PCB Prototypes
 

FAQ on design and technical issues

Where can I find...

PCB design rules?
Here is the link

FR4 material property details?
Download this PDF


About the hole size. Would be submitted hole size be the final hole size ?

Yes, the submitted hole size is the final hole size within a tolerance of 1 mil. 

What are the available holes sizes?

14 mils to 150 mils - 1 mil increments
150 mils to 200 mils - 5 mil increments
above 200 mils - holes would be routed out

We only use drills in imperial units. Files submitted in metric units (mm)  would be converted to imperial units (mils) and rounded up to the next mil.

I am used to designing in metric units while the website is specified in imperial units. Is there a conversion chart I can refer to ?

When requesting an online quote, the quote form can handle mm units as well as inches for dimensions.

How do I specify internal cutouts/milling in my design?

All internal cutouts/slots/milling should be specified on the same layer is the board outline. The the minimum routable slot size is 32 mils. During order time, please state this requirement in the "Special Request" section so that our CAM engineers is aware of it. This is not something we encounter often - so there are chances we may overlook it. Make sure it's known to us.

Do you allow multiple design per setup?

No. Only 1 design per setup is allowed

FAQ on online order process

The rates on this website is quoted in which currency?

US Dollars (USD).  However when you select shipping to  Malaysia, the rates will be converted to Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)

What is the daily cutoff time?

To make it for the day's order, the order must be placed by 1 pm local time . All orders placed after that time would be considered next day's order. 

What is the difference between Prototype and Production order?

Our prototype service works on pooling a few designs and fabricating it under 1 setup. This makes it cheaper per part number for small quantity runs. But the fabrication setup is fixed to a standard specification and not reusable.

Production service runs on setup unique to your part number and reusable over many runs. With production run, you can configure your PCB to be built with custom materials. Production Run setups will be kept for minimum of 6 months.

How is payment made ? What cards do you accept?

We accept Credit Card payments using Google Checkout  service. This service is similar to Paypal.  We can accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover Card. If you have difficulty using Google Checkout, we can also accept payment through Paypal. 

Do I need send my Credit Card details during order time? I am uncertain if my design meets the fabrication requirement.

No, that is not required. We will not request for order payment until we review and verify that your PCB design file meets our design rule requirement. If the design requires further revision, we will recommend to you the changes required to meet our design rules. We will only request for payment when we are certain that the PCB design file given to us is complete and that it meets our design rule requirement.

When your cost is so low, how do I know if the quality of your PCB meets our requirement or that your service is good?

Good question! There is 2 way you can find out the quality of PCB and service.

  1. We give free production samples - Request for it here . Your PCB will be built to the same exact high standards.

  2. You can check us out with Google Checkout merchant rating. Our average rating is 4.8 / 5 stars as rated by satisfied customers. You can visit our Google Checkout Merchant Review page for latest feedback from recent Customers.

FAQ for company Purchase Order process

My company can only place an  order with Purchase Order system and will be paying through bank transfer. Can you accept this type of order ?

For International Customers

Yes we can, but try to keep the order value above USD 250.00. We may, at our digression, bill you an additional USD 30.00 for bank charges/commission. The banking charges varies from country to country.

We would avoid dealing with bank transfer whenever possible (especially for small orders) due to all the additional administrative overhead involved and uncertainty in how much we really do receive after banks take their commissions and fees. For example, a USD 60.00 transfer to us, may end up being USD 15.00 by the time it reaches us.  So we would really want to avoid such a situation.

For Customers Within Malaysia

Yes, we can accept bank transfer for any amount. For local customers, bank transfer is preferable over Credit Card charges. We have accounts with Public Bank and HSBC.

How do I get an official quote ? I need this for a purchase requisition process.

Our website has automated quotation for both PCB Prototype and PCB Production . Towards the end of the form, you have the option to place the order as quoted or request for official quotation.  Click on option, fill out the form, upload the file and we will send you a PDF quotation by e-mail within 1 working day.

My company just issued a Purchase Order, what is the next step in placing the order?

Fill out the the online order form and we will send you a Google Checkout payment request. You can forward this payment request to your purchasing department to complete the payment. For payment not using credit card, please e-mail us back to inform us so we can arrange for further payment instructions.

Do you offer Credit Term?

In general, no. All orders should be paid in advanced. Regular customers that orders more than once a week, may apply for credit term for their purchasing convenience. 

With my company, obtaining a Purchase Order and payment  can take some time. Can you fabricate the boards in advance prior to receiving the payment ?

Yes, we can do that. Just let us know about this situation under the "special request" section of order form. We often get started on production upon placement of order.As long as the we know the order is firm and payment is on its way, we can get started on the job immediately.

More often than not, by the time the purchase requisition is processed, the boards will be ready to ship. Unlike other PCB companies, we place trust in our customers and will start work even before money is paid.

 

FAQ about PCB Specification

For the PCB Prototype service, can I specify different material or copper thickness ?

