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'[EE] Eagle, Ground Plane, and Olimex questions'
2006\07\11@113744 by Aaron

picon face
Using Cadsoft's Eagle.

Last time I had a prototype board made at Olimex, I tried to use a
polygon to make a ground plane.  Unfortunately, the ground plane wasn't
solid, but rather a bunch of individual traces (8-10 mils?) that looked
similar to this:

|-------------------------|
|-------------------------|
|-------------------------|
|-------------------------|
|-------------------------|
|-------------------------|
|-------------------------|
|-------------------------|

Fill mode was set to solid, not hatch.

After a few minor layout tweaks, I made new Gerbers and had Advanced
Circuits make some boards.  The ground plane turned out fine despite the
fact that I didn't do anything different to the polygon.

I also noticed on the Olimix board that my traces were all smaller than
I'd drawn.  I believe I had some 12 and 16 mil traces and they all ended
up being the same size and smaller (8-10 mils? - like the 'ground
plane'), but the boards from Advanced Circuits distinctly had two
different size of traces.

I looked at the gerbers sent to Olimex in GCPrevue and didn't see any
issues. (ground plane appeared solid, etc.)

Don't get me wrong, the boards from Olimex worked fine and are/were a
good value.  They just weren't what I expected.

Now I have another board I am working on that I would like to send to
Olimex, but I want to make sure I get a solid ground plane and my traces
end up being the proper size.  Any suggestions on things to look for
that I may have done wrong?

Aaron

2006\07\11@120131 by olin piclist

face picon face
Aaron wrote:
> Now I have another board I am working on that I would like to send to
> Olimex, ...  Any suggestions ... ?

Yeah, don't send it to Olimex.  There are plenty of other low cost PCB
houses without the hassles, unreasonable restrictions, and attitude.

For the best quality boards with anything you want but for a price to match,
use http://www.4pcb.com.  For good quality boards at a good price, try
http://www.e-teknet.com.  Just stay away from these guys for assembly.  For a
little less quality and a lot less money try http://www.ezpcb.com.  I wouldn't be
surprised if EZPCB beats Olimex's prices anyway.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\07\11@135820 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I wouldn't be surprised if EZPCB beats Olimex's prices anyway.

Just a one sample measurement, and probably favouring Olimex: a single
2-sided eurocard (100x160mm) is $33 at Olimex, $69 at EZPCB.

But at 10 it is $330 Olimex, $123 EZPCB. At that price my local
favourite (http://www.eurocircuits.com) is E (!) 148, so I will probably give
them (EZPCB) a try sometime. At 200 eurocircuits and EZPCB are the same
price, above that eurocircuits is cheaper. So, even for this single
size, it depends....

But the one thing that still makes me prefer Olomex for prototype work:
you can send them a bunch of Egale .brd files (or gerber if you prefer
that), and a scketch of how they should be put onto a 100x160 or 200x320
PCB, and they will combine them for you, and cut the PCB, all for the
same price. So if I want to make an example that realy favours Olimex:
160 PCBs, all different, size 9x9mm, for $33 (OK, I don't think they
would like such an order). But please tell me about all PCB houses that
can match that price! Of course the down side of Olimex is that they
have some peculiar requirements (that they are very clear about, but
you'd have to read their full website), the cost does not go down for >1
PCB, and their mode of communication is, how should I put it, in my
opinion/experience compareable with a well-known member of this list.
Which I like.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2006\07\11@140721 by Bob Blick

face picon face

> I looked at the gerbers sent to Olimex in GCPrevue and didn't see any
> issues. (ground plane appeared solid, etc.)
>
> Don't get me wrong, the boards from Olimex worked fine and are/were a
> good value.  They just weren't what I expected.
>
> Now I have another board I am working on that I would like to send to
> Olimex, but I want to make sure I get a solid ground plane and my traces
> end up being the proper size.  Any suggestions on things to look for
> that I may have done wrong?

If you previewed your Gerbers and they looked fine, I would suspect that
it is something with the Olimex data requirements - they are nonstandard
and chances are they interpreted your line widths wrong, and just applied
to them their minimum width instead of halting on the error. They really
should have contacted you before running the boards, as most board houses
would do if something as serious as that happened.

