Laminate Specifications

FR4-Tg135 Quick Spec's

UV Block, less than 0.5% penetration
UL 94V-O
IPC-4101
Class B Thickness Tolerance
Class A Surface
Comparative Tracking Index: PLC3 (175V - 249V)

Data Sheet - FR4 is G10 with Fire Retardant (FR)

RO-4350B by Rogers Corporation

The RO4000 material possesses properties needed by designers of RF/microwave circuits. Stable electrical properties over broad environmental conditions allow for repeatable design of filters, matching networks and controlled impedance transmission lines.

Data sheet for: .020", .030" and .060"

Visit the Rogers home page for updates and product advisories

20150219_145407_thumbPre-selected drill sizes help control costs in setup and drilling.
To use Free diameters include a cross reference drill size list with your data set.
Tool substitutions exceeding pad tolerance will use the original Premium Diameter
Our complete diameter list of Stocked Drill and Router Bit Sizes (Imperial Inch). 

 

  Drill Diameter After Plating Application Suggestion
1 .0197 .017~.015 vias
2 .0280 .025~.023 vias, trim pots
3 .0350 .032~.030 IC's, ripple caps, 1/4w resistors...
4 .0380 .035~.033 IC sockets, small diodes...
5 .0420 .039~.037 IDC headers, TO-220's...
6 .0520 .049~.047 connectors, large lead devices
7 .0595 .057~.055 connectors, large lead devices
8 .0860 .083~.081 TO-220 mounting lugs
9 .1250 .122~.120 mounting etc.
10 .1520 .149~.147 mounting etc

Cutoff Times

To meet tight delivery schedules, we must "cutoff" the daily stream of incoming data. Only designs that were fully examined and tooled by our CAM Team will qualify for the current day's process. CAM inspection and tooling is a very detail oriented process and not something to be hurried at the last minute. Please have your data in at least 30 minutes before cutoff to allow adequate time for DRC, layout inspection, and tooling preparation. 

  • RUSH orders must be inspected and approved by our CAM team before 9:00 AM MT. Contact (403) 250-3406 to coordinate your order
  • Standard turn orders must be inspected and approved by the Setup Department before 11:00 AM MT

  • The current time at APC in Calgary is

    Time Zone Standard Cutoff RUSH Cutoff
    Atlantic 2 PM (14:00) 12 PM (12:00)
    Eastern 1 PM (13:00) 11 AM (11:00)
    Central 12 PM (12:00) 10 AM (10:00)
    Mountain 11 AM (11:00) 9 AM (09:00)
    Pacific 10 AM (10:00) 8 AM (08:00)

Post Process Drilling

Critical, non-conductive holes require drilling after processing.
Post process drilling ensures non-conductivity in the hole and are very economical when assurance of non-conductive locations is critical.

Authorizing Post Process Drilling

Any of the following files authorizes Post Process Drilling:
tool lists that identify NPTH holes
non-plated drill file
mechanical layer(s) marking non-plated locations
readme.txt file with NPTH instructions

Tenting

Tenting uses process film to dam both sides of a drilled hole. This may prevent chemistry from entering and plating but there is no way guarantee success.
Tented Hole

no "tenting" fees

There is no "tenting" fee as non-conductive results are not guaranteed. Tenting" requires both sides of the board to have sufficient clearance between the tented holes and adjacent features.
Tented Hole Failure

Features Include

copper floods/planes
pads, cut-outs and traces
slots, edges and notches

When tenting holes over .099" we recommended a minimum .025" moat and holes under .099" a minimum .015" moat.

Contour Routing

plus contour circles 2_thumb

Many CAD systems provide the user a mechanical layer to create the board shape and cutouts. Please ensure that you include this layer for correct sizing of your board. An unused layer within your CAD system can be used for a mechanical should your system not have this option. 

The router will cut to the inside edge of your outline tracing. Please avoid running signal or voltage lines at the extreme edge of your design. Router bits are affected by torque deflection and deflection could cut into traces placed too close to the routed edges. A .020" "keep-away" from the router path is recommended.

Contour routing is available for all of our services and is billed based on the complexity of the shape. The "house size" router bit is 0.0945". Routing requiring non-standard diameters will be charged a nominal fee for additional bits. Boards are returned as individual pieces unless otherwise specified.

