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'Boardhouses'
1999\08\06@135054 by Bob Drzyzgula

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Following up on my question of a couple of weeks ago
about "Eagle-friendly Boardhouses". After looking around
a bunch more and following some leads I got in response,
I finally found a board house that, amazingly enough, is
about 3 miles from my house (although I work about 25 miles
from my house); I've driven by it a thousand times and never
knew it was there. They're EMDS (http://www.emds.com) and
they have been very nice to work with. I expect to have
my first, simple, double-sided board from them within a
week or two (mostly a matter of getting the procurement
aspects straightened out). FWIW, my first board is an
RS-232 to RS-485 converter, and once I've had a chance
to test the Boards, I'll release all the files and
schematics I used to make it for anyone who is interested.
The wire-wrap prototypes work like a charm. I'll make a
separate announcement when the stuff is all ready.

I found them through an industry association site:
http://www.ipc.org. That site has a bunch of good
information and links to more information. They have a
search engine to help you find local board manufacturers
and contract assemblers.

One link that I followed off the IPC site is worth
mentioning: http://www.lavenir.com. Lavenir has a free
Gerber viewer available for download, which I found quite
useful. The main problem is that you can't edit or save
your work -- it costs about $500 to get those features. But
at least you can get a clue of what is actually in those
Gerber files.

I think that my original problem was that the first
boardhouse I spoke with (http://www.advancedcircuits.com)
was unusually Eagle-hostile, and I decided that the
reason for it may be that they have the place so intensely
automated that they have virtually no tolerance for slight
variations in Gerber format (There appear to be multiple
versions of the Gerber standard, and it may be that Eagle
doesn't spit out the one that they need).

EMDS gave me a full, one hour tour of the facility, BTW,
which was absolutely fascinating. They can make up to
16-layer boards there, and they had some pretty cool
equipment.

Thanks again,
--Bob

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
spam_OUTbobTakeThisOuTspamdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
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