No, the $18 per piece PCB Prototypes is a shared setup service. So it's made to standard specification which is 0.062" FR4 1 oz, Green Soldermask & White silkscreen.

On PCB Production service, when I choosing different soldermask color or FR4 thickness adds to the cost. Why is this so?

Custom specification boards, require special processing consideration and we need to stop and reconfigure machines along the way to accept non-standard materials or soldermask color. So additional labor and inefficiency is involved. Custom specs PCB is costlier not because the material cost more, but because more labor is involved than standard specs PCB.

What is Custom Specification PCB ?

Any build specification that is not 0.062" FR4 1 oz copper, HASL finishing, White Silkscreen, Green Soldermask.

FAQ about shipping

How long does shipping take ?

It depends on the destination location. In most parts of the developed world, delivery by FedEx is normally 2 days (excluding weekends) . For example, if we ship out the PCB on our Monday, it will arrive to customer at destination Wednesday .

Shipment to some regions such as Middle East, South America and Africa may take up to 4-5 working days.  Please refer to our shipping chart for more accurate details on shipping transit time.

Do you ship using services other than FedEx ? My area is not within FedEx service network.

For our normal shipment, we use FedEx exclusively. If the shipping address is not within FedEx's service area, we will be using Postal Expressmail. This service normally take 4-5 working days and reachable to all destination served by postal service.

Expressmail service in general cost more than FedEx as we do not have corporate discount for Expressmail. To find out more about Expressmail rates, please visit Malaysian postal Expressmail page 

Is there any faster service available ? Overnight perhaps?

Shipments within Malaysia & Singapore is delivered overnight by default. For shipment to all other countries, the quickest available service is the standard 2 working day FedEx International Priority.

How much does a PCB normally weight ? How much can I ship in a 1 lbs (0.5kg) shipment ?

On the average, 100 sq inch of 0.062" FR4 PCB will weight  0.4 lbs to 0.55 lbs depending on configuration. Due to weight of packaging material (0.3 lbs) only 0.7 lbs of PCB can be included in the first lbs of shipment.

In some cases, such as tab-routed or v-scored panels - the panel support boards (to avoid breakage during shipping) may add to the shipping weight.  To help our customer save on shipping cost, we will always use the lightest and smallest packaging method. 

Your shipping rate is much lower than similar businesses in Asia and Europe. Why is it so?

We practice an honest shipping costing. If FedEx bill us $10, we bill our customer $10. Most other PCB business in this region uses low price to bait customers in only to hit them with this excessive shipping and handling cost. We frown upon this practice. So while some competitors may appear to cost less than us at a glance.  But when you add it all up, the total shipped cost will often be higher than our total shipped cost. Just beware of excessive shipping charges.

FAQ after sales

How long is my production run setup stored?

We store any production run  fabrication setup for a minimum of 6 months from last used date and can be re-extended by another 6 months on reuse. If the customer does not use the setup again within 6 months, we will contact the customer with option to keep alive the setup for a small $10 per year storage fee. This fee can be discounted on reuse of the setup.

The PCB came in and it looks great! But where is my invoice?

For each parcel shipped out we will include 4 copies of our commercial invoice. 3 will be taken out by the time it reaches the destination leaving 1 copy. Occasionally, Customs officer may take all copies of the invoice thus  leaving none in the parcel.

When this happens, you can contact the salesperson in charge of your order and he/she will send a PDF version of the invoice.

The board that I received is not mine. What should I do with it?

In some rare occasion (1 in 2000 parcels) we tend to make mistake when sorting out PCB for delivery . If you receive a PCB that is not yours, chances are that another customer is  having your PCB. Normally the customer is within the same country as the finished PCB is sorted by country before being packed and shipped.

Please contact us immediately so we can arrange for a swap.  You just need to use our FedEx account to send the parcel to each other. Please be assured this is not a common occurrence, but it does happen.

I received the boards and I believe there are some fabrication mistakes. Can I get a replacement made?

Due to the nature of our business where all products is custom made to order, sometimes, we do make mistakes during CAM processing. We don't deny it happens - but we have recently brought the rate of mistake down to 1 in 350 orders.

If you do receive a board that is not as specified in the PCB design file, do e-mail us and point out to us the discrepancy between the end PCB and given files.  We will investigate on that matter and remake the PCB if we made an error.  If you can include pictures to support your claim, that will also help in our remake/rework filing. 

Over 90% of legitimate defect claims is entertained and remade. Kindly use a Gerber viewer to review the files sent to us prior to filing a claim. Claims can be filed by writing e-mail to sales@custompcb.com .

We did not correct number of boards ordered. Whom do I contact ?

Please e-mail the salesperson that handled your order to resolve the issue. Occasionally we make packaging mistakes. Chances are that we may have left out a few boards during packaging process.  We can offer to send it in a new parcel or a credit towards your next order.