PCBs from Sparkfun



Some days ago I received my new PCBs. This time I tried Sparkfun’s BatchPCB. BatchPCB is a specialized service to enable even smallest orders. They collect some smallers orders and have them produced in a batch at Gold Phoenix. So the smallest order is a square inch.

The quality looks really good, as far as I can tell. Especially the edges of the PCB are smooth and not as rough as the ones from Olimex.

To get them produced, BatchPCB has a nice tutorial. It shows you how to process your Eagle CAD files to the needed Gerber files. When you are done with that, it’s time to get an account at BatchPCB. Next you can upload your zip of Gerber files. There is a check, that every file you uploaded is recognized correctly and that no files are missing. A couple of minutes later you will receive an email with an in depth check of you files and with images of your design. That way I noticed, that the bottom left corner of the boundary was not centered. That resulted in displaced drill holes. I corrected that error and uploaded the design again. This time it looked good. Now I went to the shop (!) and ordered my design. Hmm, I take 5 of these today.

It took 22 days until I received my boards, 15 days until shipment and 7 days for shipping to Germany. I payed 31.52€ ($48.45) overall for 5 tiny boards. Actually the price includes shipping ($25.95) and handling ($10 setup fee). The board itself costs only $2.50 (1 square inch).

This order at Sparkfun cost me 1.05€/cm2, compared to 0.34€/cm2 from my last order at Olimex. That is a huge difference, but my boards were tiny and shipping and handling was high. At the end I am very pleased with the outcome. Handling and payment completely online was perfect and better as with Olimex, but Olimex was faster, 11 days to 22 days. The price is higher at BatchPCB, but therefore you can start with really small boards and don’t have to pay for a complete board of 160x100mm. At last they send me 10 instead of the ordered 5 boards, that reduces the price to 0.53€/cm2. That’s cool.



  1. What does the circuit do? It looks like there’s a tact switch over a led or capacitor?


  2. Would it be possible for me to order 5 or 6 of the firefly PCBs from sparkfun?
    They would have the info from your order so it would make it very easy for me? I would be glad to give you a couple for your trouble! thanks!!


  3. Hi Tom,
    stay tuned, I am currently developing an improved version. When that is ready, I will let you know.


  4. Alex,
    Hi, I recently posted a comment on another picture. I was wondering like Tom, if I could order about 6 of the firefly boards. I have no idea how to order the firefly boards, as I don’t know how to go through the software at the website. Is it possible they would the same info form your last order?
    new user


  5. Hi Lanette,
    I don’t think it is possible to share the account at BatchPCB. So, as already said, please stay tuned and wait a bit until the new board is ready.


  6. Alex,
    I have created an account w/ batch pcb. I was wondering if you could email me the pin connections/ layout of the connections for the board. I like the current design that you have created. I have downloaded the eagle freeware, and I currently trying to figure it out.
    much appreciarion,


  7. Alex,
    Do the Ttiny 13v microcontrollers need to be progammed for this application? If so, any reccommendations as to what would be the easiest way to do this?


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