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PCB Makers to UK

Wp100

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #1
Hi,

Am in need for a double sided small board, but have never used the far east pcb makers.

Can anyone recommend a company that gives good service to the UK.

Seen some places offer the cheaper Hong Kong post option of 15-30 days, again wondered if thats typical or a bit quicker in most cases ?
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
#4
I disagree completely completely. The quality of most Chinese PCB fab houses is very good.

JLCPCB has been flooding YouTube with ads. They offer 10 boards of up to 100mm × 100mm for a couple dollars. All in, with express shipping, cost for 10 2-layer boards is around $20. I have not used JLCPCB myself, but people who have are very pleased.

My "go to" guys are Elecrow.com. They charge $5 for 10 boards, but there is no extra charge for soldermask colors other than green. Using DHL Hong Kong shipping, the total is about $25 to the US. DHL Shenzhen is a bit more expensive, but delivery will be a few days faster.

I would not recommend China Post for anything you want to see soon. Delivery may be 2 to 4 weeks, but it an take 8 weeks or longer.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#5
My vote is for JLCPCB, excellent quality, fast turn round, and speedy delivery via DHL.

I had some boards come last Friday, and I've got some more due today - the ones today are the $2 offer, I only ordered then last Wednesday - so pretty damn fast. The ones that came Friday were a bigger order, so take a few days longer, and you don't get the special offer - but still an extremely good price.

I would seriously recommend paying the extra for DHL, you know when it's arriving, and you know it will be fast.
 

Wp100

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #6
PCB manufacturing is expensive, especially for single piece boards. Why not make it at home?

Using Chinese manufacturers, despite common is not good. You can certainly find someone in Europe to produce it for you. Someone like this:
https://www.micron20.com/bg/orders/calculator-production
Well pcbway quote $5 for 5 boards 100 x 75mm on a day or so turn around
Micron20 quote for the same ,£41 for 2 week turnaround !
 

Wp100

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #7
My vote is for JLCPCB, excellent quality, fast turn round, and speedy delivery via DHL.

I had some boards come last Friday, and I've got some more due today - the ones today are the $2 offer, I only ordered then last Wednesday - so pretty damn fast. The ones that came Friday were a bigger order, so take a few days longer, and you don't get the special offer - but still an extremely good price.

I would seriously recommend paying the extra for DHL, you know when it's arriving, and you know it will be fast.

Thanks, would assume ? the import label only states the price of the boards, not including delivery, but just wonder if you have to pay any extra charges to folk like DHL, you do hear stories of them adding on ridiculous charges ?

Just checked the JLCPCB site and its £1.56 offer price for 5 small boards, so its still under £4 a board via DHL :)

Have used Ares ,but seems the free Dip Trace is a popular alternative ?
 
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JonSea

Well-Known Member
#8
To the US (I know you're not here, but I suspect Europe is similar), I've never paid any duties for bare boards, even when I've had several boards made that pushed the total cost to over $100.

For assembled boards, a client had to pay duties of a couple hundred dollars on one shipment worth about $1000, but not on 3 other shipments worth roughly the same value.

I have heard cases where UPS and FEDEX have tacked on extra charges and brokerage fees but this has never happened to me using DHL.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#10
Thanks, would assume ? the import label only states the price of the boards, not including delivery, but just wonder if you have to pay any extra charges to folk like DHL, you do hear stories of them adding on ridiculous charges ?

Just checked the JLCPCB site and its £1.56 offer price for 5 small boards, so its still under £4 a board via DHL :)

Have used Ares ,but seems the free Dip Trace is a popular alternative ?
For higher prices you have to pay VAT (20%) on arrival in the UK, plus a charge for collecting it. The standard 10 board (not 5) prototype offer falls below the threshold, so it doesn't apply.

I use DesignSpark from RS for my boards, which is well featured and free.

BTW, the prototype boards I ordered last Wednesday afternoon arrived this morning (Monday) at about 9:00 :D

Here's some JLCPCB boards I'm currently populating:

meter_pcb.png
 

Wp100

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #11
Interesting looking boards there Nigel, wonder what they are for ?
Good to see standard parts still in use, smd just too painful to use by hand soldering.

That JLCPCB site mentions that Ares can give some problems partic on the drilling, so will have a look at that RS Design Spark, though have not used RS for some time.

Only after a very simple board to take a tft screen, rtc, teensy board and cable connectors so its more durable than the hand wiring of the prototype, though it does need to be double sided with many though holes.

001323.jpg
 
#12
You don't need VAT, taxes and import if you use the link I gave you. Its from within the European Union, you just order and collect. The quality is also higher than the chinese one and then the European one.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#13
Interesting looking boards there Nigel, wonder what they are for ?
Good to see standard parts still in use, smd just too painful to use by hand soldering.
As we hand assemble we avoid SM where ever possible, as it takes far more time - in this case there's none at all, although other products we make use a couple of SM parts as they aren't available through hole.

The board is basically a pulse counter and generator, it counts pulses from a water meter and displays litres/second and cubic metres etc. It also outputs pulses (via an opto-isolator) for testing other equipment. Basically it's a useful handheld device, and it's shaped to fit a specific case. I'm currently asembling these as we have an order for ten of them.
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
#14
You don't need VAT, taxes and import if you use the link I gave you. Its from within the European Union, you just order and collect. The quality is also higher than the chinese one and then the European one.
I have not seen any reports of significant quality issues from any of the Chinese fab houses, particularly in the last few years. I have had several dozen boards made at Elecrow and other Chinese vendors without any issues. I don't push their claimed specs, but I've used 8mil traces without problems.

I would fab my boards in the US if possible. Last time I checked, to get an equal cost per board as the Chinese "10 for" deals, I would have to make a run of 4000 boards in the US.

Please provide some first-hand evidence of problems with printed circuit boards made in China if any exists. Otherwise, it sounds like a personal bias that maybe you should stop promoting.

For the record, none of the Chinese fab houses have given me anything other than great service to get my recommendation.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#15
For the record, none of the Chinese fab houses have given me anything other than great service to get my recommendation.
I've only used JLCPCB, and they have been absolutely flawless, so I've never had any reason to look elsewhere - as I've mentioned previously I did ask for a quote from a UK board maker, but it took three days to get the quote (which was a lot more expensive anyway), and by then JLCPCB had manufacturered and shipped the boards.
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
#16
You don't need VAT, taxes and import if you use the link I gave you. Its from within the European Union, you just order
Using this calculator for 10 copies of a 100mm x 100mm board, 2 layers, soldermask and silkscreen on both sides with a minimum trace width of 8 miles (which falls into the Chinese "10 for $5" deal at Elecrow, the quoted price was $63 for a 15 day turn.

I would have my Chinese boards for a third the cost in half the time using DHL shipping. Even if I load up on neat gadgets and parts from Elecrow, I'd still be money ahead.

NsrMagazin, your arguments don't hold up to even a modest bit of scrutiny.
 

MaxHeadRoom78

Well-Known Member
#17
I have used/tried a total of three suppliers, all about the same and very good, most such as PCBway already mentioned have a starting price of $5.00 for 10 boards 100mm x 100mm.
The reason I use these now is the low China post option as I can wait for the longer delivery.
Edit: Just recd latest batch today, extra couple of board included.
Max.
 
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