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soundNERD 14th March 2004 12:46 PM

Making My Own PCBs
 
Hi everybody!!

Right now I use the toner transfer method for making custom PCB boards. I don't waste money on those overpriced specialty papers designed for this. I just use the glossy cardstock paper from kinkos. The problem is that not all of the toner ever transfers, Also, some of the paper peels off in layers leaving some stuck between traces and inside pads.

I need to know what is the best way to do this without spending a fourtune on a special piece of glossy paper? I can't find any glossy laser besides what i have now, and i know inkjet would melt in a laser printer.

What about laser transparencies? They wouldn't have that leftover paper problem and probably not the problem with the toner tranfering to the paper since the toner would stick to plastic less than paper. Right?? But another thing i see with transparencies are it melting when put under the iron for three minutes.

Heres how I do it now:
1. Design the pcb. Only mirror it if it is a surface mount pcb.
2. print onto the paper using a laser printer
3. iron for three minutes onto the board
4. put into hot water for 30 minutes
then the rest such as etching, cleaning, drilling, etc.

what is the best cheap way to make pcbs???

Thanks!!
-Mike

Kermit 14th March 2004 12:55 PM

Re: Making My Own PCBs
 
Quote:

Originally posted by soundNERD

What about laser transparencies? They wouldn't have that leftover paper problem and probably not the problem with the toner tranfering to the paper since the toner would stick to plastic less than paper. Right?? But another thing i see with transparencies are it melting when put under the iron for three minutes.

Tried that. Not recommended. The transparencies tend to wrinkle under the iron, furthermore smudging of the toner will seriously degrade the end result. Expect lots of touch-up and poor clearance.

soundNERD 14th March 2004 01:04 PM

OK, thanks. Can they melt though? I don't think there is a method worse than what I have now so I can get it for like 50 cents a sheet so I am wondering if it is at all worth a try.

Any other ideas though?

This is a new laser printer so I am not willing to try anything that poses a risk of damage at all.

Thanks, Mike

Magura 14th March 2004 01:08 PM

Ive made a few PCB's. Ive allways been using a transperant printed on a laserprinter, photo printboard and exposing it across the street in the "sun" at the fitness center. It works well and is dirt cheap to do.

Magura:)

soundNERD 14th March 2004 01:15 PM

yes, but the problem with that is having to put it in developer which I don't have,

I want to stick with the toner transfer method.

or some pcb company that is cheaper than making them manually.


Thanks!
-Mike

Alcaid 14th March 2004 01:17 PM

How long do you expose it at the solarium?

soundNERD 14th March 2004 01:18 PM

the what??

Alcaid 14th March 2004 01:22 PM

Ops.. the "sun" at the fitness center is called a solarium in Norway, maybe also in Denmark?

Magura 14th March 2004 01:22 PM

It obviously differs from solarium to solarium, the one they got across the street needs approx 7 minutes.

It will have to be determined by trial and error, but i guess thats acceptable considering the advantages of the size and so forth.

A major advantage is that it exposes doublesided boards in one take.

Magura

soundNERD 14th March 2004 01:24 PM

I have some negative photo sensative boards, but i still don't have the developer. where can i find it for cheap??

Thanks!
-Mike


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