Need PCB Fab House Suggestions

I’m sure this question has been asked and answered many times but after poking around the forum… I have been unable to find it… so any help would be appreciated.

I’m a relative newbie about to order my first PCB in …
a. Proto Type Quantifies…
b. Then in 50 to 100 at a time…
c. Then ultimately at 1,000 quantities or more.

Looking for suggested Fab Houses…
1 - State Side
2 - Elsewhere

Thanks for any help.

PS I can Google this but I’m hopeful for suggestions from folks who have actually used the PCB Fab House(s).

You could look at which is a price comparison site. It doesn’t cover all the houses out there so don’t stop there.

I’ve been using JLCPCB for a while now (They are in China). Min quantity is 5 and cheap as chips. They didn’t used to do massively large quantities previously but see now they offer up to 80k pieces.

Never had any issues and shipping is reasonable. (To the UK, not sure about USA, but you can go DHL/Fedex I think) I always take the cheapest option and am prepared to wait.


I would not recommend jlc for the very simple reason that they do not deliver on their advertised capabilities!

What about their incapabilities? Do they deliver on those? (I am kidding.)

Seriously; what issues have you encountered with them? I have ordered a few boards from them (2 layer and 4 layer) and had no technical disappointments. The boards were always good. (Only disappointment is that delivery takes 2-3 weeks when you go for the cheapest shipping.)

A few of these low cost Internet based suppliers are actually a storefront for several low cost operations. This means that a few batches might be fine and then the next batch goes to a less competent factory.

Minimum trace width and spacing 3.5 mil in Au as a larger batch.
They accepted for production but did not deliver the quality!
What arrived were undercut traces and copper poors.
Arround that time they had some holidays.
I suspect the pcb’s were left too long in some liquid.
Not good

Beer? :grinning:
I suppose that my boards had nothing that would have “pushed the limits.” Generally I have an 8 or 10 mil minimum trace width.

One odd example was to make an adapter board which was not much bigger than 1 cm square. One side of the board faced down on a larger board. It had a footprint which mirrored a footprint on the bigger board and soldered down to it. Then the top side of the board had a different footprint on it. The board was very thin so that the bottom could be hot air soldered to the bigger board. Then the top side had a different chip soldered to it. A coworker did this assembly work but I designed the board. It seemed to work OK.

Did you contact their support? I’ve had one issue before with a error on their side and they were quick to reship.

Thought about it, however I did not contact them for the very simple reason of their failed QA.
QA done properly would have picked up on this issue. Well, it obviously did not.
Chances are slim they will get it right next time!

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At the end of the day, shopping for a board manufacturer isn’t so different from other shopping. You have to inspect their products and decide whether to progress to larger volumes.

Your designs may be undemanding and you never have problems so you swear by them. Or they fail to make tightly specified designs, and you swear off them. May also depend on whether the work experience intern did your job that week. :wink:

That’s exactly what it actually was. A test run. :sunglasses:

Sure. I could use one. I haven’t had breakfast yet. :wink:

None of my stuff is critical. I use the largest traces and clearances I can get away with because I know using the low cost guys could cause problems. I suspect some of these low price places are using second hand equipment from a place that upgraded to newer high end stuff and don’t have the experience using it they otherwise would.

What about
I see they are in CA, do they etch the boards there or have them done off shore?
Thanks for the help.

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Where do you see that they are in CA? Maybe it’s a sales office?

AFAIK they are in China and they are a major rival to JLCPCB.

If you want to use the same house for prototypes as for hundreds and thousands of boards I would choose a fab which you can establish a relation with. Nowadays there are several which can quote the assembly of a pcb automatically on their webpage. I would check out macrofab, circuithub and aisler.

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The same happened for me also in JLC (one time spotted, I guess).

It’s here in Oregon.

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Please allow me to ask:
Suppose you are satisfied with the first delivery and you order larger quantities again: How do you arrange the assembly? Some board houses offer this, as long as you stick to their available parts.
But there are other options, e.g services of Aisler company.
Any plans already?