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JLCPCB Online PCB Assembly Review

This is it guys, I got it. This is my first assembled PCB I ordered online from JLCPCB that I showed in the last video. Let us get to Know more about it. In this video, I will be reviewing this custom made assembled PCB. stay tuned

JLC PCB Assembly
JLCPCB Assembled Board

Introduction

Hey guys welcome back. We hobbyists, know very well how important custom made PCBs are for DIY projects. PCBs help us to get rid of all the jumper wires hanging here and there and helps to cleanify the circuit. In the last post, I showed you how you can get your PCBs fabricated and delivered online using JLCPCB.

In the last post, I showed you how you can design and order your PCB for online assembly. Just yesterday, I received the parcel. I decided to take it out, test it and put a review for all the hobbyists.

A Quick Recap

EasyEDA and JLCPCB

EasyEDA is an easier but powerful online PCB design tool which allows electronics engineers, hackers, educators, hobbyists, makers, and enthusiasts to design and share their projects’ schematics as well as PCB layout. This is a design tool integrated LCSC components catalog and JLCPCB PCB service that helps users to save time to make their ideas into real products.

Simply speaking, PCB layout is kind of like a map. A map that connects all components to each other using conducting tracks. It is this design we imprint on a copper cladded board which is then developed to a PCB.

Surface Mount Technology is the technique of assembling PCBs by mounting the components on the surface of the board. Unlike the traditional method of placing the components through holes and soldering them on the other side, in SMT, the components are placed over the board and the leads are soldered on the same side.

Printed Circuit Board

Advantages of SMT is the Reduced Cost, More efficient Usage of PCB Space, Improved repeatability due to higher level of automation and the ability to build Complex circuits in small PCBs. SMT was developed to reduce manufacturing costs and also to make more efficient use of PCB space.  As a result of the introduction of surface mount technology it is now possible to build highly complex electronic circuits into smaller and smaller assemblies with good repeatability due to the higher level of automation.

Surface mount device or SMD are the components that are specifically designed to be used for SMT. That means they are specifically designed to be soldered over the top of the PCB.  There are a wide variety of SMDs avalable in the market. For JLCPCB Assembly Service, the SMDs are taken from LCSC – China’s number one electronic component supplier.

PCB Packing and Delivery

One thing to notice is that JLCPCB takes ultimate care of our PCBs. Inside the box, you will find that the envelope has a bubble wrap inside it. Also the PCB is sealed inside a bubble wrap.This ensures that our PCBs don’t get any physical damage during the transportation.

JLCPCB Package before Opening
JLCPCB Package before Opening

JLCPCB is very professional in having the right online tools to make your PCB design, has very cheap production prices and helped me great when my parcel was lost in the post. They reshipped free of charge and arrived within weeks!

Top Quality PCB

Online PCB Manufacturing and Assembly
Printed circuit Board

On the masking of the piece talking about the quality, we get amazing quality of PCBs. The silkscreen perfectly overlaps with the patch. Screen is neat and clearly visible. We have this shiny shoulder pads on both sides which makes soldering of the components very easy. JLCPCB verifies each PCB before sending so that we can get error free and premium finish on each and every PCB.

I have used JLCPCB a few times for tiny as well as large boards for my hobby and office use. Always quick and good. They have got amazing user interface which will help even beginners to get started with PCB building without any issues.

I personally find soldering on this kind of PCBs a fun task, because of this pads soldering becomes very easy. The solder takes up the conical shape and get soldered from all the sides evenly. After soldering the PCB looks like this.

Free Gifts

jlcpcb gifts
JLCPCB Gifts

There is another thing about JLCPCB that I like the most. They send us free, useful gifts along with the PCB. Sometimes it will be pen, sometimes Magnifying sheets, cello tapes and things like that.

Last time I had a small packet of LEDs in it.

Cancellation and Refund

On one occasion, I made a mistake while drawing the layout but I didn’t even noticed after I payed complete money. Even though the payment was completed, I was able to cancel the order and refunded me immediately in full and told me what was wrong. I corrected my error and all was well.

They do have amazing user friendly customer service agents that will help you with each and every steps.

User Interface

Nice online order form, easy Gerber upload, no issues with PayPal, and I got to watch the progress of my order online. Furthermore gerbers can be checked online (site reports sizes and minimum distances between paths) and a preview is available (bitmaps can be saved).

Conclusion – Why JLCPCB

What I found impressive about it is, I didn’t even get a single complaint regarding the PCBs service or delivery. For the first time, I was able to get error free PCBs at low cost. I was getting PCBs within a week from the date I ordered. PCB was tested and verified, so they’ll get any problem with the PCB designing or even with the PCB.

Overall we are very impressed with JLC’s speed, quality, and price. The user interface to order the PCBs is very easy to use. The order for the boards went out on a Friday and they were shipped to our team by Wednesday afternoon. In the 10 boards that we printed, all 10 are flawless and great quality. Will print from them again.

How to Get your PCBs Assembled?

To get Started, First Go to EasyEDA website and create a free account. Go to “Editor” and create a new project. For now, JLCPCB have 689 Basic components and 30k+ Extended components at your disposal. See the complete list of components here.

Make sure you add the components from this list while drawing the schematics in EasyEDA. You can even search for the components and check its availability.

Now you can get your layout done using inbuilt tools in EasyEDA. You can now download the Gerber file and use it to manufacture your PCB from JLCPCB.

Gerber File contains information about your PCB such as PCB layout information, Layer information, spacing information, tracks to name a few. BOM File or Bill Of Material contains the list of all components in the Layout. CPL file(Component Placement List / Pick & Place File (PNP) file), it is used by automated SMT Assembly machines to determine where each part should be located on the board.

JLCPCB Online PCB Manufacturing and Assembly
JLCPCB Online PCB Manufacturing and Assembly

Go to JLCPCBs website and Click on “Quote Now” and upload your Gerber File. Once the Gerber file is uploaded, it will show you a preview of your circuit board. Make sure this is the PCB Layout of the board you want. Below the PCB preview, you will see so many options such as PCB Quantity, Texture, Thickness, Color etc. Choose all that are necessary for you.

Click on “Assemble your PCB boards”. Now, you will have to upload the BOM and CPL file that we downloaded earlier. Select all the components you want JLCPCB to assemble in your PCB.

Simply click on the confirm box to select the components. In this page, you can review your order. You can check the layout, see all the components and if there is any problem, you can click on “Go Back” to edit your order.

Once everything is done, click on “Save To Cart”. In the next page, you can choose a shipping and payment option and Check Out Securely. You can either use Paypal or Credit/Debit Card to pay.

The PCB will be manufactured and shipped within days and will be delivered to your doorstep within the mentioned time period.

Written by Jithin

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