Technology
Ordering PCBs from China

chinesePCBs.jpg
Julian Bleecker has a piece on his blog detailing how he goes about ordering cheap (and amazing for the price) custom PCBs from a company in China. Shown here are ten copies of six PCBs, all for $159. Sweet.

More PCB Stuff – Link

22 thoughts on “Ordering PCBs from China

  1. Cool post. I run the non-profit RepRap Research Foundation and one of the things we do is do bulk-buys of boards to help RepRap researchers save money. I’m always looking for a better way to do things, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we use the same PCB supplier as this guy.

    I highly recommend Gold Phoenix. Not only do they have good prices for low quantities, but they also have great prices for larger quantities, so you can scale your production very easily. Just email Shane with a bigger quantity. Yay!

  2. No wonder one can order cheap PCBs from a country where environmental and social standards do not exist at all… I for one would rather pay more and know my PCBs were manufactured with at least some decent responsibility.

  3. @Corax
    That concern came to mind for me also.

    What is the cost to have a US company do it?

    HOPEFULLY this comes to the attention of a US company, and we get some feedback as to their position!

    MAKEzine being the international giant it is and all….. ;)

  4. “I for one would rather pay more and know my PCBs were manufactured with at least some decent responsibility.”

    Do you actually have any proof that Gold Phoenix uses environmentally harmful manufacturing techniques, or did that just sound like something that’s probably true?

    “What is the cost to have a US company do it?”

    The US doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation when it comes to protection of the environment. We haven’t adopted any standards similar to the RoHS directives in the EU, for example.

  5. @ super_j-
    “”I for one would rather pay more and know my PCBs were manufactured with at least some decent responsibility””
    A simple statement that is supported by the VOLUMES of information any company operating in the USA must keep and provide. I am unaware of any of the same from china companies, or the possibility of verification of them. Here there are enviromental reporters looking all the time just for the story!

    If you honestly believe that chinese maufacturing is operating at the same/similar enviromental level as we are, you evidently missed the pet food and toothpaste contamination issues. (for which I believe a chinese official was put to death for!) And we are talking pet/people food here, a field one would imagine that is regulated closer than PC board industry. So a bit of caution MIGHT be in order….

    “”What is the cost to have a US company do it?”

    The US doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation when it comes to protection of the environment. We haven’t adopted any standards similar to the RoHS directives in the EU, for example.””

    Well, my question still stands unanswered. I understand the “US=evil / rest of world=good” base from which you talk, but mine was a simple economic question. I dont mind spending a few extra bucks to buy local, as that keeps the money at home.

    Instead of a gut reaction, keep an open mind. Ask questions, and observe others’ answers (or lack thereof)and you may learn a lot!

  6. @ super_j-
    “”I for one would rather pay more and know my PCBs were manufactured with at least some decent responsibility””
    A simple statement that is supported by the VOLUMES of information any company operating in the USA must keep and provide. I am unaware of any of the same from china companies, or the possibility of verification of them. Here there are enviromental reporters looking all the time just for the story!

    If you honestly believe that chinese maufacturing is operating at the same/similar enviromental level as we are, you evidently missed the pet food and toothpaste contamination issues. (for which I believe a chinese official was put to death for!) And we are talking pet/people food here, a field one would imagine that is regulated closer than PC board industry. So a bit of caution MIGHT be in order….

    “”What is the cost to have a US company do it?”

    The US doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation when it comes to protection of the environment. We haven’t adopted any standards similar to the RoHS directives in the EU, for example.””

    Well, my question still stands unanswered. I understand the “US=evil / rest of world=good” base from which you talk, but mine was a simple economic question. I dont mind spending a few extra bucks to buy local, as that keeps the money at home.

    Instead of a gut reaction, keep an open mind. Ask questions, and observe others’ answers (or lack thereof)and you may learn a lot!

  7. @ super_j-
    “”I for one would rather pay more and know my PCBs were manufactured with at least some decent responsibility””
    A simple statement that is supported by the VOLUMES of information any company operating in the USA must keep and provide. I am unaware of any of the same from china companies, or the possibility of verification of them. Here there are enviromental reporters looking all the time just for the story!

    If you honestly believe that chinese maufacturing is operating at the same/similar enviromental level as we are, you evidently missed the pet food and toothpaste contamination issues. (for which I believe a chinese official was put to death for!) And we are talking pet/people food here, a field one would imagine that is regulated closer than PC board industry. So a bit of caution MIGHT be in order….

    “”What is the cost to have a US company do it?”

    The US doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation when it comes to protection of the environment. We haven’t adopted any standards similar to the RoHS directives in the EU, for example.””

    Well, my question still stands unanswered. I understand the “US=evil / rest of world=good” base from which you talk, but mine was a simple economic question. I dont mind spending a few extra bucks to buy local, as that keeps the money at home.

    Instead of a gut reaction, keep an open mind. Ask questions, and observe others’ answers (or lack thereof)and you may learn a lot!

    (Yes I do buy chinese items, and shop at wallyworld. But even wal-mart has more and more american products, and I look and ask for them)

  8. Shame on Corax to say “No wonder one can order cheap PCBs from a country where environmental and social standards do not exist at all… ”
    The earth environment is harmed by west countries especially America in recent 200 years.
    And China has been attacked by these animal coutries for 200 years.
    How shame do you say environmental and social standards today!
    May be, there are standards, but are weapons to beat the economic advance of China.
    I’m a chinese.
    Honestly, I eager to see that environment and society of China can progress more.

  9. @super_J_dynamite:
    Of course I don’t have any evidence of this company disregarding the environment. I haven’t visited them, and I haven’t examined their manufacturing process. I agree I should rather have posted my concerns not as accusations, but as questions admonishing caution.

    @efishocean:
    I am as eager as anyone to see China progress on the social and environment issues, but only by actually asking these questions can change come about ;)

    I happen to live in Europe; that doesn’t mean the environmental and social standards here wouldn’t still offer room for extension, and it is just as important to ask these questions, and demand proper standards, here as well as anywhere else.

    The point I was trying to make is, there’s more to Making than just technical challenges, but social and environmental impact as well that has to be considered.

Comments are closed.

Tagged

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn