PCB Fabrication Estimates

A project log for HydroPWNics

An open source hydroponic garden control, monitoring, and grow system with cloud database and dashboard.

AVR (lordKiCAD)AVR (lordKiCAD) 05/12/2015 at 03:270 Comments

Late last night (and early this morning ;) ) I decided that I wanted to do more and I did some estimates on PCB costs. First I generated fabrication output files for my board, I created gerber files and NC drill files, and second used OSHPark to get cost estimates. While creating the fabrication files I noticed that I forgot to tent my vias, remember if you are doing a SMD board and you have components close remember to tent vias with solder mask to prevent solder bridged shorts. I haven't yet decided which board house I'm going to use yet, but I'm leaning towards OSHPark. Normally OSHPark is my go to for all prototypes but I have a huge backlog of 2 layer PCB projects and I'm contemplating getting them all done on the same panel, probably from 4PCB or another volume boardhouse.

Anyways I will start things off with the sensor modules. If you noticed earlier both of the modules are the same size so they have roughly the same cost. From OSHPark both the digital and analog sensor modules will cost $16.60 for 3 boards. This is not bad at all and I'm sort of pleased that I made it under 20 bucks. It is my hope that the boards components will also be a similar cost but we will have to see BOM is next. And now for pictures:

Analog Sensor Module OSHPark Rendering Top

And Bottom

Digital Sensor Module Rendering Top

And Bottom

Lastly the module hub. The module hub is bit bigger and therefore a bit more pricey than the sensor modules. The higher cost of the module hub is ok, there will only one hub per plant grow unit (each unit has 4-6 plants). Now the original hub I designed was cheaper but it wasn't wireless, that version was going to require an additional piece of hardware to communicate with all of the hubs. Instead of designing another piece of hardware that would have acted as a pass through and wifi module I decided to compromise and make the hub wireless but only support 3 modules. At first I wanted to just add wifi but that ended being a bit too expensive so I decided to shrink it down and give up a module. Anyways the module hub came to approximately $25.90 for 3 boards, which is not too bad, I'm hoping to hit a total cost of under 50 dollars for an assembled hub.

OSHPark Render of the Module Hub Top

Module Hub OSHPark render Bottom

So thats that for PCB estimates, there will be another post when I decide which house to use. Stay tuned for updates realting to the BOM and much much more!