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Macrosill
06-13-2007, 09:35 AM
This is the method I use and have had great success. I use the acid/peroxide etchant solution.

http://www.fullnet.com/~tomg/gooteepc.htm

grages
06-14-2007, 08:18 AM
That is a great page! I already have the Muriatic acid and the peroxide and I have a varity of photo papers to try, so all I need is some etchable materials.

Wayne J
08-05-2007, 08:24 PM
Use the Staples brand that is listed in the page. It will save you a lot of frustration. I went through the trying other papers, nothing comes close to the same results as the Staples brand.
;)

stempile
08-05-2007, 10:28 PM
Here is a Make Zine Podcast on YouTube of a method for making cheap PCBs at home. They use "Toner Transfer".

urv6jArKp6M

ms

stempile
08-07-2007, 04:02 PM
I am sure I could have put this together a little cheaper with a trip to Walmart, but since I work 3 minutes from Frys a quick lunch trip resulted in me picking up this kit with a couple blank PCBs.

http://image.ak.outpost.com/art/product/big_shots/3456583.big.jpg

http://shop3.outpost.com/product/3456583?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

It has a plastic handled tray 2 hold two 8"x9" boards with the air hose attached to the bottom. Its not high tech but it will work and does have everything already setup so the $34 I paid for it will be worth the time I saved not hunting down the random parts to build it. I will add pictures of it later.

