LCSC.com and you can bundle items together for shipping. I've bought a couple order from LCSC.com. You just have to watch out because some things are cheaper and some are more expensive than regular digikey/mouser.

Another tip is you can get multiple PCB's with the regular 100x100 service without paying for multiple designs, but you have to put them all together yourself and cut them apart yourself, like below. You can try to piece them together like below where it's the easiest to chop them apart.


Also Strange Parts did a factory walk through recently:
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Cutting apart circuit boards is a miserable task. A shear works reasonably well - some of the home improvement stores have tile shears up to the task. Think extra-heavy-duty paper cutter.

If you saw the boards, the resulting dust is both extremely abrasive and hard on tools as well as lungs.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
They shipped right away and the DHL shipping was fast and I didn't get any tax or brokerage charge here in Canada, which I was pretty worried about.
I don't know what it's like in Canada, but in the UK they only charge import duty and VAT if it's over a certain value (the exact figure I'm a not sure of), the 100x100 offer falls short of that, so isn't charged. When we've ordered larger quantities (just had 900 arrive last week - 100 boards with 9 tiles) that usually attracts the extra charges, DHL contact us, we pay it, then they deliver - this last batch we were contacted early morning, paid it immediately, and the box arrived mid-morning.

Sometimes, if you're lucky, items sneak through without you been charged extra :D
 

Willen

Well-Known Member
Few days ago one of my facebook friend was saying same amazing result about 'jlcpcb'. Same as Nigel said. It seems aswesome place to give professional touch for hobby boards. :)
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
JLC is having a media blitz right now. Almost every electronics-related YouTube channel has had a video or two about JLC.

JLC's price of $2 for 10 boards of up to 100mm × 100mm is astonishing (especially considering all the steps required to manufacture a circuit board), but the going rate at other Chinese sources is $5 now, as it has been for a while. When shipping is considered, the difference in the price of the boards isn't too significant. The quality from several of the Chinese vendors appears to be consistent across all of them (I've tried at least 6 different vendors).

When you start adding options or making larger boards, the price advantage may shift to other vendors - take a look at other sources if you get away from the 100mm × 100mm standard boards.
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I have a batch of boards I'm preparing to order, and they're just outside the 100 x 100 mm limit (108 x 109 mm). JLC is still the cheapest vendor I have found so far.
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I just submitted my order. First order currently qualifies for free shipping (under $20 USD). I had a bit of an issue with mine (my bank flagged it as an unauthorized transaction at first) but once I got that squared away the discount did not show up. Even though the payment never went through, the website recognized it as a second order, thus not qualifying for the free shipping. I contacted JLC via email and got a reply within the day. They said I should make the full payment, but that they would refund the cost of shipping manually. I am waiting for them to open again to see if they honor this.

I'll keep you folks updated.
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Wow, already got a response! They just refunded the cost of shipping and the Gerbers are now up for review.

So far I'm impressed - support has been very prompt and pleasant to work with.
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
It's just kind of amazing you get any customer support for a couple bucks!

I have been surprised a couple times from my $5 source. they've spotted errors like when I moved a mounting hole at the last minute and cut through a trace.

But you can't always count on that level of service. I somehow managed to leave the bottom copper layer out of my zip file for a board recently. Despite ordering a two layer board, and including a readme file listing the bottom copper layer, they didn't catch my omission. The board looked great...except for not having any copper on the bottom. *shrug* I ordered new boards with all the files included. Lesson learned. Nobody to blame but myself.
 

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