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DIY Toner Transfer Paper (cheap and easy))

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Rolf, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Gayan Soyza

    Gayan Soyza Active Member

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    Yup I use only "Fecl3", other speedup chemicals (No need unless you do a mass scale) will washed out & will thinner the track weight if you don't know the correct timings.

    Rarely I use a permanent marker to touch up.

    PCB size of 3 X 4 inches, from start of the ironing time to final PCB (including drilling) it takes me only 5-7mins.

    I don't care on new products on "papers,etchants, laminators,direct insert printers etc.....

    You can make high quality PCB's using simple method like I do.
     
  2. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    I totally agree! I would just like to add: "timing AND proper recipe" - and that is/was my nightmare - if you have time you can see my "problem" <HERE>! Maybe you can even help!
    OK, but I would HIGHLY recommend you to replace iron with laminator! They are not so expensive (even I have one - some 20USD). Once you try it, you will forget iron forever, I guarantee!
    And what about large copper areas (like copper-pour areas) and pittings (regarding to my "problem" from the link above)?
     
  3. jlpelect5

    jlpelect5 New Member

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    Hello,
    I have made hundreds of pcb's using a modified GBC Creative Laminator and junk mail.
    The quality is excellent.
    Printer used is a HP Lazer Jet.
    Soak in hot water for a few minutes until paper lifts.

    jlpelect5
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    Glad to hear this!
    What type of laser exactly? Original toner?

    And, the same questions as for Gayan Soyza (above):
    1) What etchant do you use?
    2) What about pitting on large areas (please see "my problem" from the link above or click <HERE>!)?

    TIA!
     
  6. jlpelect5

    jlpelect5 New Member

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    ChildOfVision,

    Yes, original toner
    Ferric Cloride
    No pitting, I do panels 4"x 5"

    jlpelect5
     
  7. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    Thanks! I will definitely switch over to FeCl3 ! (Or, maybe, Ammonium-persulphate).
     
  8. jlpelect5

    jlpelect5 New Member

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    I dont even bother to heat up the ferric chloride.

    jlpelect5
     
  9. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    Right, I forgot to ask you that! So room-temp, no bubble-agitating or so? And how long you can use it (I mean does it have shelf-life)?

    I don't want to bother you, but did you see my problem from the link above? What do you think - is that all because of wrong etchant?
     
  10. jlpelect5

    jlpelect5 New Member

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    Yes, room temp, I also use two plastic spoons to move back and forth every few minutes.

    The process takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

    Yes I saw your post and I have never used anything but ferric chloride.

    I have been using the same bottle for over a year now and I do notice a difference. Need a new bottle:D

    jlpelect5
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  11. jlpelect5

    jlpelect5 New Member

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    When I pour the ferric chloride back into the bottle I should use cheese cloth to filter out copper but I am to lazy.:eek:

    Notice that I said a "modified" laminator, the thermal resistor is swapped out for a higher temperature resistor that I bought from Mouser electronics.

    It is on utube to show you step by step how to modify.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  12. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    The copper is in solution. You can not filter it out with cheese cloth.
     
  13. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    For how many (roughly) ,say, 4x5" PCBs that bottle suffices?
    I have <THIS> laminator, also GBC, don't know the exact type. It has electronic regulation and two temp. settings. I didn't modify it, it is warm enough to do the job (of course, I have to run PCB 10-20 times through it, depending on paper used). It can pass thick PCB along with thick paper like it is thin paper, without any "help" - GBC rules! If I wanted to raise temperature, I should just replace one resistor (and new thermo-fuse, of course), but I didn't because it has plastic gears and girders, so I didn't want to risk to melting it!

    EDIT: It is HL-80 type laminator!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  14. jlpelect5

    jlpelect5 New Member

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    ChildOfVision,

    Didn't keep track but I would say a couple hundred so far.
    jlpelect5
     
  15. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    Sorry, did I understand good: a couple of hundred WITH ONLY ONE BOTTLE :confused:?
     
  16. jlpelect5

    jlpelect5 New Member

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    yes, when your done with ferric chlodide just pour back into bottle and reuse.
     
