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Cyber City Circuits Assembly Service Review

 ·  ☕ 4 min read  ·  ✍️ Kevin Neubauer

CircuitBrains Deluxe Panel

There exists a black hole somewhere in between “I’m going to assemble those 30 boards by hand” and “I need to work directly with a fab in China to assemble hundreds of boards”. This “small business maker” market seems to have a lack of contract fabricators willing to assemble projects at a reasonable cost. Presumably, this market isn’t profitable for them due to the variability of each job and overhead of part orders and tooling changes.

There are a couple of well known domestic fabs that will work with you at these small volumes, but you will pay dearly working with them. For example, Macrofab has a very streamlined online ordering process and good customer service. However, they recently did away with their prototyping service. You can still order small volumes through them, but at an increase from what it used to cost. You also pay a higher fee if you want your project in a timely manner. Want it before a couple of months? It’ll cost you!

Cyber City Circuits

Recently I had one of my social media contacts recommend working with Cyber City Circuits. Cyber City Circuits provides a complete turn-key service for electronics assembly. They are a small business based out of Augusta, GA.

I had an order of 150 Circuit Brains Deluxe boards that I needed to fill and did not want to assemble them by hand so I reached out and requested a quote from Cyber City Circuits. I was happy I did. David from Cyber City Circuits reached out and took care of everything. We had an initial onboarding call to help them understand the project. They ordered all the PCBs and components. They communicated when there were component shortages or delays. During assembly, they flashed firmware on the boards and tested every board to ensure every microcontroller I/O pin worked. Then after assembly the boards were cleaned, packaged, labeled, and drop shipped to my customer. I never had to lay a finger on a board. Pricing was also completely reasonable considering all the services involved in the project.

I’ve chosen to continue doing business with Cyber City Circuits and wanted to share my experience with them. Here are some highlight points from my first order with them.

Positives:

  • Turn key solution. Everything relating to assembly and product testing was included:
    • Component ordering
    • Assembly
    • Firmware flashing (Firmware provided by me)
    • Testing (Test script provided by me. First order test jig provided by Cyber City Circuits. Further orders I provided an improved test jig.)
  • Excellent communication
    • Asked questions to fully understand client and project needs
    • Communicated delays due to holidays and supplier component shipping issues
  • Pricing and quality are competitive with other domestic fab houses
    • For this project pricing was slightly more expensive than ordering through Macrofab. However, you have to consider the following:
      • Timing was faster. Macrofab charges a premium for bumping your order up in their queue.
      • Firmware flashing and testing labor were included with Cyber City Circuits
      • I received a fully finished and thoroughly tested product
      • With other fab houses you may have to load firmware and perform final product testing
  • Domestic (to the USA)
    • No time zone or language barriers
  • Maker partnership
    • They care about and promote the maker community
  • After fabrication, their website store can be used for order fulfillment

Improvements:

  • Could use a web portal for project collaboration
    • Upload designs, renders or artwork & testing docs
    • Share price quotes
    • Eventually support an online ordering system as business demands dictate
      • However, do not lose the personal touch of reaching out, communicating, and understanding the client and project needs
  • Could use customer & project onboarding document templates
    • Product description
    • Order size
    • Timeline desires
    • Product test procedures
    • Basic statement of work for who does what to ensure expectations are met

CircuitBrains Deluxe

You can order CircuitBrains Deluxe from the following storefronts:

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Kevin Neubauer
WRITTEN BY
Kevin Neubauer
Security Engineer (Hacker)