Should your assembly plan include automated placement and soldering, be aware that these systems require strength members in the array to prevent panel sag. Consult your assembler and provide us with the array panel width and length details as well as their "stiffener" requirements.

Router Bit Sizes: .0315, .050, .063, .0709, .0945 (standard) and .1250 Imperial Inch Sizes

First Response - Automated

From: APC Status Server (apcss@apcircuits.com)
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2015 7:38 AM
To: Mega Ohm
Subject: RE: APC_File_example.zip status test

APC_File_example.zip - Added to inspection queue (integrity check passed)

Thank you for submitting files to AP Circuits. The job processor only accepts archive files for job number assignments. Any non-zip file will receive a "rejected or ignored" message.

We still have the attachment(s) available for operator inspection. If you have received this message and did not send us a data set then your email has attached a signature file. In this event, please ignore this message.

So what's all this mean anyway...

This email response is generated by automation. When the email is processed, the server reports every attachment it found. This would include zips, pdf's, readme.txt files etc.

The program reading email is designed to gather any supported archive format in email and pass them on to the next stage. The server reports all "found" items, including those not in an archive format. Correspondence to our "staff" address may generate "rejected file" alert if you use signature files.

Real people monitor support@apcircuits.com. When necessary they will retrieve anything that should have been processed. For example, not archiving your files and sending them in loose. The server will ignore all of them and complain to the sender. During regular office hours, one of our team will recover the loose files, zip them, and re-process.

Quote Response - Automated

From: APC Status Server (apcss@apcircuits.com)
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2015 7:38 AM
To: Mega Ohm
Subject: RE: APC_File_example.zip To be Quoted

Thank you for choosing AP Circuits

Job Number: 2160
File Name: APC_File_example.zip
Status: In Quoting Queue

Your design is in the quoting queue, we will send you pricing based on the data provided. The order will not begin production until you formally accept the quote.


Quote response defined

This email response is generated by automation. The server found a valid order form and "quote" requested was noted. Our team will have your RFQ response back as quickly as possible.

Some requirements take longer to research than others. Our team reviews quote requests after at 11 AM MT. Depending on requirements such as assembly and offshore, we will need time to collect responses to prepare our reply.


Queued for Setup - Automated

From: APC Status Server (apcss@apcircuits.com)
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2015 7:38 AM
To: Mega Ohm
Subject: RE: APC_File_example.zip Queued for Setup

Thank you for choosing AP Circuits

Job Number: 2160
File Name: APC_File_example.zip
Service: Plus Service
Laminate: FR4
Thickness: .062"
Quantity Ordered: 10

If any of this information is in error please CALL 403-250-3406
Do NOT email during regular business hours

Queued for Setup - Defined

This email response is generated by automation.
The order form was found and is ready for CAM evaluation.

If you discover a discrepancy we ask that you call immediately!
Email is fine for after-hours.

In Production - Automated

From: APC Status Server (apcss@apcircuits.com)
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2015 7:38 AM
To: Mega Ohm
Subject: RE: APC_File_example.zip In Production

Thank you for choosing AP Circuits

Job Number: 2160
File Name: APC_File_example.zip
Status: Processing
Service: Plus Service
Laminate: FR4
Thickness: .062"
Board Dims: 2.08 x 2.80
Quantity Ordered: 10
Production Cost: $market price

This is not an invoice and is not the final total.
Pricing does not include shipping charges.

We are shipping your order to the following address:

Company: AP Circuits
Recipient: Receiving
Address: #3-1112 40 Ave NE Calgary AB Canada T2E 5T8
Phone: 403-250-3406

In Production defined

This email response is generated by automation.
The order has completed CAM review and is now on the production floor.
Any anomalies found at this stage cannot be corrected.
The order is committed to it's production run.

Shipped Status

From: APC Status Server (apcss@apcircuits.com)
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2015 7:38 AM
To: Mega Ohm
Subject: RE: APC_File_example.zip Shipped

On behalf of AP Circuits, it was a pleasure to be of service.

Job Number: 2160
File Name: APC_File_example.zip
Status: Shipped
Shipping Date: May 14 2010
Shipping Method: FedEx Overnight
Tracking Number: ###

If any of this information is in error please CALL 403-250-3406
Do NOT email during regular business hours

Shipped - Defined

This email response is generated by automation.
The order has completed all processing.
Your order is now in a shippers' delivery network.

Canceled Status

From: APC Status Server (apcss@apcircuits.com)
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2015 7:38 AM
To: Mega Ohm
Subject: RE: APC_File_example.zip Canceled

Job Number: 2160
File Name: APC_File_example.zip
Status: Canceled

Canceled - defined

Orders can be canceled for a variety of reasons including:
    corrupted zip
    unzipped file sets
    duplication - sent by FTP and email simultaneously
    by customer request (conditions permitting)
Our cancellation policy can be reviewed here

20150219_145407_thumb
is our carrier.
Budget $25.00 shipping for most orders.

 US Customs Clearance is included
 Unpopulated boards are duty free

 YES We Can bundle pcb orders to the same address! Reduce your shipping costs on multiple designs and just tell us to "bundle it"!

We're getting a smokin' deal!

Volume shipping with FedEx has earned a very substantial discount for AP Circuits® freight.
 We pass these savings directly on to you

We can use your FedEx or Purolator® account
 Our discount cannot be applied to your account

 Some areas are in a two-day delivery zone
Visit fedex.com or contact (800) 463-3339

Checking rates and delivery zones...

set From Country to  Canada
set Postal code to  T2E5T8
set Weight to  1 kgs

"Get quick quote" will list options
Fedex Rate Screen
We use "International Next Flight®" to the USA. This is an anytime next business day service. AM delivery is not guaranteed due to US Customs processing.

"FedEx Priority Overnight®" is used within Canada

Other shipping options

Purolator domestic shipping is used at our discretion when areas are unserviced or cost prohibitive.

Domestic "counter to counter" air freight service can be arranged. Counter to counter is not recommended for US bound shipments due to US Customs requirements.

Greyhound "depot to depot" is an option for Canadian clients from Regina and westward should you require delivery before the traditional next day offered by FedEx or Purolator.

You are ALWAYS the VIP with our team! 

We know how important it is for your project to arrive on time and on budget. One of our prefabrication procedures incorporates a thorough layer review and design rule check. Every effort is made to minimize and correct obvious errors. Occasionally output files don't generate correctly and contain errors in the drill and or Gerber data.

Should we detect an anomaly, with your guidance, our experienced CAM team can modify your data to achieve the result you're expecting. When our inspection flags issues, a series of “screen captures” will be emailed for review and instruction.

On time delivery is a shared responsibility.

Technical issues that stop the progress of a design make it imperative for direct contact to an engineering team member. Relaying technical observations or recommendations through a non-technical third party severely impacts response time.

To place your order or request a quote:

 Gather the design and fabrication details
 Zip the design package - 1 design per zip
 Please DO NOT Encrypt your ZIP
 Send us your data packages
 



The ordering system uses 128bit SSL encryption and supports drag and drop with either zipped or unzipped files. The system will unpack zip files and list content allowing for additional user instructions.

Online orders received with a valid MasterCard or Visa may qualify for a 5% Automation Discount [1]

 [1] Projects requiring Quote before process or have been placed on hold due to DRC or CAM issues will not qualify for the "5% Automation Discount" 


Our FTP site is browser friendly!

Send your design package containing the required files with FTP. Transfers are much faster than E-mail.

After a successful upload, the automated attendant will confirm receipt to the E-mail address provided at time of transfer. 

PORT 9090 must be open on your firewall for Browser FTP connections. Use command prompt FTP if this is not an option for you.

E-mail your design package with the required files.

Orders arriving by email will receive an acknowledgment within minutes of it's arrival on our server. All other correspondence will be sent to the email address specified in the order form.

There are some risks involved with FTP and Email that you should be aware of:

  • FTP and Email are not encrypted. The security of your data and credit card information can not be assured during transmission
  • FTP servers do not verify data. Watch for an email from the FTP Automated Attendant 
  • Mail servers can cause unexpected delays and messages can be lost or stuck in a server queue

  • Contact us if you have not received an automation response within 30 minutes of transmission

The media has done a very good job making all of us aware of the potential of email interception. If you are comfortable sending file attachments we accept them. You may omit your credit card information from your order and contact us after you have received your Job Number status.  Orders will not proceed to production before a method of payment is provided.

