onsdag den 23. marts 2016

My experience with PCB manufacturing in China

I am working on a project which requires a printed circuit board.

First thing was to buy a software package for drawing the PCB layout. I picked Sprint-Layout. The price was fair (50 EUR), and I've had a good experience with another of their products (sPlan for drawing circuit diagrams).

I used Sprint-Layout for drawing the PCB.
I decided to try PCB manufacturing in China. I choose PCBgogo mainly because of the user recommendations on their website. Their prices seemed fair, and their product quality seemed just fine. Their minimum order was 5 pieces. I decided to order 10 x PCB single sided, dimensions 100 mm x 48 mm, payment by PayPal.

Logo of the PCB manufacturer.
Once the PCB layout was finished, I created Gerber files using the Sprint-Layout export function. The Gerber files were zipped and uploaded to the PCBgogo homepage. I soon received a mail from a person in the company. I had forgotten to include board outline data and drill data. I created the missing files and uploaded a new zip-file. The new file was approved, and production began.

The finished PCBs were shipped by DHL from China to my address in Denmark. The packet was delivered at my doorstep one week after file upload. That was fast!

PCB made in China.
The final price including shipping turned out to be 4.10 USD per PCB. The quality of the PCBs were excellent. I was a good experience for me letting PCBgogo produce the PCBs. I will certainly do this again when the need for other PCBs arise!

Regards from OZ1BXM Lars
Homepage: oz1bxm.dk

fredag den 4. marts 2016

scQRPions: QRP Challenge Rules

scQRPions: QRP Challenge Rules: Starting January 1st 2016, and each year thereafter, we will be embarking on a challenge to work (not confirm) 100 DXCC entities in 100 days or less.

Remarks from OZ1BXM:

I discovered the QRP Challenge yesterday. You need to work 100 DXCC entities during 100 consecutive days or less. Your start-date and end-date must be within the calendar year 2016.

May-June-July is a good choice for QRP Challenge participation.
The rules of the QRP Challenge are pretty much the same as for the ARRL QRP DXCC diploma. Club membership is not necessary. QSL-cards are not needed - you simply submit a signed log. As of today, there are 13 participants, and only one from Europe. N4MM is in the lead - he worked 100 DXCC in just 8 days!

The QRP Challenge is backed up by the North Carolina DX & Contest Club (NCDXCC), South Carolina DX Association (SCDXA), and Greer Amateur Radio Club (GARC) in South Carolina. Program coordination is by Ariel Jacala NY4G.

I feel tempted to participate. As you can see in the figure above, the months of May-June-July are well suited for an European station like me as there are 4 major contests during this period.

Regards from OZ1BXM Lars Petersen
Homepage: http://oz1bxm.dk/