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Author Topic: How to make PCBs at home  (Read 3366 times)
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gurinder_dhiman
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« on: May 26, 2008, 02:32:07 14:32 »

How to make PCBs at home
in 1 hour & W I T H O U T special materials

If you take your electronics hobby seriously, then you already feel the need for a simple and fast technique for making your own printed-circuit boards (PCB). Here I’m going to show how to make simple single-sided PCBs in a snap, using widely available materials. This technique works reliably for thin tracks down to 10 mils, and is suitable for most surface-mount parts.


for complete discription download the attached pdf file.


thanx for reading
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 02:57:12 14:57 by gurinder_dhiman » Logged
borberk
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 08:18:07 08:18 »

The best way for tonner transfer is to use cheap laminator. It needs to be modified for 180°C and three or four passes through it are enough.
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yahoo
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2008, 10:55:34 22:55 »

I'm using laminator and it works great.
I have two questions. What is the easiest way to remove the toner from the copper after the etching and how to protect the copper traces from oxidization?
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wanderingmoose
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2008, 03:14:41 03:14 »

Acetone
Pick it up at the hardware store in small containers.
Also get rubber gloves.(Dishwashing gloves work great.)

Please only do this method outside or in a very well ventilated area.
Read the label of the Acetone.

With gloves on, wet corner a small part of the rag with acetone.
Wipe the board and the toner will come of fast.
You may have to re-wet the rag to get all of the toner off.

Just that easy. Grin


I use a MG Chemical Liquid Tin
Part #421

Also have tried a rub on tinning powder from Pulsar.
Works, but expensive for the kit.




Acetone is very toxic so read the label for your safety.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2008, 03:18:03 03:18 by wanderingmoose » Logged

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Parmin
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 03:24:30 03:24 »


Acetone is very toxic .....


Gee I always wonder why women are acting so strange.. must be acetone poisoning from their nail polish remover   Grin Grin Grin

Heck if we worry about the acetone toxicity, you would not even do any electronics that involved LEAD soldering..

By the way, do you know that Hydrogen Monoxide is very toxic too !! You can die from inhalation of it!! AND, it is the MAJOR ingredient of common soft drinks (cocacola, pepsi, fanta, dr pepper  etc)
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forter
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 07:39:29 07:39 »

I am agree with borbek.
Iron works well, but not so good as laminator. I have bought simple chinese liminator called "Sigma". But it gives temperature only 130 degrees. So I redesigned it by making triak regulator and now a temperature increase to 170 degrees. If I make 2 -sided PCB, I need 4 passes to get a good one.
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puta
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 08:11:37 08:11 »

Wanderingmoose,

Could you please explain little more on the tinning of the copper on etched board. Thank you for your help.
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yahoo
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 06:44:52 18:44 »

In the laminators they use thermal cutout bimetal elements attached to the metal body over the heater. If you put some type of thermal isolation between the cutout element and the metal body you can adjust the cutout temperature to higher one. I couldn't find a cutout element for 180C and I'm trying to adjust the existing one by moving it away from the point of measuring. I think this is the easiest way to modify the laminator.
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mirkatmir
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2008, 10:09:55 22:09 »


Acetone is very toxic so read the label for your safety.


Don't worry about toxic. You'll use so little to clean your PCB. I'm using laminator with HP laser printer and aceton too. It is good combination.
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jwildes
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2008, 10:40:40 22:40 »

Hi guys,

Can you provide some photos of yours Laminator's?

Best regards,

Jwildes
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mhemara
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008, 08:51:55 20:51 »

Hi guys,

Can you provide some photos of yours Laminator's?

Best regards,

Jwildes

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=Laminator&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2008, 08:04:39 20:04 »

This is to finalize my simple modification of my laminator (GBC Personal Laminator model # 1701987 http://www.abra-electronics.com/products/product.php?productid=5744&cat=0&page=1 )
The thermal cutout element for the second level (high temperature) is for 120C. It was 1mm far away from the heated metal. I removed the dielectric pad also 1mm from the lower level cutout element and I added this pad to the higher temperature element as total of 2mm distance from the point of measurement. As result the element is working as thermostat for 120C but the temperature of the laminator is about 180C because of this distance.
There is also a max temperature fuse (for about 150C) that must be shorted(or remove the contact to the metal body) in order to get 180C.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 08:07:58 20:07 by yahoo » Logged
Criss_B
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 12:13:45 12:13 »

Where i buy the laminator?
I want one piece for me.Please send me a link with this.
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gurinder_dhiman
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2008, 02:10:55 14:10 »

i dont think that you really need it. you can do it by using iron
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antmar
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2008, 07:23:19 19:23 »

The best way to remove the tonner from the pcb is a solution used to wash your car carburatore . Here in Romania is very cheap less than 1 euro for one litre. There is also a spray with the same solution (i little bit stronger than the previous one) called CarbCleaner that is the best . This one is about 10 euro but i have it for about 2 years and i still have more than half of it
Happy etching !!!