  17. MrDEB

    MrDEB Active Member

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    With the Muratic Acid/Hydrogen Peroxide $ you can as I understand it, rejuvenate it by adding more Hydrogen peroxide.
    Have used the ferric chloride $$$ and NO it won't last for more than a few etchings as the copper is suspended in the mess (this stuff is messy and stinks. You can't see the etching progress.
    Here is a good source of info on doing DIY pcBoards
    http://digital-diy.com/general-electronics/361-printed-circuit-boards-diy.html
    Electrotech has same somewhere ??
    I use Diptrace for designing and be sure to do a copper pour as it will require less time in enchant. Have etched a 3 x 5 board in under 4 minutes.
    Be aware that the 1/2oz board will etch really fast. I get my copper boards from http://www.pulsarprofx.com/. If you order you can get FREE board material. Their boards are very high quality and thin. You can see through the board after etching. Yes their transfer paper is not cheap but you don't use a full sheet plus you get FREE board material.
    Doing a 2x board is a walk in the park.
     
  18. ChildOfVision

    ChildOfVision Member

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    First of all:
    Answer 1:
    Answer 2:
    Quite different answers, to put it mildly. Obviously I need the third (and fourth) opinion!
    This is partially true (IMO). After some time of use, the HCl+H2O2 solution "becomes" CuCl2 (prevalently) solution, so later you will etch with CuCl2 actually! That solution you can rejuvenate by passing air bubbles through solution (adding fresh oxygene to the solution) - no more need for adding peroxide at all! BUT, again, I repeat, either muriatic acid + peroxyde or CuCl2 are not suitable etchants for toner-transfer, Sharpie (or Edding or so) pen - that solutions are simply too aggressive! Furthermore, on the bottle of POSITIV-20 the manufacturer strongly recommends use of Ferric-chloride! I heard from many people (also from this forum) that they actually see how muriatic acid ruins photo-resist tracks!

    Also, the guys from Pulsar, recommend the"new" etching technique, with only small amount of, guess what, Ferric-chloride, very small amount is needed with sponge:
    <scroll down to: "CONTACT ETCH" - HERE'S HOW TO MAKE A FAST ETCH!>

    However, many people have good results with muriatic acid, but IMHO it is a big lottery!

    I don't care for expensive (and good!) Pulsar's TT-Paper until I have access to 10 cents per A4 page children's gummed collage paper - it works exactly the same as Pulsar's paper, I guarantee - please see this (my) post: <Gummed paper magic> (see also the third post after that!).
    Also on ebay it is also available ordinary (not collage) gummed paper - see prices and compare! For TRF-Green there is NO alternative, and I have it, but its application is sometimes pain in the ass: it wrinkles very easy on larger boards!
    Also, from my experience, TRF-Green is ALSO very sensitive to muriatic!

    I like Dip-Trace, it is my second choice after Pulsonix! Also Sprint-Layout is very handy for undemanding projects. I always use copper-pour option (not just for etchant saving).

    You are generally right: Muriatic acid is very cheap, allways available, transparent...
    On the other hand Ferric-chloride IS very messy and stinks:mad:, but it is not SO expensive (I can get 500g for about 4USD). There is some new tricks with citric-acid so it lasts much longer. It is also very important to make the right concentration of it! According to manufacturer, the MINIMAL concentration is 250g/L (distilled water), OPTIMAL concentration is 1kg/L ! Maybe you use to weak solution, so it doesn't last long?

    I, personally, will go to FeCl3 and sponge etching, or bubble-tank, or, much better, foam-etching (many people didn't ever hear about that method).
     
  19. jlpelect5

    jlpelect5 New Member

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    I have been using ferric chloride for over a year now, same bottle.

    I would like to clarify things. I bought this bottle ten years ago and used it once for 2"x2" pcb.
    The bottle is 1litre or 35 fl oz. I have been using the same bottle for about a year now.
    So it does not have a shelf life. However, I do notice that it is taking longer to get the job done.

    I pour about 1 inch deep of ferric chloride into my tray (6"x8") and submerse my board into solution.
    Every few minutes, using plastic spoon, I move the board back and forth for a few minutes then let it sit
    and repeat.
    Two days ago I did two panels of which each panel took about 30-35 minutes.

    jlpelect5
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  20. MrDEB

    MrDEB Active Member

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