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First PCBs back


Just got my first PCBs back from on Friday. Looks like top quality stuff. Love the purple mask and the gold pads.


Here is my finished FT232 USB/TTL serial breakout.


they look awesome.

What was the overall size of each of your designs, because you have 3 separate designs there, correct? What about cost (if you don’t mind) and turnaround? I notice that there’s ~weekly boards filling up at the moment, so I guess that would have helped the wait.

must refrain from opening Eagle and making boards - protoboard is working fine for the moment…


I did post here with more details.

Basically $5 per sqr inch with shipping included and you get 3 of each for same price. And you get to help a good guy (Lean) that does this for about nothing.

The net cost is like $1.67/SqrIn to your door. Time depends on how long a board takes to fill up (~2 weeks) and when you submit it inside the cycle.

A proto board runs like 0.85/sqr plus what ever shipping is. So the cost delta is not a real factor as much as weighing the other pros-cons of each. In my case, I wanted to learn to PCB.


It does look top quality. I would like to try their service. Did you solder FT chip yourself?


“Did you solder FT chip yourself?”

Thank you. Yes, it was my first SMT chip. Actually, I was shocked it worked at all because my surface mount job was not very pretty. I did use Gus’s SMD solder videos on YouTube for moral support. After getting everything soldered, it did not work (as halfway expected). After some debugging and luck, I found my design issue with a Cap between GND. So I bypassed cap with a solder bridge and after plugging in to PC, I got the Installing driver window. Was coolness.


I do have a question for Gus. In your SMD video, you talk about bending your solder tip to give it a curve. I am a bit worried about breaking it off. What method do you use to do that slight bend? tia


I never seen a tip made of super solid material so bending the tip shouldn’t be a big deal. This is a very slight bend anyways

You can place the tip on an angle instead of bending the tip.


But how to bend? Do you do it heated (i.e. 500+F) so it bends easier. And naturally don’t want to grab it with pliers and mark it. So what you bend it with? Just press on it? tia


I more meant about the total cost for your boards - I honestly couldn’t figure out if the square inches are of one board or the total of all three; so if you have a 1" square board and you get 3x copies, does that mean $5 or $15. I am glad you have been able to confirm in practice :slight_smile:


$5 per sqr in total to do a board. However you get 3 copies (or 2 for free). So netted out, it is like $1.67/si == 5/3.

For example:
The FT232 breakout was $9.75 (or 3.25 each) @ 1.95si
The larger board was 44.25 (or 14.75 each) @ 8.85si






That looks pretty damn sweet! I love the FTDI break out! How much did that cost you including components?


Something like $16.50. From SF, the chip is like $3.95, Usb plug $1.50. Caps and resistors I had in stock and board was 9.75. You can buy a complete board for like 14.50+SH at SF. So you are, almost never, going to do a board like that and save money. Learning, customize, or doing something new would we my drivers to a next board.