For quick 2 or 4 layer prototypes, I often use PCB Pool in Ireland, both because the board quality is quite good and because they include a free laser cut stencil with every proto order. One of the nice little touches they’ve added in recent years is that you can request photos of your PCB as it goes through the different manufacturing stages. Click through to see some photos from a weekend project I’ve been working on.
It’s an LPC11U24/LPC11U37/LPC1347 MCU combined with either an AT86RF212 or AT86RF230/1 using Akiba’s excellent Chibi wireless stack, and is designed to fit inside these weather-proof enclosures. It’s just a prototype platform for me to test some new MCUs out, but I kept the power input flexible since I want to try to include a small solar cell beneath the transparent cover of those enclosures, combined with a supercap to see how long I can power this thing with no battery at all (though there is a backup CR1220 on the bottom layer).
I’m working on a longer blog post on this board and a lot of interesting things I learned … but until the PCBs get here later this week, I thought these photos might be interesting to look at.
Resist before copper removal
Stripped PCB (pre solder mask)
Solder mask and silk screen (before pads are tinned using the selected method … ENIG, etc.)
After this the pads will get tinned, and the board will be routed with a CNC router, stuffed in a box, and on my doorstep 24 hours later!