Author Topic: Good PCB houses for UK buyers  (Read 2075 times)

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Offline Infraviolet

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Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« on: September 27, 2021, 10:42:29 pm »
I've made PCBs before but am looking soon for a supplier to order some personally rather than how it was done where I was working when I designed them. But most of the advice online is for people ordering in the USA.

Any tips from anyone in the UK about good companeis to use?

I'm aware of a lot of Chinese suppliers, and the lead times don't concern me much, but I know some can be troublesome to get imported and get held up by overzelous officials. Also a lot take money in $ not £ which makes things difficult for me.

I'm aware of eurocircuits, who take money in £ and I think import easily, all paid as part of the order price, but they are very expensive especially for simpler boards.

I'm after:
2 layers
features fine enough for 0.2mm traces with 0.15mm separation
lots of thin vias
through hole plating
silkscreen with printing
opportunities to make obround (pill or stadium shaped)cuts and other milled shapes, with and without throughhole plating, to which certain strangely shaped terminals can be soldered
standard thickness non flexible board
very small production runs
easy ordering
some minor amount of automatic checking of designs and getting confirmation that the boards are manfacturable

Ay tips for UK use?
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 10:46:26 pm »
The usual big-name Chinese places (jlcpcb, allpcb,pcbway) all work fine for UK users - PCBs come back within a week ( with DHL delivery option), and now that they collect VAT at order time, you don't get the occasional customs hold-ups or clearance charges you used to, the flip side is you always pay VAT, whearas before it was hit or miss whether you got charged or not.
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Online langwadt

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 11:13:17 pm »
I've made PCBs before but am looking soon for a supplier to order some personally rather than how it was done where I was working when I designed them. But most of the advice online is for people ordering in the USA.

Any tips from anyone in the UK about good companeis to use?

I'm aware of a lot of Chinese suppliers, and the lead times don't concern me much, but I know some can be troublesome to get imported and get held up by overzelous officials.
why should importing be any worse than from an EU country?

Also a lot take money in $ not £ which makes things difficult for me.

why is that difficult? they will show you the price in what ever currency you chose


 

Online langwadt

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2021, 11:17:13 pm »
The usual big-name Chinese places (jlcpcb, allpcb,pcbway) all work fine for UK users - PCBs come back within a week ( with DHL delivery option), and now that they collect VAT at order time, you don't get the occasional customs hold-ups or clearance charges you used to, the flip side is you always pay VAT, whearas before it was hit or miss whether you got charged or not.

but you don't get hit with a 20€ fee for the postman collecting a few € vat
 

Offline PerranOak

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2021, 09:45:18 am »
I wish we could buy (small orders) within the UK.  :horse:
Some light can never be seen!
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2021, 10:25:23 am »
I wish we could buy (small orders) within the UK.  :horse:
You can, it just costs more.
I have a local place that can do same-day turnround if necessary, but costs about £150 minimum for a panel ( regardless of content)

There is also PCBTrain And Eurocircuits who have pooling services.
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Online trevwhite

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2021, 10:40:41 am »
Mike, how big is a panel and is that doublesided, through hole plated with no solder resist?
Trev
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2021, 10:55:43 am »
Mike, how big is a panel and is that doublesided, through hole plated with no solder resist?
Trev
Not sure exactly - my protos tend to be around 250x200mm but have done bigger up to about 300x450.
2-layer PTH (They only do up to 2L), full resist and silkscreen. Min hole 0.4mm. Any colours/thickness
Only in-house finish is HASL - ENIG/silver is subbed out so takes longer.
If they're not busy, they can ship same day if gerbers are with them by about 10AM and there's not too much routing. This fast turnround is more expensive but not ridiculous - I usually get change out of £200.

www.screenbond.co.uk

They're pretty old-school - no online ordering, need to set up account, email gerbers (or size etc.) for quote
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Offline jc101

