Okay, so I think I’ve done as much tooling around as I can without actually sending my files to a board house and just seeing what comes of it. So tomorrow I’ll be taking that dive, and the board house I’m using actually has a turn around time of 5 days at a pretty fantastic price (75 pre-shipping…really not bad for that fast of service for 5 boards, and apparently amazing quality).

Here’s the final layout, and also the layout viewed in the program “viewplot,” which was recommended by the sparkfun tutorial.

I’ve followed the tutorial to the letter, I’ve double checked my file formats and NC drill file contents. I’ve also run the DRC about 100 times, triple checking the board house’s capabilities….so yeah, I’m super nervous about this. I don’t really know why, I’ve dropped more money on (quite frankly) far more stupid and less researched things. Guess it’s just nerves of my first time ever having a PCB fabricated that I designed, so I suppose it’s more of an anxious feeling than anything.

The biggest thing I’m nervous about, is getting the board back and seeing my worst fear of this project…the 1.35mm drills for the 1.91mm pitch. I’m hoping and praying that when they say they can accept spaces down to 6 mil, they MEAN it. Otherwise I’m going to get it back, and when I try to solder my pogo pins, the solder will just leach into the neighboring pad without even thinking to stop. I’m pretty accurate with an iron, especially with .015″ solder, but if there’s no solder mask between those pads, I’m still fucked.

Planning ahead though, if this works and there’s a definite interest for a production run, I’m pretty sure I’ve decided on the board house to use. It’s got a fantastic price, free DRC check, free electrical test, and a slew of other things that make it awesome. I’ve also decided that I’m going to use blue solder mask when it comes to the choice. I’m thinking that someone will be showing their newly modded stick to friends, and one of the friends says “hey, wtf is that blue board?” because you won’t be able to miss that color if you tried :p.