Regards Antmar
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TomJackson69
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2008, 08:33:33 20:33 »

No, don't buy. Use your wife's nail polish remover (for free, or use it from your sister). I used with good result.

Also, I use laser printer to transfer PCB lay out on regular copy paper and it work good. Here is how I did: I coasted the paper with a very thin layer of cooking oil (I mean very thin, put a few drops of oil on a tissue and rub it on the paper. Than use another clean tissue to wipe of real good). Put this sheet of paper into the printer and print.

Print the lay-out in reverse

Use a hot iron to tranfer the ink on the clean PCB. Move the hot iron back and forth for about a minute or so. The image should now transfer to the PCB. Don't set the hot-iron too hot, the fine line will be smeared.

Touch up some points if not enough ink with permanent marker fine point. Remember, only thin layer of toner can resist the etching solution.

Heat the etching solution to WARM and place the PCB into the pot (for small PCB I use the coffee maker, SH.I...I....I, don't tell my wife, I am still alive and not contammination at all, I washed the pot real good hee hee). Remember to stir the solution slowly so the solution refresh on the PCB evenly; otherwise, the outside will get etched first and the inside will not. After done, don't throw away the solution, it can be reuse for many time.

Inspect the PCB to see if all unwanted coper has been removed. If so, rinse it with clean water. remove the toner with accetone (or nail polish remover stole from your wife). Drill the hole and mount the components.

Caution: Some printer will produce little off scale so you may want to adjust the scale to get 1:1 image. For adjust, change the scale from the software, print out and measure to see if it is 1:1 scale output.

That is all,

Tom
« Last Edit: July 26, 2008, 08:36:57 20:36 by TomJackson69 » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2008, 09:58:10 21:58 »

Hi, Guys!
Use since 11 year this CNC - LPT or USB.
http://www.stepwalk.de/
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PICPocket
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2008, 04:14:41 16:14 »

Here is a spark of an idea that I had for toner transfer I haven't tried it yet but I plan to experiment.

If you have ever had to remove a paper jam from a laser printer you may have seen this effect. If the jam happens between the toner transfer and before it goes through the fusion roller, then what happens is you get a perfectly printed document (albeit crumpled) but the toner is not fixed (fused) to the paper. I reason that (and I might be wrong) it would be easier to transfer un-fused toner to a PCB rather than fused toner. So, if you intercept the paper before it goes through the fuser rollers you could then use that to do the transfer.
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FriskyFerret
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Put it in, take it out.


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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2008, 10:42:07 22:42 »

How would it be easier to transfer unfix toner particles to the PCB? You still have to heat the toner to create a etchant-impervious film.
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PICPocket
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« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2008, 01:05:04 01:05 »

How would it be easier to transfer unfix toner particles to the PCB? You still have to heat the toner to create a etchant-impervious film.

Yes, you clearly need to heat the toner "to create a etchant-impervious film" but my idea heats it once - directly onto the PCB. The usual method heats it twice - once in the printer and then a second time - hoping for simultaneous de-bonding (from the paper) and bonding to the PCB whilst maintaining the high resolution of the original. My idea will/could/might/maybe/not-a-chance Wink) produce a better transfer with higher resolution.

In its simplest form the toner could be transferred by pre-heating the board and using a roller to press and melt the image on to it.

In a laser printer the toner is transferred to the paper via an electrostatic charge. One area for experimentation would be to use a further electrostatic charge to transfer the toner from the sheet to the PCB - then simply cook the PCB.

Another area for experimentation would be to use some material other than paper as a carrier for the toner:
Carrier materials could be heat resistant but non-stick e.g., PTFE sheet material (commonly used for baking), or clear plastic (possibly Cellulose Acetate) in the case of electrostatic transfer. It may also be possibly to use a soluble carrier (rice paper?) and dissolve away the carrier. A big advantage of my proposal is that you are not putting the carrier material through the fuser of your expensive laser printer'

Some people have achieved fantastic results, with very good detail, just using the standard toner transfer method. However, it takes practice and good technique - lots of the samples I have seen of this process have been far from perfect and have very poor resolution.

I am not sure if the "idea will fly" or even offer any advantage at all Roll Eyes but I am sure the basic technique can be improved on, as the average toner transfer does not come close to matching the high resolution of the average Laser printer.

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embromation
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« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2008, 03:00:50 03:00 »

I use here this method (with Household clothes iron) and works ok!
 Wink
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