I had registered a business so I could sell my cool digitalrooster pcb assembly commercially. I chose tindie.com for this service as it caters to makers and tinkerers and my product is exactly for this audience. Spoiler alert: So far it was not a success. Luckily I had no gone all in and have a batch of 50 or a 100 manufactured. As a test I listed the surplus ones of my MK3b order on Tindie for the price I would get from pcbway if I ordered 50-100.
I hesitated quite some time to place a new order with PCBway. The design was ready in May but component cost have gone way up since last November. Some parts cost more than double. But when my friend told me some of his friends are also interested in DigitalRooster it was time to go ahead fast. PCBway was quick, I only ordered 8 assemblies. Which in hindsight might have been an error, it looks they hand-soldered again instead of using a pick-and-place. DigitalRooster is ready for adventurous makers to use it and abuse it!
Finally I received the assembly for the revised layout of my Audio PCB. Covid-19 has affected lead times but PCBway was quicker than estimated. Unfortunately not everything was working and it is not pcbway’s fault. I learned you should not blindly trust the CAD data you get, even from ultralibrarian.
For quite some time I have been playing around with QT on embedded to learn new stuff. One thing that I really found annoying was that my fancy Internet Radio alarm clock only allowed for a curated list of stations. I could not add my own podcasts. So the idea was to build my own, Open-Source alarm clock. The learning project turned out quite long project I called DigitalRooster. I am really proud,the quality is good enough that it keeps waking me up reliably since end 2018.
I got my first batch PCBs from JLCPCB in less than two weeks choosing low-priority shipping. I ordered five 2-layer PCBs with a laser cut stencil. The service of JLCPCB was surprisingly good. I never thought these orders for 5US$ would be checked by a human being but during manufacturing I was contacted by a person called Tony Lee inquiring about the backside stencil. I haven’t included back side solder mask since there are no components except for some THTs and solder jumpers that require soldering.