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Old 11th December 2010, 10:06 PM   #1
Boscoe is offline Boscoe  United Kingdom
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Default Looking for some PCB making equipment...

I have tried making PCBs with toner and and iron, and for me it just wasn't good enough. I want to be ableto make PCBs up to about 250mm square, I want some proper equipment but I'm on a very tight budget about 200. I want a UV exposure unit and probably and etch bath. I only do single side analogue stuff so I don't need anything mega.

I saw THIS only ebay it does look too cheap but it has a years warranty but I don't want to be sending it back to Japan every 5 mins.

Is this possible on my budget?
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Old 17th December 2010, 07:09 PM   #2
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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your link does nothing
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Old 17th December 2010, 10:20 PM   #3
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Couldn't you build your own UV exposure unit using a timer and some high power UV leds.
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Old 17th December 2010, 10:31 PM   #4
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
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The key for the UV exposure is to get a UV source that illuminates the target evenly and brightly. I suggest building a small box that's big enough to fit the largest board you plan to make and mounting some UV tubes in it. Line the insides with aluminum foil. Then you need a sheet of (quartz?) glass to press the layout positive to the board. That takes care of exposure.

Developing is usually done with sodium peroxide (NaOH) which I've found in European grocery stores as drain cleaner. I seem to recall using 7 g/L of NaOH to water. Use cold water as the dilution is exothermic (not sure what process is going on, but it is exothermic).

Etch with ferric chloride or HCl+H2O2.

Developer trays work well for etch baths and developing work.

~Tom
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Old 17th December 2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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*dons his chemist hat*

Dissolving any acid or base is exothermic, typically the stronger the acid/base the more exothermic. Variety of causes the most of which are a result of the dissolution of the ions.

Also, tom makes a good point. It has to be quartz glass. Regular glass does not really transmit UV very well
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Old 18th December 2010, 08:13 AM   #6
Boscoe is offline Boscoe  United Kingdom
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okay thanks for the feedback, i'll have ago at building one then!
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Old 18th December 2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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A UV lightbox with timer.

LED UV lightbox, Inkjet stencils, SMT, PIC 16F887 and BCD code

I built that one with LEDs, the illumination is a bit patchy, I'd probably go with 12V fluorescent the next time, I used them in the past with success. The LEDs probably make for better collimation though, if you can make a single PCB to carry them you'll get less problems with patchiness, instead of the perfboard strips I used. You don't need quartz, glass from a picture frame is fine.

w.
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Old 18th December 2010, 07:19 PM   #8
Boscoe is offline Boscoe  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakibaki View Post
A UV lightbox with timer.

LED UV lightbox, Inkjet stencils, SMT, PIC 16F887 and BCD code

I built that one with LEDs, the illumination is a bit patchy, I'd probably go with 12V fluorescent the next time, I used them in the past with success. The LEDs probably make for better collimation though, if you can make a single PCB to carry them you'll get less problems with patchiness, instead of the perfboard strips I used. You don't need quartz, glass from a picture frame is fine.

w.
Nice thanks, I was about to ask can I wack a load of LEDs in a box and turn them on!
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Old 24th December 2010, 11:57 PM   #9
seanvn is offline seanvn  Viet Nam
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Strange but true - You can use monosodium glutamate to etch PCB's. A solution of MSG by itself will etch the copper in a few days. The process is slow because it needs oxygen from the air to work. For quick results just add some hydrogen peroxide (which is sometimes sold as color safe clothing bleach).
I can get MSG very easily in the supermarket because I live in Asia where it is the staple food. I don't know if it is available in it's pure form in European/US supermarkets.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 02:04 PM   #10
Hakimi is offline Hakimi  Malaysia
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Hello everyone..
I has one easy method of making the pcb, after designing the pcb layout using suitable softeware (ultiboard/diptrace/.. etc) print in the pcb layout (only the copper bottom layer, in reflected view(bottom view)). Then sent the copper trace to the sticker shop.. there, they scan and plot the vinyl sticker ( p-cut machine Creation PCUT Vinyl Cutter) the copper trace. the after the trace sticker done, the trace pasted on copper board. Then the etching process as usual. after the unused copper surface cleared, the protective sticker removed- voila... done...

Disadvantages: not suitable for thin trace >1mm

P/S: I'm using aquarium air pump to enhance etching process( bubble etch techniques)
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