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any suggestions for etching copper?

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New Member
I have finshed a PCB board layout using Express PCB, i think i got it right after several failed attempts. I wanted to post this to get some tips for copper etching before i get to a laser printer and start to prepair the board.

I have a bottle of ferric chloride to do the etching. i will eventually switch to copper chloride as i hear its cheaper and safer.
I attached a PCB file and layout of the board i will be etching, if you spot any oversights or errors please let me know.

this will be my first attempt at copper etching.




New Member

up the size of your pads and tracks as far as you can go without
them touching. Your drills will almost destroy the tiny pads and soldering
them will be a nightmare. Make them rectangle or elliptical if you have to.

Also allow for PCB supports one at each corner of the PCB, unless you
intend to support the PCB some other way.

The micro could do with a 0.1uF MKT across its supply close to the IC.
Wouldn't hurt to do the same to the buffer ICs.



If this is your first attempt a test PCB with lines of various thickness would be a good way to start, then you'll get a better feel of what you have on your hands. Would be good to practicing drilling on too see how big the pads need to be for you to get a good solid joint on.

I'm a little confused about the bitmap you posted though as it doesn't have any traces on it at all, just pads for IC's.


In the bottom right of your design there is a track that doesn't go anywhere.
Also, (having used ExpressPCB myself) if you are planning to 'iron on' the design it will be reversed. Have you taken that into consideration ?


New Member
I was able to make the traces thicker with out a problem, but i cant seem to make the solder pads any bigger, is there a simple way to do this, or a setting somewhere that can increase them?
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