To begin your your order immediately...

     include a VISA or MasterCard number
     confirm your expiration date
     include the name of the card holder
Placing your order Online may qualify you for our "5% Automation Discount". A Visa or MasterCard must be included with the initial data transmission. Orders held for CAM or DRC issues may no longer qualify for our "5% Automation Discount"

Alternatively, we can accept a money order, PayPal or company cheque, but this may delay delivery of your order.

Other Forms of Payment

 AMEX or Discover are not accepted

PayPal payments require your design is fully formatted and invoice paid before processing.

Expect delays for payment processing when using PayPal E-Check Service

Wire Transfers and Direct Deposits from the USA have a $25 bank fee.

Your Job Number and Invoice Number must accompany payment advisory with Wire or PayPal payments.


Billing Currency

US orders: USD
US Technology Partner orders: USD
All Offshore orders: USD

Canadian Plus or Basic orders: CAD
CDN Technology Partner orders: CAD
US Technology Partner orders:  USD

Net 30 accounts are available to qualifying companies after acceptance of application.

Accredited institutions are eligible for Net 30.

Net 30 account applications require:
    Your banking information
    3 trade references with contacts
Send applications by email or FAX (403) 250-3465

Net 30 accounts do not qualify for Automation Discount
Third Party Ordering

AP Circuits will only release data or fabricate boards from our archives to the company or individual who is the original order owner.

Sharing data with anyone but the "original order owner" breaches privacy law.

Any request to fabricate boards from our archive by a company or individual who is not the original order's owner is called a "3rd party request".

We can quote to the 3rd party based on the previous order's billing details provided the original owner agrees. Nothing that identifies the board will be exchanged during quotation. If the order number was disclosed by the owner in a group email message, then it will continue to be referenced throughout all correspondence.


How to place a 3rd party order

The original order's owner must provide a copy of the data to the new client.
The new client can then send in the data just like a normal order cycle.

This will create order ownership for the new client. They can re-order at will.

If the order's owner no longer has a copy of the data we can send all available data we still possess for the design.

 Data availability is not guaranteed after initial production 

 Archive data is available from 2012 Jan 01 to current  

Our archive data can only be sent to the original order Email.

If the owner's email address has changed we can accommodate it provided it was a corporate domain. Cloud based domains are ineligible.

 This is a short list of ineligible providers:
     Yahoo!
     Gmail
     MSN
     ATT
     Shaw
     ALL ISP Mail Hosts are ineligible
Valid Examples

Original order: 123456
Original email: customer1@gmail.com
Customer1 requests a copy of data sent to customer1@gmail.com

This is a valid request. The Email Address is identical to the original.

Original order: 123456
Original email: customer1@apcircuits.com
Customer1 requests a copy of data sent to customer2@apcircuits.com

This is a valid request. The corporate domain is consistent to the original.

Original order: 123456
Original email: customer1@gmail.com
Customer1 requested a copy of data sent to customer2@gmail.com
Customer1 requested a copy of data sent to customer1@yahoo.com

These examples are invalid requests.

    The Email Addresses in either example are not identical
    The Email Addresses in either example are not corporate domains

In the case of ISP Hosted Email Accounts, we can only return a copy of the data to the original email address.


If the original Email address is no longer available...

A notarized letter with proof of ID will release the data

 The notarized release must arrive via courier or registered mail
 The release letter must identify the original customer, Verified by Notary
 The Design Release Statement must identify the new customer

We will send a copy of our data to any addresses listed in the Notarized Letter including the original owner.


Legend Application

The lettering and graphics that identify part locations, trade marks etc. is called by many names and the one we use is legend. Some other common names for the legend layer are Silk, Silkscreen, Ident, ID, and Nomenclature. The reference to "Silk" comes from the method that is widely used to apply the ink, and that is via "silkscreen". 

The silkscreen ink used in PCB fabrication is designed to withstand the heat of mass soldering systems with minimal pigmentation change. Standard inks will scorch or burn off completely when the board is heated to mass soldering temperatures. The legend ink we use is White LPI or liquid photo imageable epoxy ink. This type of application allows for excellent detail with fonts used identifying parts. 

The minimum line width is .006"/ .15mm for surface adhesion. Line widths less than .006"/.15mm either completely wash away or appear faded and often accompanied with voids in the characters and patterns. When we detect smaller width lettering we will swell it to the minimum width when possible. The minimum height for legibility without magnification is around .030"/.76mm. You can go as small as needed up to the restriction of the .006"/.15mm width. Too small and the letter becomes an illegible blob under magnification.