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2021, 05:21:43 pm »
These people are about a mile down the road from me, they will do ENIG in house if required.  I had a factory tour a little while ago now when I stopped by to see them.  Having someone local is quite handy, and they will also handle bulk orders done off-shore too.

https://www.cambridge-circuit.co.uk
 
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Offline SteveyG

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2021, 07:54:09 pm »
Cambridge Circuits are great. We ordered PCBs late evening on Saturday and they worked to get us PCBs for the prototype ventilators over Sunday  :-+
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Offline SMTech

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2021, 03:24:01 pm »
You know I think CCEE did much the same thing for us for similar reasons, and for other projects in slightly less of as rush since except it was a multilayer board which means there is an inherent curing delay to factor in. There are still plenty of smallish PCB manufacturer who can quote for UK manufacture and speedy turnarounds and maybe even the odd favour. They certainly are not cheap but the prices can vary a LOT so it is worth asking around when you need that kind of service. For stuff where there is no hurry you can stick with the big chinese names, your local fab is probably outsourcing it anyway.
 

Offline IanJ

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2021, 04:22:00 pm »
Back before ordering form China was a thing we used Zot Engineering in Musselburgh (nr. Edinburgh).

https://www.zot.co.uk/home_pcb.php

They are still on the go and as well as having a Scottish fab house they have locations/partners in China I am guessing if you want cheaper prices.

PS. Back in the late 80's/90's it was ISDN file transfer with Zot!

Ian.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2021, 04:24:21 pm by IanJ »
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Offline Jackster

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2021, 03:00:59 am »
The usual big-name Chinese places (jlcpcb, allpcb,pcbway) all work fine for UK users - PCBs come back within a week ( with DHL delivery option), and now that they collect VAT at order time, you don't get the occasional customs hold-ups or clearance charges you used to, the flip side is you always pay VAT, whearas before it was hit or miss whether you got charged or not.

They only take VAT payment if your order is less than £250 btw
Use to be that any order under £32 would not get charged VAT/Duty/Courier Tax but now everything is charged.
 

Offline Infraviolet

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2022, 05:19:03 pm »
Just coming back to this topic:

With all the brexit business still ongoing, and the UK sometimes copying the EU on import matters and sometimes diverging (always in whichever direction makes things worse for the consumer), I've heard things about no minimum price for free uk import any more. Do any of the cheap PCB houses in China either do VAT/duties/fees... paid upfront as part of the order, or offer methods of shipping guaranteed not to be caught at the border (made to look like person to person international gifts or what have you?)? I've heard a lot of horror stories of people charged by customs/royalmail for sums for the "service" they provide in interfering with free trade which are far higher than the actual taxes would be if paid upfront and far higher often than the item price.

We are talking here about placing orders which with the chinese prices would probably vary from £5 up to £50, not including any shipping prices.

The site of JLCPCB now seems to say that import charges are the customers responsibility not theirs, so I don't think they are dealing with import problems upfront. Hence my particular interest in a manufacturer who lets you just pay once for everything including import, or finds a way to import ensuring customs can't catch it.
 

Online themadhippy

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2022, 05:47:38 pm »
Quote
The site of JLCPCB now seems to say that import charges are the customers responsibility not theirs, so I don't think they are dealing with import problems upfront.

From jlcpcb's own web site

Quote
United Kingdom                           0-135GBP
                                                     For Individual customers, VAT collected by JLCPCB
                                                     For company customers, VAT collected by local customs
                                                     >135GBP
                                                     VAT collected by local customs

,keep it below £135 and an individual,not company,purchase and all should be good.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2022, 05:51:08 pm by themadhippy »
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Good PCB houses for UK buyers
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2022, 06:13:55 pm »
I've used AISLER

https://aisler.net/

twice, and I'm happy with the results so far. I use KiCad and you can upload KiCad files directly on their website.
Takes about a week for delivery, but you can opt for overnight tracked delivery. And you can donate to the KiCad project at the same time.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2022, 06:16:49 pm by djsb »
David
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