It doesn't come with a heater, will look into that more later...

~~~

I plan to make my own etching solution as mentioned in the link at the top of this thread. I already have those items. I now need some drill bits and photo paper.

ms

BillAd
08-07-2007, 06:19 PM
The laser printers that I have access too often leave thin spots of toner that need to be bulked up (with nail polish or similar) to prevent acid etching the copper underneath. Also I found the toner in spots is too thin to stick properly and I need to rebuild that section after the paper is stripped off the copper board.

I’ve switched to using a high quality copy machine and now get amazing transfers, every time. Trace widths as small as .006 inch are cleanly etched, letters are crisp, and no toner is left on the photo paper. The following are the steps that I use:

1. Print the circuit on a high quality paper using a laser printer, black print only. This does not need to be photo paper, just a bright white smooth surface.
2. Clean the glass on the copier.
3. Change the copier setting to increase the darkness setting, increase the contrast, and change the setting to “text”. I believe the text setting eliminates grey scale.
4. Print on one of the recommended photo papers. I use HP premium plus photo paper, high gloss with excellent results.
5. Clean the PCB
6. Iron the transfer
7. Soak in water and separate the outer backing layer which is mostly plastic.
8. Soak in soapy hot water again for about 20 minutes and peel / scrape off the rest of the photo paper.


Bill

stempile
08-08-2007, 12:42 AM
This is the contents of the etching kit mentioned above that came from Frys.

DynamoBen
08-08-2007, 10:35 AM
This one is a little more expensive but I love it. The best part is it comes with a heater and board hangers.

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/4231

stempile
08-08-2007, 11:18 AM
That one looks a less home made then the kit I bought. I laughed when I opened it up and found it was just a food storage container, like the one I keep cereal in.

DynamoBen
08-08-2007, 12:31 PM
I've only ever done single sided boards. I'm at a point where I have to move to double sided boards. The trouble is the methods I've seen online for homemade double sided boards seemed a little suspect.

Anyone have a method that works really well, and/or tips and tricks for double sided boards?

Wayne J
08-08-2007, 05:35 PM
I've only ever done single sided boards. I'm at a point where I have to move to double sided boards. The trouble is the methods I've seen online for homemade double sided boards seemed a little suspect.

Anyone have a method that works really well, and/or tips and tricks for double sided boards?
I have done a couple double sided boards. If by lining up the two sides is what your asking of.... when I have the board drawn, I put 4 line up vias in the corners of the board drawing on the outside of the border. I then print one copy per sheet of paper and use straight pins to line up the two sides using the vias as my pin guides. Then tape the two together leaving room for the board to fit in. I don't cut the paper down in size either. I have good results with that method. Here is one of the double sided boards I done, notice the corners of the modular rj45s. Via placement is something to think about for home etching.

stempile
08-10-2007, 10:55 AM
First couple attempts at getting a good print have not been good. I ended up with just HP photo premium paper, not HP photo premium plus. Need to look harder for the paper type. The Dell Laster W5300 isn't transfered toner very well to this paper. There are a holes. Looking for access to a different printer.

ms

DynamoBen
08-10-2007, 11:39 AM
I've used these in the past, and have had decent success:

http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/item/TEK-5/search/TECHNIKS_"#34;PRESS_"#38;_PEEL"#34;_PC_BOARD_KIT_.html

It takes a bit of experimentation to get your iron set but works well after that.

Wayne J
08-10-2007, 06:45 PM
Staples, Staples, Staples....... Staples Photo Basic Gloss (item# 471861) is what you need. All of the homework on the paper to use has been done. This is the paper of choice. You will be amazed on how well it works. ;)

stempile
08-10-2007, 08:18 PM
First couple attempts at getting a good print have not been good. I ended up with just HP photo premium paper, not HP photo premium plus. Need to look harder for the paper type. The Dell Laser W5300 isn't transfered toner very well to this paper. There are a holes. Looking for access to a different printer.

ms

I found an HP LaserJet 5. Printed on that and it came out a lot lot better. Just finished transfer it. I didn't have a very good bench to work on this time and one of the corners lifted while I was pressing down. Because of the lift when it was flat again it didn't line up exactly on that side of the board. Oppps.

I finished pressing it and soak it for a about 5 minutes in soapy water. I very slowly lifted the paper off and 99% of the paper and gloss layer stayed togeather. The toner on the copy looks great, expect the side that had been lifted. Guess the true test will be in the etch tank. That will be tomorrow...

ms

stempile
08-10-2007, 08:20 PM
Staples, Staples, Staples....... Staples Photo Basic Gloss (item# 471861) is what you need. All of the homework on the paper to use has been done. This is the paper of choice. You will be amazed on how well it works. ;)

After my first post today about the printer not working, I went back to staples to look at the staples paper. Smallest size was 50 sheets. I already have 50 sheets of the 'wrong' stuff. Not wanting to spend any more money until I found a printer I didn't get the other stuff.

I am stuck with what I got for now... But this stuff looks promising...

ms

Ratmandu
10-10-2007, 04:40 PM
I tried Staples photo paper, and it doesnt work too good for me. The best thing I have found is standard Magazine pages.

I get a magazine called "e-week" and the paper from it works the best. I havent had a bad transfer yet. It is kinda harder to use than the photo paper, in the sense that forthe first bit of time, you have to keep the iron still, or it might smear the toner. but it is much easier to remove from the board than the photo paper, and it's free!

stempile
10-10-2007, 04:55 PM
Nice idea. Never thought of that.

I still have the 'wrong stuff' I noted above. I have used it a couple times with good prints, but never got a good transfer. Since then I have been busy with other things. Looking forward to trying the magazine paper!!! Thanks!!

ms

Meat Sauce
11-29-2007, 08:20 PM
I like the homemade etchant idea since I go to home depot at least once a week. Is anybody here using this? Can it be heated and bubbled. On a side note, How is the air tube affixed to the bottom on the etchant tank? I'M afraid I'm going to cause some kind of weird reaction thats going to singe my eyebrows

Wayne J
11-29-2007, 08:55 PM
I like the homemade etchant idea since I go to home depot at least once a week. Is anybody here using this? Can it be heated and bubbled. On a side note, How is the air tube affixed to the bottom on the etchant tank? I'M afraid I'm going to cause some kind of weird reaction thats going to singe my eyebrows

A note about the muratic acid and peroxcide. If you use this stuff, make sure you are in a well vetilated area, and there is nothing made of steel close by. The fumes off this stuff will rust anything they touch and you cannot see the fumes.

Blackbeard
11-22-2008, 10:00 AM
I hate to bring up these old posts, but I gotta ask the question. The article wasn't completely clear to me.

I have not bought any of the muriatic acid yet, but from Googling around, it appears that it comes in powder form. When using the mixing ratios, do I mix the acid as it should be used normally, and then mix that solution in the proper ratios with the peroxide? I can't imagine mixing the muriatic powder with peroxide, but I've done dumber things in my life. Never hurts to ask dumb questions, I guess.

Thanks for any help and assistance.

Wayne J
11-22-2008, 10:13 AM
Muriatic acid is liquid form. You can pick it up at hardware stores.

Blackbeard
11-22-2008, 10:22 AM
Thanks for the almost instantaneous reply.

phenagan
11-22-2008, 09:15 PM
Just a note of warning - always add the acid to the peroxide, never the other way around, otherwise you run the risk of the acid flash boiling and getting all over you.

bmcgeeny
11-22-2008, 10:10 PM
I am sure I could have put this together a little cheaper with a trip to Walmart, but since I work 3 minutes from Frys a quick lunch trip resulted in me picking up this kit with a couple blank PCBs.

http://image.ak.outpost.com/art/product/big_shots/3456583.big.jpg

http://shop3.outpost.com/product/3456583?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

It has a plastic handled tray 2 hold two 8"x9" boards with the air hose attached to the bottom. Its not high tech but it will work and does have everything already setup so the $34 I paid for it will be worth the time I saved not hunting down the random parts to build it. I will add pictures of it later.

It doesn't come with a heater, will look into that more later...

~~~

I plan to make my own etching solution as mentioned in the link at the top of this thread. I already have those items. I now need some drill bits and photo paper.

ms

Dremel drill bits. $9 a set and make almost a perfect match. Can be bought at almost any home improvement store.

You can get more accurate by ording in the exact size, but Dremel's do in a pinch.

Blackbeard
11-23-2008, 05:45 PM
I use the Dremel with the Dremel drill press. I use wire size bits (I forget which size but 67 or 63 seems to ring a bell for the common hole size). The are available in small quantities at hobby shops and larger quantity at tool specialty shops. Fairly cheap too in bulk. If you go slow, they last a good while without breaking, as that size is pretty fragile.