Solder Masking

The often green coating on circuit boards is called Solder Mask. It's widely known as solder mask, occasionally referenced as silkscreen, which can add confusion. We'd prefer it is referenced as solder-mask. Our application method is Heated Vacuum Lamination of Photo Imageable Dry Film. The film is Gloss Green and is .003"/.076mm thick.

Add .006"/.15mm to the board thickness for solder mask. (2 sides x.003"/.076mm).

The dry film is applied over bare copper. This process is referenced as SMOBC or Solder Mask Over Bare Copper. The dry film solder mask is similar in image resolution to the legend ink. A minimum .0065"/.165mm of material is required to adhere to the substrate surface or it washes away, or worse, leaves string like threads dangling or sticking on areas it shouldn't be present.

We prevent threads by swelling the pad gaps to form a complete block-out of the region. QFP's are often masked in this fashion. A shrink or swell of the mask layer pads is done to achieve a .002"/.051mm moat around the desired areas. If the resulting swell or shrinking of the mask pad creates a thread width under .0065/.165mm, the region is fully blocked as a preventative measure against downstream finish and HASL failures.

Caution: Please be aware that any drill hit or cutout which is open in the solder-mask on one side of the PCB must be opened on the opposite side. A 0.002" swell is the minimum oversize requirement. Our CAM team will edit as required to meet this production stipulation. 

The reason the pads must be fully tented or fully exposed on both sides in solder-masking is due to the HASL process. Hot Air Solder Leveling is a combination of heat - the eutectic temperature of solder, and high pressure hot air. When a board contains a tented pad on one side which has an opening on the opposite the molten solder will trap in the hole. This is because there is no way for the hot air to pass through the hole - the mask blocks it. The hot-high-pressure air (130psi @ 450F) can also blow the mask off the tented side causing cosmetic defects and contamination the solder pot which contains about 400lbs of molten solder. Pieces of the mask blow off with a volcano effect, called de-lamination, this is when the mask material looses its bond from the substrate. 

Bottom Line  DON'T DO IT - both sides open or both sides closed.



Colour/Color Options

Our in-house services use DFPI Gloss Green for solder mask and White LPI for legend.

Files Required for Fabrication

Common Name Data Format Basic Plus Multi-Layer
Drill file - plated through hole (PTH) Excellon - ASCII Text *YES *YES YES
Drill file - non-plated through hole (NPTH) Excellon - ASCII Text *Optional *Optional Optional
No Drilling Required - no drilled holes Not Required *Optional *Optional Not Available
Mechanical - board outline, cutouts, slots, NPTH, etc RS-274X - Gerber Standard - ASCII Text YES YES YES
Board Layers - top, bottom, mids and planes RS-274X - Gerber Standard - ASCII Text YES YES YES
Solder Mask - top, bottom RS-274X - Gerber Standard - ASCII Text Not Available YES YES
Component Legend - top, bottom RS-274X - Gerber Standard - ASCII Text **Not Available One is included,
second is optional
One is included,
second is optional
Read Me / Special Instructions ASCII Text As Required As Required As Required
Order Form Online Form As Required As Required As Required

*Drilling for Basic and Plus is common, occasionally SMT style single or double sided boards do not require any drilling.

**BASIC - you are encouraged to include your Legend Layer to assist CAM orientation. This layer will not be applied to the final work, it's only purpose is to confirm correct orientation of your layers.

Orientation

Identification with masking

Identify your component layer by placing the text "Top" or "Component" on the layer. This is one of the few ways we can check for layer swaps or mirrored data. You can place the text OUTSIDE of the board parameter if you prefer. Text outside of a clearly marked board parameter will be removed and not included in the calculation of the board size. Reminder! Text on the bottom layer or bottom legend must be placed in mirror or reverse.

File Generation

Review Your Output Files

Control delay and unexpected costs with Graphicode's GC-Prevue
A FREE tool allowing you first-hand examination of your output files prior to fabrication

With this tool you can detect:

  • Missing Apertures
  • Missing image, NC or Mechanical layers
  • Errors RS274-X generation
  • Detect layers that contain merged data and correct them
  • Missing or incorrect mechanical details
  • Mixed design evolution outputs