Coming Soon!

If  you happened by our booth at DesignEast, you may have gotten a personal preview of our new automated parts quoting system. If you didn't get to see it, you will shortly. It's in the final stages of beta.

Order cost - new

 

This sample shows what you might see when you order Screaming Circuits assembly along with Sunstone PCBs, and components from our website.

In the meantime, you can still quote your assembly and PCB prices online here, and you can have us quote your parts offline.

 

 

 

 

Duane Benson
Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
You won't regret it.

Robots on Mars!

Msl5_PIA15973-br2And tSuperLaser_reasonably_smallhe Curiosity Rover has landed! People can be so cool when we set our minds to it. Touchdown at 10:14:39 Earth Pacific Daylight Time.

 

 

Duane Benson
One small step for A robot. One giant leap for the rocket that got it there.

Something Free at ESC

My post title rhymes. I'm a poet and don't even know it.

So, what about that free thing at ESC? And is there a catch? Of course there's a catch. There's always a catch. This is a good catch though.

If you are an electrical design engineer and are at ESC this coming May, come to our booth and see if you make the cut. The first 50 qualified electronic design engineers will get one of these things. Yes, I'm being non-specific about the details. That's a technique. It's supposed to make you more curious. That's what they tell me anyway.

The details:

Embedded System Conference, Silicon Valley
McEnery Convention center
San Jose, CA
Expo is May 3-5

We're in booth 823.

Duane Benson
Robots for world domination!

Virtual-PCB

Drop by Virtual-PCB on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, to join into my group moderated chat session: "DFM: From the Assembler's Perspective."

Registration is free. The session is accessible by logging on to Virtual-PCB.com and selecting my chat room from the VPCB foyer. It's at 3:30, Eastern Standard time, 12:30 Pacific Standard time and lasts for 30 minutes.

Duane Benson
Come for the information. Stay for the donuts.
Wait... No donuts (unless you supply them)

Screaming Circuits Needs Help

Yes, we need help. We're growing and need to add to our web development team. We have an entry level opportunity for someone ready to get started on their software engineering career.

We won't be providing for any relocation, so you really should already live in the Portland, Oregon area. Take a look at the job description and shoot a resume to hrjobs@screamingcircuits.com. Yes, it will go to HR, but don't worry. We aren't a mega-corp with an impenetrable, monolithic HR fire wall. We're just some people that want to build a great website.

And, just where are we? We're in Canby, Oregon. Just a short drive through Milwaukie and Oregon City South of Portland. It's a great "Norman Rockwellish" small town that's close enough to have an easy commute but just out enough to be a lot quieter and more relaxed.

Possible Weather Cause Delays

BULLETIN:

The snow is accumulating in the Portland area and we have declared today (2/24/11) to be a snow-affected day. We're expecting delivery and shipment problems and many employees are experiencing difficulty getting in to the shop. We will still do our best to ship your jobs, but unfortunately because of the weather, we can not guarantee shipment turn-times right now. Weather related delays do not count toward your turn times.

I'll keep you posted.

NOTE: For those of you that live in blizzard-ville and can't see what the problem is with such a tiny, by your standards, amount of snow; we don't have the equipment around here. Yes, it's nuts that this little bit should bother us, but nothing ever happens out here so the cities, counties and states really don't have the facilities to make it all better right away.

 

Thanksgiving Holiday Closure

Turkey_2Screaming Circuits will be closed on November 25th and 26th, 2010. This means that those days won't be counted toward your turn times. For example, if you have asked for a 48 hour turn time and we receive your kit on the afternoon (after our kit-cut-off hour) of the 24th, your 48 hour clock will start on Monday, the 29th.

We apologize for any inconvenience and wish you a happy holiday.

Duane Benson
Can anyone tell me the proper reflow profile and solder formulation for a 24 lb turkey?

Dewy Defeats Truman!

No he didn't!

Dewey Defeats Truman But why do I care? Why do I state this? Well, an email went out from an independent external survey administrator on our behalf. The email was referring to a customer service survey - we do that now and then; ask our customers how we're doing. Our customers are nice and we like hearing from them - but that's not the point.

The point is that the subject line of the email was pretty misleading. It read "Final Reminder - Screaming Circuits Closing September 30th." I don't know about you, but if I saw that subject line on an email from my favorite PCB assembly place, I'd be rather worried.

Well, worry no more because we're going to the White House, I mean we're still healthy and happily assembling PCBs and will continue to forever. Yes. I know that "forever" is a long time, but that's the way we think around here.

By the way, I know that "Dewey" is misspelled in my blog post title. I did that on purpose to throw off the copyright police. And I used a picture from the Truman library, not the cool famous one owned by some big newspaper someplace.

Here's some humor to lighten the mood.

Duane Benson
Mark Twain said it too

Re-runs

I've been pretty occupied with the upcoming Embedded Systems Conference in Boston. The exhibition is next week on Tuesday, the 21st and Wednesday the 22nd. Screaming Circuits will be in booth 809. Stop by if you happen to be at the show.

In any case, I've been pretty much wrapped up in show preparation so I haven't had much time for original writing here. That being the case, I'm going to play an old TV sit-com trick and just select some old, but good, content to re-run.

And, there you go.

Duane Benson
Hide Wally Bee. Andre is back and he's got a fly swatter

Circuit Design ECOsystem

Years and years ago, I was a product manager at In Focus, the projector manufacturer. It was a great time to be in the display industry. New technology was being invented left and right (and center and back, and some over in that far corner too). Competition was still reasonably light and we were ahead of most of it.

It was always interesting to take one of the early overhead projector-style displays through airport security. Laptops were rare at the time, let alone a big clear display that looked like a see-through touch-pad computer, but without the computer. But that's not the point.

Back in our engineering department, we had the electronics engineers, a few folks to work on firmware, a layout specialist, documentation specialists to deal with all the documentation (duh), purchasing people to buy the parts and PCBs, technicians build up the prototypes, manufacturing people to get the pre-production and production going. And here,s the contrast today. Quite a few engineers I talk to these days have to do all of those jobs except final production. That wouldn't be too much of a problem except that while all of those jobs were being assigned to the engineer, everything got more difficult. Parts got smaller, timelines shrank, competition got more fierce, clock speed increased and a lot of formerly company functions, got out-sourced. It's a lot of work and a lot of ground for that engineer to navigate.

A couple of companies; Digi-Key, NXP, National Instruments, Sunstone Circuits and Screaming Circuits (my company), have gotten together to form the Circuit Design ECOsystem; a cross-company organization designed to help that design engineer get a design from inside the brain to the market.

NXP makes components and is creating library components for the CAD software made by National Instruments and Sunstone. Sunstone allows quoting and ordering of Screaming Circuits assembly service on their website and Screaming Circuits does the same with Sunstone PCB fab. Digi-Key is working to improve the data-flow to Sunstone's PCB123 CAD and streamline the parts procurement process to Screaming Circuits.

It's still early in the process, but the idea is to take the, now fragmented, design to manufacture process and make it easier for the electrical engineer to get through - to remove roadblocks, add in new services and improve communications to make it easier to produce a quality product.