Hiring out Hardware / PCB Design Help

I'm a software guy and am looking to pay for some guidance/help with hardware & PCB design. I'm making a high end LED toy that's quite simple from a hardware perspective and the value really is all in the software. It's just an ATMega328P, FTDI 232RL, a couple 64K EEPROMs, and a li-ion charging circuit (think MCP73831T but 1A-2A ideally). The whole thing will be shaped like the Arduino Nano -- as skinny as possible but no significant length restrictions.

Some questions I have:

1) I'm willing to pay for the help (charging circuit and PCB design are the biggies). How do I approach this and what would one expect to pay? I have no experience in either and would need this essentially done on contract.

2) Is it feasible to design my own fully integrated PCB with the micro too or would it be more cost effect to just build an add-on board with the EEPROM and charging circuit bolted to an arduino nano or similar?

3) This is a small run. I'm estimating an initial order of 200 and if things went well I might order 1000/yr. Is pre-built SMT a viable option or will through-hole and hand-soldered be cheaper?

Thanks in advance for the help guys... my prototype is working great and I'm wanting to get started on the next step!

I can do that design for you.
PM me and we can discuss more details to make sure you end up with usable product.
Many places prefer to do surface mount these days, can do whatever you want tho.

I'm a hardware engineer (BS & MS in EE). I currently work for a company designing data instrumentation for aircraft. I'm hoping to start doing some part time/contract work in my free time. I'd be more than capable of designing a custom PCB for you. I'll PM you a little more info and a couple questions.


Thanks for the replies guys... I have PMs from both of you and I've already been in touch with Crossroads. Even if anyone that isn't interested in taking a contract job has some input or ideas I'm very thankful for all of your input as i move into the unknown phase of the project!


Been thinking about the battery charging.
It will get kind of ugly to charge them seperately, then switch & run them in parallel, so I’m thinking a multicell charger that charges them in series is gonna be a lot simpler to implement. Then use a switching regulator to efficiently convert it down to ~4V so the atmega can run at 16MHz and the RGB strip is happy also.