Making your own PCBs

Preamble

After getting the Sound Synthesis by Terence Thomas, and seeing the PCB layouts provided, as well as seeing a need to make cheap PCBs for the Bastl Trinity, I thought it worth coming up with a basic kit of PCB etching

See also

Links

eBay

eBay has some kits, the cheapest of which seem to be from the UK!

  • Beginners kit, £14:
    • Tray, 22cm x 16.5cm x 6cm
    • Tweezers
    • Etching marker pen
    • 2 x copper boards, 100 x 160 mm
    • FeCl crystals, 55g (250 ml)
  • Pro kit, £19
    • Tray, 22cm x 16.5cm x 6cm
    • Tweezers
    • Etching marker pen
    • 1 x Bungard FR4 Photo Copper Clad Board, 100mm x 160mm
    • PCB Photoresist Developer Solution 12.5g (500ml working strength)
    • FeCl crystals, 55g (250 ml)
  • Delux, £26
    • Small PCB developer tray 22cm x 16.5cm x 6cm
    • Plastic Tweezer / Forceps
    • Jetstar Standard PCB Artwork Inkjet Film
    • Etch Resist PCB Marker Pen
    • 2 x Bungard FR4 Photo Copper Clad Boards 100mm x 160mm
    • 2 x Copper Clad Boards – plain 100mm x 160mm
    • PCB Photoresist Developer Solution 12.5g (500ml working strength)
    • Fine Etch Crystals 55g (250ml working strength)

Now looking for the individual parts:

So, it is obviously cheaper to buy the materials separately.

Methods

  1. Freehand – The cheapest way is to draw the layout directly on to the plain copper board using a photo resist pen but this will lead to inaccuracies, especially for DIL ICs – unless:
    1. you have the layout printed on paper,
    2. tape it to the copper,
    3. drill the holes first, and;
    4. draw the traces freehand, with a marker pen (go over the traces a few times to get a good ink layer), or use etch resist pen.
  2. Photoresist – Drawing the circuit on film, saves having to redraw it on each board – but this requires:
    1. a UV box (which is an added expense)
    2. photosensitive clad copper boards
    3. photo resist developer
    4. photo resist remover (after etching), or iso propyl alcohol)
  3. Toner Transfer
    1. Tracing with a marker pen on magazine paper and iron on
    2. Print on to glossy photographic paper and iron on.

Then place in etching bath.

 

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