View Full Version : how to create a circuit board

03-14-2007, 02:54 AM
I am in the process of creating a speedometer for an automobile and was wondering how one goes about creating a circuit board. I was wondering what the most efficient way would be and the approx. cost.

Since I am not looking at creating 1000s of these things (perhaps 1 or 2), I am looking for an easy-to-do solution that provides good results.

Any ideas?


Chris Savage
03-14-2007, 03:27 AM
This thread is being moved from the BASIC Stamp Forum to the Sandbox Forum.

Chris Savage
Parallax Tech Support

James Long
03-14-2007, 04:21 AM

This depends on how "deep" you want to get into the process of the board.

If you are just interested in a PCB....then design one in Eagle (CADsoft) and submit the design to somewhere like BatchPCB.

Their PCB's range $2.50 per sq. in. and have a $10 per order setup fee.

That is about as cheap as can be found. I have looked....they are probably the cheapest.....with relatively good quality. They have extremely long lead times though.

There are faster places to order....but the price is much higher.

Hope this helps,

James L

T Chap
03-14-2007, 04:23 AM
Efficiency depends on factors specific to your situation. The cheapest board possible(size permitting) could be a Radio Shack perf board, they have several boards that are great for one-off through-hole designs. For a quick and dirty test when a bread board won't do, I like their version with several rows of busses for GND and +V. They run maybe $2.99 - $3.99.

If your design is too complex for a perf board, and an etched(or engraved) version is required, the decision would be based on your preferences and budget:

-Your willingness to do some messy trial and error with home made boards(Ferric Cl or other). There are not hard to do, but there is a trade off, your first boards may not work(shorts/traces dissolved etc). With practice you will get them up and running, then again, weigh in your time and frustration.

-Your budget. I always use a company called sunstone circuits (http://sunstone.com) known to many as pcbexpress. They are quite pricey for fast turn around(2 days at your door), but they always WORK( IF you designed it right). There are much cheaper pcb houses out there.

First decide which route to go(order or homemade), then the answers provided can be more detailed.

Eveyone has their opinion, mine is, if you can order them, do it.

Post Edited (originator) : 3/13/2007 10:01:08 PM GMT

03-15-2007, 02:11 AM
Thanks for the feedback...
I have seen home made boards and have not been too impressed but using a Radio Shack perf board may be an option.
Also, thanks for the feedback on SUNSTONE.com, I'll keep them in mind too.