I can’t believe it took this long to get boards. I used a company called Golden Phoenix, it’s the same company Sparkfun uses. I figured, they must be reputable if Sparkfun uses and trusts them. It started out great, they got boards back to me very quickly and it was painless. However, when I ordered my first ‘stuffed board’ that’s when things went south.
First it was the Holidays, so there were delays. One and a half months later, I got ‘samples’ of my boards and guess what, they didn’t work. I narrowed down the problems to a mistake I made on the BOM, and a mistake they made with the incorrect part. After I got the right components in there, it still didn’t work. I debugged the boards and found that they sheared too close to the edge of the IR receiver and cut my ground trace to this component. So I let them know and one and a half months later, I have ~150 units. They of course also made me pay for shipping for every fuck up that they did…unbelievable.
So what did I learn? I learned that “you get what you pay for”. So what if they cost less than ‘made in america’ products? I ended up paying for it in time and energy, and that’s much more important. So the question is what to do for the next build. In either case, it’s important to minimize risk, and Cisco the problem, “get a second source”.
On sale soon, I promise this time.