Economies Of Scale
So, with the card-cage pretty much sorted out, and the PCB in the assembly stage at Seeed, it seemed like a good idea to start ordering components. I don't usually use the larger 1206 surface-mount components, but in a gesture towards making the board easier to solder, all the non-automatically-assembled components are pretty easy to solder by hand. Even the trickiest one (the USB mini power-connector) isn't difficult because you only need to solder the two outer connectors on each side - the rest are not connected
With that being the case, I needed to order the parts. I've had 5 boards assembled, so interesting quantities are:
- board-quantity-1 : this is what someone who got a PCB with all the chips / difficult components pre-soldered would need to order from Digikey (or obtain somewhere else, of course) in order to solder the remainder of the board.
- board-quantity-5 : this is what I need right now
- board-quantity-50 : this is what I'll need to order *if* we ever get any significant interest in the project. At this point, we'd be looking at a custom case as well, probably.
So here's how it pans out:
The q50 price has a guesstimate for two of the PCBA components (they're not stock at Seeed); it also doesn't include shipping, but neither of these will significantly alter the price IMHO. Note that this is just the XL-side of things, there'll be another (similarly priced, I hope, depending on what I put on it) board that actually hosts the PCIe slots.
Also worth making crystal clear is that the price for the PCBA includes the price of the PCB manufacture, as well as all the chips that are placed on the board, and of course the work to actually place and reflow-solder the chips.