Pulse Compression Board – PCBWay

The pulse compression board arrived today, meaning I have the whole weekend to solder and test. The manufacturer I used this time was PCBWay, and am quite impressed with the results.

Having not used PCBWay before, I can immediately recommend them for their affordable lower-end boards. You can get a 2 layer, 6/6mil clearance, 0.3mm minimum drill board up to 10x10cm for $5. Shipping to Australia is about $25, still making it one of the best choices for hackers and students.

In my case, the board is predominantly SMD pards, with a few through-hole connectors. The copper pour is very accurate to the gerbers I provided, and there are both tented and exposed vias, for no additional charge (I used stop masks for this)

Bare Board

The smallest part on the board (in terms of clearance) is a QFN16 which about 7 mil of solder mask between the pads. Because I solder by eye and use Loupes to inspect, I don’t have a microscope to show off the accuracy of the solder masks. Instead, I’ve provided an image of the SOIC16.

SOIC close up

As can be seen, the drills and solder mask are both very accurate. Some of the drills are a little off-center, but not by a concerning amount. The solder mask is perfect, even down to 6mil (as claimed) on the QFN16 footprint.

Overall, one of the best manufacturers I’ve used, at $5 per board.

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