Forum - Minimum PCB orders

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The minimum order size from Sierra Circuits appears to be 15 or 20x for fabrication and there is a dramatic reduction in cost from 5 to 20 assemblies ($174/piece to $96/piece for the DAQ and $162 to $63/piece for the CMOS sensor). We will not be using 20 boards, so I was wondering if there were any labs who would like to purchase these pieces together? It would definitely save money for everyone. I'm not sure how this would work from a purchase order standpoint but I'm sure we can figure that out.

Let me know,


Posted by Jonesjeffr on 27 January 2016 at 18:52.

Hi Jonesjeffr,

You can also post this in the 'Coordinating Large Orders Across Labs' forum near the bottom of our Discussion Board page. I'm sure there will be multiple labs interested in coordinating orders with you. Also, please get an updated quote from Sierra Circuits with the new CMOS Imaging Sensor PCB files on our GitHub repository. Thanks!

Posted by DAharoni (administrator) on 27 January 2016 at 22:58.

If they can split it up so they'll take credit cards and they're OK with different people calling in maybe we can have PCards called in? I'd go in on that. Then someone would have to receive them and re-send them to the others though.

Posted by Brendonw1 on 28 January 2016 at 02:06.

From my conversations with Justin at Sierra Circuits it sounds like he can combine fabrication orders on his side and split up the setup cost among multiple parties. This will drastically drop the effective fabrication cost per board.

Posted by DAharoni (administrator) on 28 January 2016 at 05:07.

That would be great -- is he able to do that automatically or would we still need to contact other groups and together contact Justin?

Posted by Jonesjeffr on 28 January 2016 at 18:55.

Hi Jonesjeffr and Brendonw1,

I asked Justin from Sierra Circuits to give me quotes for fabrication and assembly of the 2 main PCBs in the system (CMOS Imaging Sensor PCB and DAQ PCB). The fabrication quantities are based on how many PCBs he can fit into 1 fabrication run... Basically the lowest quantity shown in the fabrication quote is the minimum price they can do any fabrication for. He also gave me a range of assembly quantities as well as how much it would cost for them to purchase all the components themselves. I will add a more detailed overview of the quote on the part procurement page but for now here are the quotes:


CMOS Imaging Sensor PCB Quote

You can give Justin a heads up that you are interested in ordering these PCBs. I suggest trying to get a group together first and them emailing him with the quantities everyone needs. I imagine he can then send each person a revised quote.

Posted by DAharoni (administrator) on 29 January 2016 at 00:18.
Edited by DAharoni (administrator) on 29 January 2016 at 00:21.

Hi Daniel,

these quotes are without the sensor right? Since you are clarifying these points with Sierra, we should also figure out how we can arrange for the sensor orders. I found it already on Aliexpress but ideally we should make one order for a given batch (instead of each lab ordering a few sensors, since this would probably lead to delays and definitely higher cost for shipping etc).

Btw, since the discussion is split in multiple topics in the wiki, I just mention here I put already a list together link to try to coordinate the order.

Posted by Nikolas on 29 January 2016 at 08:58.

Hi Nikolas, Yes if you were to use Sierra Circuits to acquire all the parts you would still need to supply them with the CMOS imaging sensors yourself since it is a bit harder to find. A few options I can think of:

  1. The sensors are pretty cheap so maybe one lab can order all of them and you guys can figure out a way of repaying that lab.
  2. Each lab orders the number of sensors they need and has them shipped to just one person. That person then sends all the imaging sensors in bulk to Sierra Circuits.
Posted by DAharoni (administrator) on 30 January 2016 at 00:16.

Aliexpress is really fast with sending the sensors -- it took about a week for mine to arrive.

Posted by Jonesjeffr on 30 January 2016 at 00:41.

I was actually going ahead ordering these on my own. I'm not sure my university will have an easy time with cooperative ordering. Though, that said, if we can set it up with Sierra that we just call in and give some particular amount of money with a pcard to take care of our own portion, it might work. If I went in together I'd get 5 LED boards, 5 CMOS boards and 2 DAQ boards.

In the meantime, in having Sierra go through the files I got from github, two issues came up: 1) with the CMOS board they are not sure if you wanted non-conductive fill since you didn't specify 2) with the DAQ board they said this: "Miniscope_DAQ_PCB_Fab_Info.docx" calls for 62 mil board thickness. But "USB_Control_BoardStack.xls" calls for 27.43 mil board thickness"

What would I tell them?

Thanks Brendon

Posted by Brendonw1 on 30 January 2016 at 01:52.

Hi Brendonw1,

Just tell them to use the exact specs in the price quotes I posted earlier. You should try to talk with Justin Blakely since he is familiar with our project. You can actually ask Justin to just use the files associated with the quotes as well since I have already emailed them to him. But to answer the questions they asked:

  • The CMOS PCB should have non-conductive fill
  • The DAQ PCB should be 62mil.
Posted by DAharoni (administrator) on 30 January 2016 at 05:38.
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