My first dirtypcb experience

For my previous projects, I have been using iTead for my PCB’s. This time I wanted to try out dirtypcbs instead, and so far the service have been amazing.

Comparing to the only other PCB service I have used so far, the handling time seems pretty similar.

  • iTead
Date Status
16/07 Order received
17/07 Gerber files approved
23/07 Shipped with tracking
  • dirtypcb
Date Status
20 Apr Order received
22 Apr At board house
27 Apr Shipped
28 Apr Trackable

However, with dirtypcb, all board colors are the same price. So if you just want plain green, iTead is cheapest, but if you want any other color, dirtypcb is cheapest.

This chart is for 2 layer boards only. Also notice, iTead got a 5x10cm option, which dirtypcb does not.

5×5 green 10×10 green 5×5 colored 10×10 colored
iTead $9.90 $19.90 $15.00 $35.00
dirtypcb $14.00 $25.00 $14.00 $25.00

Another thing worth considering, is how much you can fit within the allowed size. When ordering from iTead, you are allowed panelization, but you are only allowed to seperate them by a line on the silk screen, and board outline should go all the way around the edge of the PCB’s. With dirtypcb, you are allowed to do some pretty crazy panelization, just do a google search and have a look at what people already got made.

The PCB!

Yes, exclamation mark and lots of yelling!

The PCB’s has arrived, lets have a look at them.

At first glance they look very good, silk screen is fine, both on top and bottom. The outline of the board feels smooth with a sharp edge, just as it should be.

2015-05-06 22.20.57 (Large) 2015-05-06 22.21.10 (Large)

Let’s have a closer look.

Even close up, the silkscreen looks fine, this text is only set to 0.8 in Eagle, with 8% ratio and vector font.

My Snapshot_2 (Large) My Snapshot_6 (Large)

When looking at the alignment of the different layers, you can see they are a bit off. On the bigger pads it isn’t a problem, but on the smaller ones it is very close to the edge of the holes, same can be seen on the via’s. Still, with the layers a bit offset to each other, it changes nothing of it’s function. And considering the price, it really isn’t that bad.

My Snapshot_5 (Large) My Snapshot_7 (Large)

Time to put some parts on!

First some SMD components, hand soldered with a soldering iron, so the soldering isn’t that good looking…

2015-05-04 11.21.25 (Large)

And with almost all components on. So close!

2015-05-04 11.31.24 (Large)
The next I need to do, is to solder the 2×4 header connector in, and mount it in it’s case.

After putting the 2×4 header in, I could put the ESP8266-01 module in, connect the DHT22 sensor, and test it out for the first time…

2015-05-09 18.03.21 HDR (Large) 2015-05-09 18.03.57 (Large)

And it works! Currently logging temperature and humidity to https://thingspeak.com/channels/34146

 

2 comments

  • If you’re comparing prices from different PCB manufacturers, check out http://PCBShopper.com. You enter your board’s specs, the quantity you want and how fast you want it, and it shows you prices from 25 different manufacturers including Dirty PCBs, ITEAD, and the best known manufacturers in Asia, North America and Europe.

    • Handy site, I was not really writing this to compare the two manufacturers to each other, it was more to compare my experience and what I needed. 🙂 This site could come in handy though!

Leave a Reply