Indeed, when I tried to get quotes for the first XT-IDE run, the best US-based quote I got was around $15/board with a *16 WEEK* lead time. Compare to my usual "does good hard gold" shop in China, PCB Cart, at $8/board (final all-in cost) and 12 day lead time, including the initial tooling fees. PCB Cart is the same shop that the former N8VEM project, s100computers.com, etc. have used for their work, so they've got a long, solid track record with the hobbyist community.
I've gotten the distinct impression that US board houses really are only interested in government/military/aerospace work. I've often wondered what it would take to set up a modern "no human interaction" line and if one could be even a little competitive with the Chinese on it. Thanks, Jonathan On Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 11:18 AM Jon Elson <el...@pico-systems.com> wrote: > On 08/16/2019 08:59 AM, systems_glitch via cctalk wrote: > > Paul, > > > > I've got a board house I usually use, but if I can find a shop in the USA > > that will do hard gold plating and provide a comparable cost-per-board, > I'd > > certainly switch! > > > > > There are few board houses in the US anymore, and they are > usually doing aerospace or government work, and are quite > expensive. Most of the supposedly US-based outfits now do > almost all their fabrication in China. > > I use E-teknet, based in AZ, but their fabs are in China. > They do VERY good work. In the distant past I did a lot of > boards with US makers, but had a constant problem that they > would charge me for electrical test, and then just cheat and > NOT actually test the boards, just do a visual inspection. > So, I ended up with 4-layer boards with shorts on the inner > layers! And, only found those after stuffing the boards. A > MAJOR pain, and I would blacklist those companies. > Well, E-teknet has never done that to me. (The flying probe > tester leaves TINY dots on the pads, so you can tell whether > a board has been tested or not.) > > Jon >