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Making PCB without a computer
Making PCB without a computer
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Old 21st July 2018, 07:22 AM   #1
edbarx is offline edbarx  Malta
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Default Making PCB without a computer

Since I do not plan to mass produce this PCB, I would like to avoid the hassle and great inconvenience of having to use a computer to make my amplifier PCB. Thirty years ago, around the end of 1980's and beginning of 1990's, making a PCB for a project was easy, fast and accurate enough for most projects. In those days, I used PCB transfers to protect the copper during the etching process. The transfers consisted of various lines of different widths, circles with a small hole in the middle and IC pin layouts. I used these to make PCBs in a matter of 2 hours.

When I searched the internet with google, I was shocked to learn these transfers may not be in production. Most google results are links to questionable toner transfer methods. My aim is to avoid using a computer at all costs as it hinders my work: I do not want to end up struggling with software and printer drivers just to make one PCB.
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Old 21st July 2018, 08:37 AM   #2
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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You need this?

Mega Electronics PCB Transfers | Rapid Online

Click the image to open in full size.

these are classified as "obsolete, sold until stock ends":

Mega-UK - Artwork Transfers & Pens

I hope you already have the PCB drawing.
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Last edited by JMFahey; 21st July 2018 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 21st July 2018, 08:51 AM   #3
edbarx is offline edbarx  Malta
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They have only tracks and lines. I need disks with holes as well.
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Old 22nd July 2018, 04:37 AM   #4
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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I have done it with a Sharpie (fine ink pen).

Air-brush artists use friskets: films and brush-on liquids which they cut with an X-acto knife and peel-away where they wish to spray.
Frisket - Wikipedia
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Old 22nd July 2018, 10:17 AM   #5
edbarx is offline edbarx  Malta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRR View Post
I have done it with a Sharpie (fine ink pen).

Air-brush artists use friskets: films and brush-on liquids which they cut with an X-acto knife and peel-away where they wish to spray.
Frisket - Wikipedia
Using a frisket is a very good idea. The frisket's material can be chosen so that it allows precise cutting. I have also in mind of using fine correcting pen.

So, I need more patience, but it can be done which is what counts.

A well deserved 'thanks' go to all those who contributed to this thread.
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Old 22nd July 2018, 09:23 PM   #6
MagicBus is offline MagicBus  Greece
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When I was a teenager back in the 80's, I had developed a similar technique. I was placing a sticker on the copper side, then drawing the traces and then removing the blanc sections with the knife. The pcb in the photo was made that way... and that age.
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Old 22nd July 2018, 09:43 PM   #7
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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I used to draw PCB layouts with black felt tip pen on paper with a blue 1 mm grid printed on it, then copied it on overhead projector sheets and used a flat piece of glass and a TL lamp to transfer it to a PCB with photoresist layer.

I even managed to get a PCB with a 100-pin TQFP package with 0.5 mm pitch to work that way, using a 0.5 mm fineliner to draw the wires and shrinking everything by 50 % when I copied it on the overhead projector sheet. (I messed up two PCBs before I had one that was OK, but at least it worked eventually.)
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Old 22nd July 2018, 11:21 PM   #8
rayma is online now rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edbarx View Post
When I searched the internet with google, I was shocked to learn these transfers may not be in production.
The manual stuff has been gone for many years, and good riddance. No one etches boards any more, you'd have to do it in your sink.

Some use a pcb milling machine, but these require a computer board file, the same as the board house requires. And no plated through holes.

Last edited by rayma; 22nd July 2018 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 23rd July 2018, 12:13 AM   #9
sthcoaster is offline sthcoaster  New Zealand
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Making PCB without a computer
I canít be bother with etching myself - have not had great successs (operator malfunction?)

So for small boards Iíve been milling them manually. I use a 15*degree engraving bit in my rotary tool with the drill press set to a depth that puts the tip just through the copper.
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Old 23rd July 2018, 12:30 AM   #10
nigelwright7557 is offline nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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I remember in the 1980's our draughtsman designing pcb's that way.

The world has moved on greatly since then. No kidding, there are hundreds of pcb design packages for a pc. From very simple to highly complex packages.

I remember buying EasyPC in around 1990 and getting tripped up by all the bugs in it !

The cost of pcb's is now rock bottom. I just bought 10 off 100mm by 100m pcb's for $2 with jlcpcb. OK the p+p was a bit but I wanted them quickly. Slow post is just a few $.

I would recommend biting the bullet and getting stuck into a PC PCBCAD package. I often find I can pinch bits from different schematics and merge them for a new pcb saving me hours of work.

Autorouters are a big no no. Although, I run mine and then go in and fix star grounding etc.
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