A sample batch of boards have arrived today. Hooray!
They all work. Hooray!
Overall I am happy with the boards and as an added bonus they are now RoHS compliant and look a lot neater than the hand-soldered ones.
There were a few downsides with the process though, the main one being the length of time it took to get it all happening. I’ve had delays and issues from just about everyone I have dealt with – DigiKey with their dumb export restrictions, FedEx taking foreeever to deliver stuff, Gold Phoenix for forgetting about the job until I reminded them a few times, PayPal for stuffing up my payments and sitting on my money for two weeks while the Aussie dollar went down and I lost out on the FX conversion… after all was said and done it took almost two months to make this happen and in the meantime I had run out of stock which is always embarassing.
In summary, I definitely think that offshore manufacturing can work for me but I’ll need to take all these delays into account and be organized well in advance the next time around.