21 March 2017

PCBs 4 U?

As long term followers of this Blog will know, I have now designed and prototyped two printed circuit board designs: A single VFO knob mini-controller and a two VFO knob maxi-controller.

The mini-controller PCB
These PCBs work well and the time has come to decide whether to make them available for others to build their own controllers. In some respects it would be nicer for potential builders to come up with their own physical layouts, in pursuit of one of the main objectives of the project: a fully bespoke solution.

The maxi-controller PCB
Not everyone will want to do that, of course. For those that want to brew their own I will publish full source code for both the I/O controller and the Host controller. I'll make the PCB "Gerber" files available and I'll also publish DXF files for the panels I have designed, suitable for CNC milling.

I'm looking into PCB production costs. Perhaps unsurprisingly but disappointing, nonetheless, I can order PCBs from China and have them here inside a week for less than half the cost of an equivalent UK-based service, even after import duties and VAT are accounted for. Costs, landed in the UK, look likely to be in the order of

Mini controller: £12.00
Maxi-controller: £15.00

These costs are based on minimum orders of ten of each. The price comes down somewhat at higher volumes.

Who who wants one (or more)? Contact me via e-mail (see QRZ.com). I'll start putting a list together and see where we get to.

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