Custom PCB design & white-labeling

Do you want to design & sell your own effect, but don’t want to learn a CAD program or navigate the complicated world of PCB manufacture? Aion Electronics offers PCB design services and can supply a custom PCB for your product. There are a few different tiers of service depending on your needs. Contact me if you’d like to inquire about custom services.

Tier 1: White labeling / OEM

I can white-label any of my projects, removing my logo and adding yours. Pricing is simple: In quantities of 100, you get a discount of 20% off from the standard price of the project, and 30% in quantities of 500. You can also order them in whatever color you’d like. (White-labeled PCBs must be ordered in quantities of 100, 200, 300 or 500.)

Minor layout tweaks can be made to your specification. These are free as long as the total amount of work is estimated at one hour or less. It is assumed that the project will not require any additional documentation or instructions beyond the documentation of the original Aion project, so no additional time is budgeted for documentation.

Tier 2: Custom PCB design

Do you need a circuit that I don’t already offer, or a different control layout or enclosure size? I can do fully custom PCB layouts as well. My rate for custom layout work is $79/hr, and all time & material expenses are billable.

Nearly all custom layouts will require me building a prototype unit to verify that everything goes together as I expect it to. This prototype unit will be mailed to you for approval before we make the production order. Subsequent reorders of the same PCB will not require another prototype to be built. Minor layout tweaks in the future generally will not require prototyping either, but this is at my discretion and depends on the exact changes.

How long will it take? This varies widely based on the complexity of the circuit and how far along you are in the product development process, but I’ve done it in as little as 4 hours and as much as 20. Contact me with your project details and I can give you an estimate.

Specifications

Unless you request otherwise, all custom layouts will be designed with the same specifications and design rules as my existing projects on the site. This means that layouts will utilize 1/4W resistors, 5mm film capacitors and PCB-mounted potentiometers & toggle switches. Footswitch, DC and in/out jacks will be offboard.

Deliverables

A project is complete when the following items have been delivered:

  • Verified PCB design
  • Parts list & schematic
  • Additional build notes, if applicable
  • Initial order of PCBs
  • Prototype unit, if required

Product development

By day I work at a marketing/branding company, and by night I am very immersed in the music gear scene, both DIY and commercial. This means I have a very good combination of skills and experiences to help you bring your product to market. If you need assistance beyond just a PCB layout, I can offer this as well; just bear in mind that it’s billable like everything else.

Additional questions

Can you design using surface-mount components?
Yes, I can. Please let me know which technology you plan on using (e.g. 1206, 0805, etc.) as well as any other requirements.

Can you design the enclosure graphics as well?
I don’t do graphic design, but I will provide the control layout in Adobe Illustrator format and can work with a graphic designer of your choice to get them going in the right direction.

Do I have to order the PCBs from you?
Yes. This is part of the pricing model. My initial hourly rate would be much higher if I wasn’t able to supplement it with the sales of the actual PCBs. However, if for some reason I am not performing up to your standards, and you’ve already paid for the design work, I can release the Gerber files for a fee so that you can get the PCBs manufactured directly.

Can you send me the EAGLE files when you’re finished?
No. This is the “source code” of my designs, and it contains a lot of techniques, library components and other time-saving measures that I use on my main line of DIY projects. I am able to offer what is in truth a very low hourly rate for this type of work, and create layouts much more quickly than most, in part because of all the work I have done on other projects. To release the final designs in EAGLE format would be to give away much more than what you are actually paying me for.

Can you design a new effect if I tell you what I want it to sound like?
My skills are in PCB design, layouts, and build process, not circuit design and experimentation. For custom layouts, I need either a full schematic or else a set of changes from an existing schematic. My ears are not the same as yours, and my guitars and amps are not the same either. If you’ve got a sound in your head and want to turn it into a pedal, the only reliable way to do that is to learn the tools, then roll up your sleeves and make it happen!

Terms / fine print

I will not advertise or promote the fact that we are working together without your express permission.

I will not sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) because there is nothing in the pedal scene that is innovative enough to warrant this. You’ll just have to trust me that I’m a good guy and I won’t share anything private that you let me in on.

If your circuit is based off of another classic circuit (in other words, you didn’t invent it from scratch), this does not prohibit me from releasing a project based on that same classic circuit at some point if I do not already have one.