Calum Knott

I'm currently employed by Didactic Services, a FESTO Partner, as a Senior Applications Engineer.
I'm currently the WorldSkillsUK Mechatronics Training Manager
I'm also a Visiting Lecturer at Middlesex University
Occasionally I can be persuaded to Freelance!

Contact Me

These posts are archived
They were written with an old blogging platform, and are no longer really maintainable, however as they are linked too from various pages on the web - it seemed a good idea to try and archive them. I have written just enough code to get them to display - but there will probably be a few broken links and images.
Any major queries - feel free to contact me

PCB Production

21 / 7 / 2015

I get a fair few PCB's made, and I thaught i should do a little post about who I use.

Every supplier will have its ups and downs but i believe I have found the perfect trio of services to use.

1. - (CHINA)

"These are intended to be dirt cheap, prototype boards. We use them for all our stuff and never have problems. If you hate them we'll refund your money. If there's a problem with the board, we'll replace it or refund your money"

I Love DirtyPCB's. They are rediculously cheap, coming in at about £1 a pcb. Shipping takes a couple of weeks, but it's worth it!

I use DirtyPcb's for my #wtfduino boards, and all of my runs of 10+ boards.

They have a great finish, and they can deal with complicated shapes very easily!

Verdict: My go-to for any large quantity of PCBs for sale or production.

2. Mitch Electronics - (UK)

"Since ALL of our fabrication is UK based we guarantee that the final products are not only reliable but safe. This makes MitchElectronics the place to go for low cost prototyping of circuits and products."

Robin at Mitch Electonics has been working hard on perfecting low-cost PCB's manufactured in the UK.

His PCB's hold up VERY well to reflowing, reworking, hot air guns, high temperature, and seem to have no problems carrying digital signals (kind of obvious but always good to test!)

I got very low resistance readings on the traces too!

I have only produced single-sided PCB's with Mitch Electronics so far, but look forward to recieving some double sided boards from him soon!

Robin has Fantastic customer service and support, and he was even nice enough to send me some photos of his production process!

For "hobbyist" PCB's, they look amazing, and with traces down to 11mil, 0630 components and SMD parts are easy.

No more need to prototype in PTH and then manufacture in SMD… this is a game-changer.

Verdict: Fantastic for Prototypes, 1 offs, samples, and even small runs!

3. OSH Park - (USA)

OSH park produces some very purple boards.

I find them good for "tiny" boards (20mmx20mm) and small quantities, (less than 10) but i find they add really annoying little production tags.

Verdict: Good for small PCB's, but Very Very slow.