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pcbFX questons (aka Pulsar)

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3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
pcbFX questions (aka Pulsar)

Frank has created a new web site for his PCB products pcbFX.com. There is lots of useful information there.

The foils are called TRF or Toner Reactive Foils. There is a green for sealing the the toner and a white for creating a silkscreen layer.

3v0
 
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MrDEB

Well-Known Member
I like the new site

LOTS of great info
I like the idea of using window defroster repair kit to do plated through holes in pcboards.
I wish I had heard of taping the Pulsar transfer paper to a piece of paper to save on pulsar paper.
I need to see if I have any small pieces I can use.
 

UTMonkey

New Member
Many thanks, I didnt mean to Hi-Jack the previous thread. The UK distributors don't appear to have the "reactive foils" you describe.
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
Many thanks, I didnt mean to Hi-Jack the previous thread. The UK distributors don't appear to have the "reactive foils" you describe.
They do not. For silkscreen I would imagine that any of their foils will work. Pick you color.

For sealing the toner I understand that the green TRF will do a better job then the other foils. The other foils are said to work but not as well.

We need to try to convince FlightLine Graphics to stock the green TRF. Nothing speaks like a real customer.

3v0
 
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Hero999

Banned
You need to use magazine paper, there's no need to waste your money! ;)
 

HarveyH42

Banned
You need to use magazine paper, there's no need to waste your money! ;)
Waste money, waste time... Depends on which you value more. Nothing wrong with being frugal, but the Pulsar paper does work very well. Much better than any other paper I've tried, even magazine paper, so it's hardly a waste of money.

Yes, I like the product very much, and hope the company continues with a successful business. The price isn't that bad, and the product does exactly as claimed. Didn't have the same success with any magazine paper, or anything else for that matter. Thinking it takes a lot of practice, and trial and error to use magazine paper, a painful process I hope to avoid. So please, quit complaining about a product that use, it's bad for business, which can't be good for the customers. Always a chance that as the business grows, prices will drop.

Pulsar's home is in Florida, same state I live in, so support them, is also good for our troubled economy (can't depend on The Mouse).
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
I am a interested in a few of the advanced things they are working on at pulsar. The first is the plated through holes by either of the two methods (see site). There are some boards that I can not build without putting visa under the chips and it looks like this could work. Even if it is a bit on the expensive side.

The other the web site talks about is using a color laser printer to produce a true solder mask. Once could even incorporate the silkscreen lettering.

3v0
 

Hero999

Banned
Harvey,
Please don't take posts with a ;) smilie quite so seriously.
 
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Hero999

Banned
It was an attempt at irony, never mind, sorry if it upset you.
 
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HarveyH42

Banned
Harvey,
Please don't take posts with a ;) smilie quite so seriously.
I do understand the humor, been here a while, but there has been a growing interesting in making boards at home, here, and a couple other forums I visit. Just not the sort of thing people new to toner transfer needs to see. The product works well, and the price isn't unreasonable. Sure, free is always better. You get your parts free (samples) :) , why spend money on the PCB?

It's not so much what you have to say about buying paper, compared to learning how to recycle adult magazines :), just the frequency of your comments, which is pretty much every toner transfer related thread one this site. It gives people the wrong impression, and its not just me. Most people have trouble using a clothes iron and paper on hand. Wouldn't be so bad, be you give very little advice, or share any of secrets of your success with magazine paper (photos?). Took a year to squeeze out even just a hint to what kind of magazine paper you get such fantastic results with, which my printer ate for lunch.
 

Hero999

Banned
Most people have trouble using a clothes iron and paper on hand.
I agree that using an iron isn't easy. The problem is applying pressure to all parts of the board which needs to be done regardless of what paper you use.

I agree that a laminator is probably a worthy investment if you do a lot of boards.

Pulsar sell a laminator specifically for toner transfer, is it any different to a normal laminator?

I'll reply to the other parts of your post in the other thread.
http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/toner-transfer-release-agents.95079/#post763967
 

HarveyH42

Banned
I agree that using an iron isn't easy. The problem is applying pressure to all parts of the board which needs to be done regardless of what paper you use.

I agree that a laminator is probably a worthy investment if you do a lot of boards.

Pulsar sell a laminator specifically for toner transfer, is it any different to a normal laminator?

