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  • I used to use OSHPark, but now I use DirtyPCBs almost exclusively. I have found nothing to complain about on the quality of the boards. My problem with OSHpark, aside from the higher prices for a smaller number of boards, is that they manage to take just as long as DirtyPCBs+DHL shipping, despite the fact that OSHPark is domestic... Also, I don't like ENIG much - it's all sexy "oooooh gold!", but the solder seems less eager to wet it than with HASL.

    Regarding price, DirtyPCBs is just incredible. Near the start of this week I ordered 2 4x4 designs, ~10 copies each, with DHL shipping, for $65. I'll have them next week. And since you can panelize the designs there, you don't have to waste space; there's always something you can put in the extra space. That's where a lot of these come from:­are-board-various/ .
    One of my 4x4 designs in the current batch has my AzzyRF 2.0 boards (1x3" including SYN470 and SYN115 sub-boards), a ~3x3 arduino prototyping shield, a ~1x1 AT24 splitter (plugs into DIP-8 socket via machined pin header, and has 8 sets of pads for SOIC-8 AT24 eeproms), a TO252 breakout board, and four little scraps of protoboard, for when you just need to change the pinout of some connector or add a few passives to it - all crammed into one aggressively panelized board :-P

    I've tried to resist the call of a homebrew "standard header" for around the house. My experience with all these attempts at general purpose headers is that it's hard to get something that is as flexible as you need to cover what you'll be doing in a few months, without involving too many pins for other applications, or "Oh man, if only I'd connected pin X to something on the header, I'd be able to use the header for this device - but I didn't" type situations. I rolled my own OOK RF protocol, but I've never felt like I have a good enough handle on future requirements to do my own header pinout, since I could potentially have a whole bunch of devices made before I realized my mistake.


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