For the LightSaga project we have designed some custom boards that will house the Photons, light sensor, some capacitors for stability and a logic level converter. Nothing too fancy but a good chance to let these prototypes be produced by OSH Park, well known for their purple PCBs.
One of the really awesome features of OSH Park is that you can upload your Eagle board directly instead of first having to export all the Gerber files. Of course you can also upload the Gerbers but why would you when just uploading your Eagle files is so much faster and easier. Once uploaded the website will show you very nice purple renderings of what your produced board will look like including all the layers which you can visually inspect to make sure everything looks like you want.
They also provide an Eagle DRU file (design rules) which you can run to make sure your board abides to their specifications. I think I saved many hours with these very helpful features. You can try this with one of your Eagle boards right now, just go to their website and upload your .BRD file.
OSH Park PCB’s have a ENIG finish which stand for Electroless nickel immersion gold. ENIG being a chemical process results in excellent surface planarity as opposed to HASL (hot air solder levelling) which leaves behind visible irregularities. The quality of OSH Park PCB’s is top notch. The pads show a perfect finish and the solder mask apertures have excellent tolerance.
So I want to really give OSH Park a thumbs up and recommend it for small prototyping batches as well as production PCBs. I think they are superior to the Chinese PCB makers in terms of quality and turnaround time. Pricing is very competitive (DirtyPCBs has a nice offer for prototype packs but is inferior in quality).
If you’re interested in how OSH Park does it, be sure to read this interview.
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