From Nottinghack Wiki
Revision as of 17:23, 10 October 2013 by Daniel (talk | contribs) (correct link)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Supplier Free Shipping? Notes
Bitsbox No - £1.50 Regardless of order size though. They have every component you could want, normally always in stock, at a cheap price, with good delivery times.
Futurlec No Good supplier, very cheap SMD to DIP converter's which are useful for prototyping.
RS Components No Not always the cheapest, but you can collect from a trade counter.
Farnell Yes Larger selection than RS and free shipping, however there is a minimum order to qualify.
Digikey Yes Even larger selection than Farnell and free shipping on orders over £50.
eBay Varies Always a good place to start, direct access to Chinese sellers without the risk.
CPC Varies CPC is a sister company to Farnell. They supply a smaller range, but sometimes cheaper.
Rapid Varies Rapid is a sister company to RS. They supply a smaller range but sometimes cheaper. Generally they are my first place to look for a component. Not a very good selection of ICs.
Mindsets (formerly Middlesex Uni Teaching Resources) Varies Mainly supply items for education. Always a range of fun and interesting devices, components and equipment. Prices generally good.

PCB suppliers and manufacturers

Here is a list of PCB suppliers and manufacturers which might be useful to doing small scale batch runs of PCBs. If you know of any then please feel to add or review them.

These guys created our Nottinghack learn-to-solder badge PCB and are generally great.

I've not used them. Cost £24 for 100x160mm

They sell 1sq ft PCB double sided on eBay for £60 inc P&P. £70 inc P&P.
Matt Little "I've used them twice and they were good quality board at a great price. Quite long time to deliver."

Not sure how expensive. They have an amazing 'Go Naked' service where you get a double sided etched board (no solder mask or silk screen) for FREE. This is to try out your idea. If you ask for too many of these (more than 3) they wont do any more until you place an order.
Matt Little "I've used the go naked service and was amazed - fast and useful. The board has a load of advertising on it though and is not cut out to your PCB size."

Matt Little "I've used them once and they were good - fast delivery, decent board. Relatively high cost, but OK for prototype run"

Via KiCad users group, a UK member uses these guys. Roger I've used these a few times and am happy. Very cheap, especially if you want multiple units, but slow delivery (1 month total turn around time) if you go for airmail.

  • CapnKernel direct

This Australian guy lives in China. Hes started a PCB service, but only direct by chatting with him and only using KiCad as CAD package. He says to chat with him on KiCad IRC channel: Name: CapnKernel at

A PCB service based at Sparkfun in Colorado (USA). PCB orders are pooled and sent to Gold Phoenix in China for manufacture by-the-panel. The panels are split into individual orders and shipped James Fowkes. "I've found this process tends to take about a month, but can be as much as three months if it straddles the Chinese New Year. BatchPCB are apparently looking at finding another supplier to cover the gap. BatchPCB is the cheapest I've found for one-off PCBs if time isn't a factor, but you can be hit by customs charges when the boards hit the UK."

Seems quite cheap. They aggregate orders, so delivery time might vary.

Small batch (max of 5) PCB's sent out from Cape Town. Not used them yet but their prices seem very reasonable. Silkscreen (only on the top) and soldermask included in all prices. Same price for double or single sided PCB's.

A Chinese based PCB supplier who works via eBay.

Based in the UK. New customer offer is £30 for up to 30sp inches 2 layer.

This is a hackspace in Pittesburgh US who do a PCB panel every couple of weeks. 2 or 4 layer PCBs priced by the square inch.

Used for Brighton Hackspaces drawdio PCBs. Production in China.

Service started in autumn 2013. UK based. Double-sided PCBs with soldermask/silkscreen for 60p per square cm. Takes about 10 days from ordering to receiving boards. 60p per sq. cm is expensive compared to other batch manufacturing places, but to get them in a short amount of time it's sometimes worth it. When you pay, the money goes to "Stickleback Manufacturing Limited", so I'm guessing that they're the same company re-branded?


Circuit Specialists - Soldering equipment, blackjack range is very good for the price.

Wholesale Chinese Suppliers

IC2IC - Good for large orders, also able to find discontinued components.


Supplier Free Shipping? Notes
Fitchett and Woollacott n/a (Signage says Brooks Bros group) Very helpful, lots of different types of wood. Good place to pick up bits of hardwood for the lathe.


Supplier Free Shipping? Notes
Butler Fasteners and Fixings n/a Excellent supplier for small quantities, have very diverse stock. Piled high with boxes of every obscure nut and bolt you can think of. Incredibly helpful in tracking down things to fit other things.

Bicycle tools and parts

Supplier Free Shipping? Notes
J E James Cycles Yes Bad supplier, website lists things as in stock when they're not.
Rock N Roll Bikes n/a Closest local bike shop, about 50 metres away on Carlton road. Owend by Super Cycles. Specialise in BMX/jump, but have a bit of everything. The two guys who run it are pretty helpful.

Key Cutting and Engraving

Supplier Free Shipping? Notes
Quick Services n/a Best place we've found to have keys cut. Generally have the right blanks in stock, reasonable prices.