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Help: How to order a PCB correctly? Answered

Hi there,

I'm not entirely sure whether this post is in the right place nor if the question is set up in the right way. It's my first time in here. So in case forgive me.

I could need some help. I want to craft a special clock for which I found a nice guide on your platform:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Lord-Vetinari-Clo...

The problem is that I'm not very competent with electronics. In Step 5 of the instructions I need to order a PCB. The EAGLE files are already provided so, as I understand it, I 'only' have to order the PCB accordingly. I tried to get a read on the topic but as I have never really worked with electronics it was rather confusing and it seems to be a process where mistakes are easily made.

The rest of the guide (e.g. software) shouldn't be a huge problem (though I'm not entirely confident the aspects "PIC12F683 IC" and "PIC Programming Kit". But I guess I can sort that out on my own if needed).

I really would appreciate if someone could help me in some way. Maybe with an explanation on what to do or a link to a guide on the topic that fits my situation or anything else. :)

Have a nice day!

Discussions

0
squary.electronics
squary.electronics

6 weeks ago

Gerber files are the standard format that you can give it to your PCB manufacturer.

1
Orngrimm
Orngrimm

Best Answer 6 weeks ago

OK. Import was straight forward in Altium. I created a set of Gerber-Files and checked them and they look good.
as i dont seem to be able to post files, ill Upload them and post a link here.

Now to the explanation you are looking for (Hopefully).:
- There are many Electronic-CAD packages out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_EDA_companie... for a quick starter...
- You design the printed circuit boards (PCB) there. They contain all the metallic connections needed for the circuit to work as well as all the Holes and outlines and other data to define your PCB.
- As every ECAD-Software stores its PCBs differently, the PCB-Manufacturer needs a common format. Gerber-Format is the old workhorse for that. GerberX2 is newer, but not really needed for such simple Boards as you have there.
- You choose your Manufacturer (Again, MANY differetn options there, ill suggest one later) and send him the pack of Gerber-Files.
- The manufacturer often has an online-check to check and interpret the files and show you what they understand from it in a visual form.
- You choose the color and amount and press "order" ;)

For the PCB-Manufacturer: If it is a very complicated and challenging board i normally go thru Würth. But for this very simple 2-sided PCB, i would suggest JLCPCB.com as they offer a very good price for 5 prototype-boards: 2$ total + Shipping.

Download the archive from https://wsi.li/n349aoKtpPDwA3 and unpack the 2 ZIP-files Gerber-Files.zip and Vetinari Clock.zip. The Vetinari Clock.zip is the altium-Project if interested...

https://jlcpcb.com/quote#/ and upload the Gerber-Files.zip
If you want, you can choose black PCB to have it look like in the instructable.
Finish the checkout-process and wait like 4 weeks to receive your 5 PCBs.
Have fun!


Edit: Oh yeah: You need of course to populate theboard yourself and solder the parts onto the PCB. I suggest ordering the components thru mouser.com

1
Nimlod
Nimlod

Reply 6 weeks ago

Thanks a lot!
I did as you told me and ordered it immediately as it was not particularly difficult anymore with your great instructions and help with the gerber file. And with only 2 USD it was extraordinary cheap, even my shipping costs were covered by an first-buy-discount. :)
It's great that one can find kind help on the internet so easily and swiftly!

0
Orngrimm
Orngrimm

Reply 6 weeks ago

You are welcome! I think if someone knows something another person wants to know, the first person should feel responsible to at least tell and try to help.

knowledge is not lost by sharing but multiplied.

So please pay it forward and help someone who has a question in a field you know your way :)

0
Nimlod
Nimlod

Reply 6 weeks ago

Hey, just in case you didn't see it, I wrote you one more question as private message. I had a slight problem with the ordering it turned out. Would be great if you could help me out once more (if it doesn't take too much time). :)

0
Orngrimm
Orngrimm

Reply 6 weeks ago

Solved. For the ones curious: JLCPCB checked the Files and found a file not needed (drill+1) and asked if it can be ignored.
Sorry, was my fault to also generate the +1 from Altium...

0
Orngrimm
Orngrimm

6 weeks ago

I dont have eagle, but i am sure i can import the board to Altium and generate the needed gerber-Files. Ill post here again with the files and a manual on how exactly to order. :)