I'll reply to the other parts of your post in the other thread.
http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/toner-transfer-release-agents.95079/#post763967
I don't know if their laminator is different, think they might have adjusted it to take thick media (.032?). I bought a surplus 4" from another source, but use thinner material. Their's might just be an affordable model, that they found to work well, and sell it to make sure their customers get good value. Didn't see a need for a 9" laminator, since I mostly do small boards (under 4") anyway.

You would kick yourself, when you try a laminator and Pulsar paper. Really not joking about the amount of time and labor this takes out of the job. I spend more time cleaning the copper, than it takes to run the board through and remove the paper.

This is the model I use;

Small Laminator, GL-4 - SK2003

Got it cheaper on a different site, a few years ago. It was discontinued back then, but still comes up occasionally. Works very well, and was under $25, including shipping.
 

edeca

Active Member
Pulsar sell a laminator specifically for toner transfer, is it any different to a normal laminator?
It is just a normal laminator made by GBC (model H65 in the UK at least). I bought one second hand from someone else, they aren't exclusive to Pulsar at all.

The apparent difference is that it uses rollers to compress the media as it travels through.

But.. having said all this, I've still not got a successful board from the Pulsar method. User error gets me every time ;)
 

HarveyH42

Banned
It is just a normal laminator made by GBC (model H65 in the UK at least). I bought one second hand from someone else, they aren't exclusive to Pulsar at all.

The apparent difference is that it uses rollers to compress the media as it travels through.

But.. having said all this, I've still not got a successful board from the Pulsar method. User error gets me every time ;)
Always got to be somebody who finds a way...
What laser printer do you use? Recycled/filled toner cartridge or new? Highest print density? Economy mode off? How do you clean/prepare your copper?

Oh, and keep your grubby fingers off the cleaned copper, that one still gets me occasionally.

The density setting for my HP1020 has to be changed from the control panel, not the driver. Sometimes for get, but still usually works fine, just have little pin holes, but not as bad as with the recycled toner cartridge...

Hope you find the problem, with the laminator, there shouldn't be any trouble. Any pictures of your bad boards, might help us spot the problem.

You are printing on the shiny side, right? Sorry, just trying visualize what sort of things could go wrong...
 

edeca

Active Member
Always got to be somebody who finds a way..
I wont hijack this thread, but I will create another in a few days if my next attempts are not successful.

3v0 has been a great help too, I think I would have lost hair without his guidance :)
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
We have been over all the obvious things. If we can get a web cam going we may find the problem. If that does not work we will get Frank in the loop.

The problem is the toner is not sticking to the copper. The normal suspects are lack of heat and the copper surface/shape.

3v0
 

HarveyH42

Banned
We have been over all the obvious things. If we can get a web cam going we may find the problem. If that does not work we will get Frank in the loop.

The problem is the toner is not sticking to the copper. The normal suspects are lack of heat and the copper surface/shape.

3v0
Does the board come out of the laminator uncomfortable hot, but not bad enough to burn? The copper isn't coated, or pre-sensitized for photo process?

I use to have a problem with edge traces, but it was most likely from careless fingers. Much more careful, put the paper down, before I pick up the board, and leave a quarter inch margin. Haven't had this problem in a while.

Is it that no toner sticks to the copper, or just spots?

Just curious, as I've only had a few complete rejects. Haven't even need to use a Sharpie to do a touch up in a while. Couple of months ago I bought a couple of ultra fine point Sharpies, new product I think. Been meaning to just write something on a board, just to see if it survives etching. Just never think of it.
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
I can not answer most of these questions in that I have not seen the PCB. If/when edeca reads this he may have better answers.

If we can get a webcam setup or at least send some pictures I am sure we can get it working.

It troubles me that this is happening.

3v0
 

MrDEB

Well-Known Member
Things I have learned about the PULSAR system

I to was having partial traces missing, still on the paper.
I was using an iron. went with the laminator
still had some problems
called PULSAR
Turn laminator on 1/2 hour BEFORE using - needs to get really hot. Yes the ready lights go on but the rollers need to get warm
Burnish the board edges
CLEAN the board with a drop of dish soap and scotch brite pad (green) or 600 W/D paper.
DO NOT touch the board surface
after applying the transfer(through the laminator) turn the board around and run it agai.
Do this 3-4 times. YES the board gets really hot. On the thinner boards it gets hotter quicker.
USE the 1/2 oz or 1 oz boards. I was using 2oz boards. Took forever to get hot.
immerse into cool water immediately to cool. DO NOT peel the paper until cooled down completely
USE the green TRF film in same manner. When the green is fully transfered you will see an imprint of the traces.

Hope this solves the problem
It did for me.
 
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