Olimex's requirement of metric measurements has kept me from using them,
since all my work is in inches because every board house I've ever used
has preferred inches. It would be just one more thing to screw up.

Cheerful regards,

Bob


2006\07\11@164725 by Per Linne

flavicon
face
Maybe I misunderstand what you say, but a couple
of months ago I ordered two of the same board
and they charged me $59.40.
Last year I asked for their price for 500 pcs and
I got a realy good price.

Per Linne
(Olimex fan)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wouter van Ooijen" <spam_OUTwouterTakeThisOuTspamvoti.nl>
To: "'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'" <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 7:56 PM
Subject: RE: [EE] Eagle, Ground Plane, and Olimex questions


> But at 10 it is $330 Olimex, $123 EZPCB. At that price my local
> favourite (http://www.eurocircuits.com) is E (!) 148, so I will probably give
> Wouter van Ooijen
>


2006\07\11@192047 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Did you send the gerbers to olimex and not the eagle file?  If you
sent the gerbers, and they used the gerbers, then there is no way the
boards could not have matched unless they went in and edited the
gerbers themselves.  (well, not to the extent you're talking about).

It sounds like you sent the eagle brd file (and maybe the gerbers) and
they used the eagle brd file with their own gerber generation ULP to
make gerbers that they then fabbed the PCB off of.  In this case their
ULP may have rendered the "solid" area as a series of parallel lines
and messed up on the width of the lines.  This could be due to the way
you defined the solid area, or it could be something their ULP does on
purpose.

Either way if you want the boards to look a particular way, do NOT
send the eagle file to olimex.  Always send only the gerber.

If you want them to combine files, then you may have to discuss your
particular requirements with them and see if you can make your brd
file in such a manner that their ULP will generate the correct gerber.

-Adam

On 7/11/06, Aaron <aaron.piclistspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\07\12@020022 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Maybe I misunderstand what you say, but a couple
> of months ago I ordered two of the same board
> and they charged me $59.40.
> Last year I asked for their price for 500 pcs and
> I got a realy good price.

Can be, and I it would not surprise me (I am a fan too), but it is not
what they advertise.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\07\12@113111 by Aaron

picon face
Bob Blick wrote:

>If you previewed your Gerbers and they looked fine, I would suspect that
>it is something with the Olimex data requirements - they are nonstandard
>and chances are they interpreted your line widths wrong, and just applied
>to them their minimum width instead of halting on the error. They really
>should have contacted you before running the boards, as most board houses
>would do if something as serious as that happened.
>
>Olimex's requirement of metric measurements has kept me from using them,
>since all my work is in inches because every board house I've ever used
>has preferred inches. It would be just one more thing to screw up.
>
>  
>
Interesting.  I think I'm going to try again an see what happens.

The metric thing was never an issue for me.  Most of my parts have
metric drawings in the datasheets and some are even on metric spacing.  
Eagle does make it pretty painless to switch between metric and inch.  
Plus, I've got my libraries converted over to Olimex 'standard' hole
sizes and silkscreen line widths.

Aaron

2006\07\12@113116 by Aaron

picon face

M. Adam Davis wrote:

>It sounds like you sent the eagle brd file (and maybe the gerbers) and
>they used the eagle brd file with their own gerber generation ULP to
>make gerbers that they then fabbed the PCB off of.  In this case their
>ULP may have rendered the "solid" area as a series of parallel lines
>and messed up on the width of the lines.  This could be due to the way
>you defined the solid area, or it could be something their ULP does on
>purpose.
>  
>
Adam,

I provided them with Gerbers and not the Eagle files.  My reasoning was
if the layout was fine I may wish to send the Gerbers to a different
board house for larger quantities.

I wish I still had the boards with the discrepancies, but they are no
longer in my possession to take another look at.  My memory on the track
widths may be a little hazy, but I definitely remember the ground plane
was made of parallel lines connected at each end.

Aaron

2006\07\12@140135 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
Ask for an 8 mil vias or 6mil layer to layer thick (or 2000 pcs vias
on 2xeurocard) and see that Olimex is not very good for proffesional
PCB.

greetings,
Vasile


On 7/11/06, Wouter van Ooijen <.....wouterKILLspamspam.....voti.nl> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

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