Copper Connection Acquisition (3 replies)
I saw recently that ExpressPCB acquired CopperConnection. I'm not sure what you're intent is with that, but let me tell you why I use CopperConnection.
I use it because I can ...
1) do things that ExpressPCB can't do ... 12mil vias for example, routed internal slots for power components that mount with slots instead of holes, flip the board over for a rear side view, show all layers in a single view.
2) I also use it to avoid the very limited capabilities of ExpressPCB manufacturing offerings. For example, I do a lot of power boards and I use 2oz to 5oz copper sometimes. I like the option of having an ENIG finish or Black solder mask, etc. None of these are available with your service and so CopperConnection allows me to escape your funnel when you can't do what I need.
Obviously you may have purchased it to kill it. But I would encourage you to open up your board options instead.
Thank you for your feedback!
Don’t worry. Your current version of Copper Connection up to 3.0.5875 will continue to function completely. If you lose your product key, contact us and we’ll be happy to give you a replacement key.
We do have plans for Copper Connection with some expanded board options.
Incidentally, I visited the EPCB site looking for how to request the Free Lifetime ExpressPCB Engineer Membership they mention. I couldn't find it, but did find a link to purchase an individual membership for 99 USD per year.
We too went looking for the advertised Free Lifetime ExpressPCB Engineer Membership offered to those who have paid for licensed copies of Copper Connection. How does one acquire this membership?
Following the acquisition of Copper Connection by ExpressPCB, support has vanished, since clicking any of the help functions in Copper Connection takes the user to an EPCB website page that has no useful information. Shame on David Cook for essentially cheating those who financially supported him by purchasing a licensed copy of the software!
It is patent that EPCB's motive in acquiring the Copper Connection software was to remove the Gerber and Excellon conversion feature in order to re-establish lock-in on the files produced by the EPCB software. Although we have used the Gerber and Excellon conversion feature only twice, it has allowed us in at least one case to obtain boards at substantially more favorable prices in a design that slightly exceeded the hole limits of the EPCB Proto-Pro service. We would not have gotten the order for the product if we had had to pay for EPCB's overpriced production service.
Worthy of note is the particular board house we used on the aforementioned order is based in the USA. Since fast turnaround wasn't a requirement with this particular project, this board house's delivered price undercut EPCB's by nearly 20 percent, even after factoring in delivery. Additionally, this board house produces UL-recognized product, which while not a requirement for us at this time, is something that may be important in the near future. Their product is at the same quality level as EPCB's and in some cases, better, since useful fabrication options are available, such as alternate soldermask colors, copper thicknesses and a variety of reflow types.
BCS Technology Limited has been doing business with EPCB since August of 2002, and has placed production-sized orders on numerous occasions. Most of the time, the relatively quick turnaround has been of no importance, which has caused us re-evaluate EPCB's usefulness to us as a vendor. Please take note!