GW-DEC-1: A New DEC Prototyping Board

systems_glitch systems.glitch at
Fri Aug 16 10:37:31 CDT 2019

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,, 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.


On Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 11:18 AM Jon Elson <elson at> 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

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