PCBs

General Electronics Discussion (where it doesn't fit in another forum)

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:37 pm

Spotted some interesting comments about the ink transfer process, rather than using an iron a laminator was recommended. This appears to give a more consistent (sharp) transfer, especially on larger board sizes.

I guess the capacity of the laminator, in term of thickness, is going to be key. In ALDI this week I spotted a laminator for just £13, the problem appears to be adjusting the machines to take the thicker boards... I'm temped to have a go! :)

regards,
colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:04 am

First impression is this laminator thing may not work easily, I don't think they get they get the boards hot enough.

I picked up the ALDI device earlier this evening and had a quick play with material to hand. It's not 100% happy with 1.6mm board but it will go through, if it's not too wide a piece and it's central on the rollers. I hadn't prepared the board (scrubbing it clean) but had expected some of the ink to transfer... it didn't :(

I hope to give a prepared board a go tomorrow, I hope it's a little more successful! I'm finally considering Press'n'Peel a go to see if the expense is worth it in terms of ease of use and quality of image transfer.

regards,
colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: PCBs

Postby AndrewHibberd on Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:29 am

I am looking to restart building some PCBs however i am having a hard time finding a pair of tongs. RS sell them with a minimum order of 30, has anyone else found a supplier?
Andy
Team Geek!
AndrewHibberd
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:15 am

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:04 am

I wear gloves when etching PCBs, I just pick it up out of the solution then wash it off under running water. I tend to use a shallow tray so depth is not a problem (the tray is gently rocked by hand to keep the fluid moving over the board).

Any non-metallic tong should be fine for the job, it might be worth looking in a kitchen supply shop. I think I would avoid wood or bamboo as the grain would tend to absorb the fluid.

regards,
Colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: PCBs

Postby PeterW on Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:49 am

One problem is that with home made boards you can't create plated through holes so you normally end up with resistor legs poked through the holes and soldered both sides. I have just obtained some small copper rivets from Mega Electronics designed for this job. The rivets are about 2.5p each but the tooling is expensive but I have found a ground down bit of piano wire is all you actually need. The rivets I bought are 0.8mm od and 0.6mm id. Below is my test board with a rivit fitted one lose and the tool I made. They do seem to provide a good contact through the board dry but I shall be soldering them for reliability.
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n66/ ... /rivet.jpg
PeterW
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:02 pm
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks

Re: PCBs

Postby PeterW on Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:29 am

I have been looking for a way to improve my etching without spending the >£200 usually required for a etching bath. I have now found one which costs
£76.46 including vat and delivery. It has a built in heater and air pump for bubble agitation and I have just ordered one and will let you know what it is like when I have had the chance to test it out. It can be found at the top of the page on the link below and the company ESR seem to do quite a few other useful things.
http://www.esr.co.uk/electronics/pcb-tanks.htm
PeterW
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:02 pm
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks

Re: PCBs

Postby PeterW on Wed May 20, 2009 7:39 pm

Just etched a board using the etch tank and even with the ferric chloride at about one third of the suggested concentration the board etched in 11 mins. Much better than the 1 to 1.5 hours taken by my tipping tray method.
PeterW
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:02 pm
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Fri May 22, 2009 11:58 am

Sounds like it was a good buy.

If the fluid is weak I've found my "drawn" masks or Iron-On masks struggle over the longer time period, I wonder how they'll fair with the bubbles. I've been thinking about changing my methods to get better, crisper masks.

regards,
colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: PCBs

Postby PeterW on Fri May 22, 2009 7:42 pm

Here is the etched board plus it built up with and without plug in receiver.
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n66/ ... MG0643.jpg
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n66/ ... MG0647.jpg
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n66/ ... MG0648.jpg
The basic board is 43mmx43mmx15mm but in this version the PCB has been extended to form the chassis.
PeterW
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:02 pm
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:27 pm

slurp wrote:I've been thinking about changing my methods to get better, crisper masks.


Forgetting the waxed paper, laser printing on to plain paper gives a much crisper image transfer. There's a bit more effort required to remove the paper fibre from the board but it's nothing more difficult than soaking in water and rubbing with your finger... seems to me I've been wasting my time trying to print onto other paper types.

Another couple of board to "press" and I'll get some etching done :o)

regards,
Colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:13 am

For the most part the crisper masks worked but there was a few spots where I'd missed a bit of the paper fibre. There was just enough to leave some copper behind, fortunately I'll be able to split these tracks. As always preparation is key, I'll look a little more closely for traces of paper...

Over all I think the process was easier than trying to print on the the waxed paper (laser problems on feed and smudging and spreading of track when pressing - particularly when trying to use finer tracks).

regards,
colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:19 pm

Following a recommendation from the Picaxe Forum I've bitten the bullet and ordered some PCBs rather than tried to make my own :D

DorkBotPCB.jpg
DorkBotPCB.jpg (44.17 KiB) Viewed 8315 times


The picture doesn't do the dark purple finish justice... Even with standard postage, order to delivery was just under 3 weeks. It's been much simpler than my usual PCB construction methods (paper transfer) and proably comparable on cost but with a quality that far exceeds what I can do for myself.

The price was fantastic, it's $5 per square inch for three copies of your two layer design. (Mar 2011) The guy places this on a panel to form a larger order and give us the discount - check it out http://dorkbotpdx.org/wiki/pcb_order

I'm very pleased and will be back for more (but I'll double check my library and hole sizes first - my error not theirs).

Best regards,
Colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:14 am

Just a little update:-

picaxe18m2.jpg
Formula MiniSumo with an 18M2
picaxe18m2.jpg (20.14 KiB) Viewed 8147 times


While soldering SMT with an iron was a little ropey these PCBs are still looking good

Best regards,
colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: PCBs

Postby PeterW on Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:52 pm

Hi Colin long time no see.
I have just got some small controller boards made for my antweights and found a good UK based company called Ragworm.
My boards were 19 x 28 mm and 6 boards came to a total of £19.73 including p&p (£3.29 each) with a 7 working day turn round.
These were two layer with soldermask and silksceening on one side but I think that could have been two if I wanted it.
They will even do one board for £3.91 according to there calculator which is at ragorm.eu
Here is the finished board and the standard is very high.
Image
Here is the built up board with piggybacked receiver
Image
I see you moved down south now to real civilization :roll:
PeterW
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:02 pm
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks

Re: PCBs

Postby slurp on Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:46 pm

Thanks Pete,

That was timely, just thinking about some new boards.... Those look neat, I'll check out Ragworm they're nice looking boards.

Best regards,
Colin
slurp
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Previous

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron