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making PCB's

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superlanky

New Member
Can anybody suggest a cheap and effective method for fabricating PCBs. I've heard of UV as well as chemical etching.[/u][/quote][/list][/list]
 

ivancho

New Member
I used to make them at home as well..... It was fun but time consuming..... drilling those holes...... that is a pain in the rear :shock:
I used to use that blue paper stuff called: press-n-peel.
I did that for a little bit and whereever the paper didn't stick I used a "sharpie" permanent marker pen to fix broken traces. :lol:

Then I found ExpressPCB, and they will do 3 boards for $62 (S/H included) here in the USA

  • Double-sided boards
    Plated-through holes
    No silkscreen or solder masks
    Board size must be
    3.8 x 2.5 inches
    Shipped the next business day

You will find this page very helpful too.... PCB - Double-Sided Copper

Good Luck

Ivancho
 

Screech

New Member
:?: is it possible to use battery acid to eat away the copper on pcb?
Are there any pens or texters resistent to the acid?
 

2313

New Member
I don't know about battery acid, but I use muriatic (hydrochloric) acid and hydrogen peroxide to etch boards. Always work outdoors with this method and do not breath the fumes.
I usually print the layout on my inkjet printer and then go to the local library and use their copy machine (toner) to copy to a sheet of photo paper. Then I cut the board to size, clean with laquer thinner and iron the layout to the board.
 

Nostrafus

New Member
Well battery acid can eat metal, the only problem is battery acid can be expensive, and a bad alternative to ferric chloride (what I use) since it also eats away anything you put in to get the board out, unless it's plastic.

Ferric chloride also eats away a little bit of other things, I learned this the hard way, my pliers now have a rusty coating from where the ferric chloride bonded to the steel, and formed rust.

My best idea is to order a 5 gallon ferric chloride jug online from a chemical supplier, if you get it from somewhere like radio shack or your local equivelant, it's going to have a high markup.
 

3dluvr

Member
The tip on the Pulsar website (makers of TTS) is to use Ferricchloride but not to pour half a bottle into the dish and let the board soak over night. That wont do much good. Fish tanks and bubbles dont work that great either sometimes.
Instead get a plain rubber glove from the kitchen supplies section of any supermarket and a soft sponge. In a shallow dish pour just a bit of FeCl3 and start rubbing over your copper board with the sponge (glove on of course).

This will etch your board in about minute or two, depending on the size (for larger boards maybe longer) but it is an effective and fastest way to etch boards. It does not eat copper where it's already etched because you are controlling where the etchant goes (sponge) and once satisfied with the result just pull the board out and wash it in water.

Seeing is believing - try it and you will see (I did and my jaw dropped)
 
2313 said:
I don't know about battery acid, but I use muriatic (hydrochloric) acid and hydrogen peroxide to etch boards. Always work outdoors with this method and do not breath the fumes.
I usually print the layout on my inkjet printer and then go to the local library and use their copy machine (toner) to copy to a sheet of photo paper. Then I cut the board to size, clean with laquer thinner and iron the layout to the board.

What do you mean toner? Laser Copy? Then use a regular photo paper? If yes, I'll try this one..... Presensetized boards are quite expensive.
 

2313

New Member
mysemcon2000 said:
2313 said:
I don't know about battery acid, but I use muriatic (hydrochloric) acid and hydrogen peroxide to etch boards. Always work outdoors with this method and do not breath the fumes.
I usually print the layout on my inkjet printer and then go to the local library and use their copy machine (toner) to copy to a sheet of photo paper. Then I cut the board to size, clean with laquer thinner and iron the layout to the board.

What do you mean toner? Laser Copy? Then use a regular photo paper? If yes, I'll try this one..... Presensetized boards are quite expensive.

The process needs toner to work (Do a google search on toner transfer pcb fabrication for more info) Since my inkjet printer doesn't use toner, I print the layout using my inkjet printer and take that to the local library. Then I use the the copy machine at my library which uses toner, and just make a copy onto glossy photo paper.

A laser printer should work if you have one. Just print to glossy photo paper.

Edit... I use Jetprint Multi-Project Photo Paper Gloss Finish and it works well for me.
 

spuffock

Member
I find that a laser printer and ordinary tracing paper works well in conjuntion with pre-sensitised board.
As to the use of battery acid, you will need an oxidising agent as well.
When I was out of the appropriate echant once I tried a mixture of battery acid and chlorate weedkiller, the sort that idiots make bombs out of. It etched the board in 30 seconds, boiled over and ate the bench, and the fumes rusted every bit of metal in the shack. Be warned!
 
spuffock said:
I find that a laser printer and ordinary tracing paper works well in conjuntion with pre-sensitised board.
As to the use of battery acid, you will need an oxidising agent as well.
When I was out of the appropriate echant once I tried a mixture of battery acid and chlorate weedkiller, the sort that idiots make bombs out of. It etched the board in 30 seconds, boiled over and ate the bench, and the fumes rusted every bit of metal in the shack. Be warned!

You sure about this one? I have been using acetates in making the pattern.
 

laroche73

New Member
making PC boards

There's a lot of good tips for making your own PC boards in this thread. I like 3dluvr's suggestion for minimizing etchant use.

Also check out this link, could save you some trial & error. Has some suggestions on turning used ferric chloride into a non-corrosive sludge for disposal:

**broken link removed**
 

mixos

New Member
Here you can find some articles that will help you make your own printed circuit boards:

**broken link removed**
 

Russlk

New Member
Making printed circuit boards

I make PC boards by laser printing on pre-pasted wallpaper. Set the printer for maximum dark. I did not have good results using an iron, but now clamp the copper clad and design with a cloth buffer between two sheets of glass and put it in the oven at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes. When it is cool, set it in warm water until the wallpaper floats off. Examine the wallpaper for black specks which are places that the pattern did not stick. Use a laundry marking pen to touch up the pattern. I set the board in ferric chloride to etch, but plan to try the sponge method next time.
 
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