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jackinnj 5th October 2002 04:51 PM

Etching PCB's - don't tell the wife pls!
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yes, my wife's good extra large Farberware frypan is used as a water bath to heat the FeCl to about 145 degrees. The etchant is in a Corning Wear dish, and as you can see, repeated uses have turned it a brownish yellow. I use a darkroom spatula/stirrer to rock the board. This method only takes a few minutes. After the board is cooked I wash it thoroughly, remove the protective ink with MEK (outdoors of course), clean it again with a rough cloth in running water, and give it a dip in LiquidTin:

Peter Daniel 5th October 2002 04:52 PM

Where are you getting MEK from?

1/137 5th October 2002 04:53 PM

how do you expose the board?


jackinnj 5th October 2002 05:11 PM

MEK and exposure
I use fiberglas cleaning solvent or laquer thinner we occasionally have to patch the boat up after the summer -- these are mostly MEK or methyl isobutyl ketone with acetone or isopropyl alcohol.

For this board, which is 3 X 6 inches, I used an Avery 8665 clear full sheet label, printed the traces in "reflected mode", and slapped it on the board. Exposure was exactly 6 minutes on my lightbox (used for negatives and transparencies.) Development was about a minute in 1% NaOH. The Avery Label method works much better than mylar sheets in my Laser printer, the 10 mil traces came out fine with no breaks whatsoever.

peranders 5th October 2002 06:26 PM

Speed etching
Do you want a faster etching?

Here is the recipe:

1 part concentrated HCl Acid :skull:
1 part 30% H2O2, hydrogene peroxid (hair bleech) :skull:
3-5 parts water

Etching time 1-5 minutes at room temperature and normal 35m (1 oz?) copper laminate.

:skull: ********************************************
Be outside!!! Or in a lab with good ventilation.
Dangerous gases, Cl2! Keep away any iron/steel, rusts!
:skull: ******************************************

It's important to have equal parts of acid and H2O2. If you have too much acid, nothing happens, too much of H2O2, nothing happens. Less waters faster reaction and heat!! The solution gets hot if the reaction is fast.

This isn't so dangerous if you take precations with glasses, gloves and non-metallic bowl. Plastic or glass will do fine.

You can't save the solution. Prepare as much you need.

jackinnj 5th October 2002 07:14 PM

I don't know if I would do this at home:

WE3: Residual Co etch with HCl-H2O2
1) Take 3 parts of a 37% HCl solution in water and 1 part of a 30% H2O2 solution in water.

2) Add the H2O2 slowly to the HCl, be careful that the mixture doesn't boil over.

3) When all the H2O2 is added the mixture should have a higher temperature, (60-80 C) now

immediately etch the substrate for 10 s.

4) Rinsing in water for more then 10 min and spin dry.

till 5th October 2002 07:26 PM

Last weekend i made PCB for Zen V4, using 30% HCl and as much H2O2 as it begins to make bubbles, took about 2 min. i made it outdoors because of the gas coming out of the solution. No problems, very good PCB.

MRehorst 7th October 2002 10:21 PM

Re: Etching PCB's - don't tell the wife pls!

Originally posted by jackinnj
yes, my wife's good extra large Farberware frypan is used as a water bath to heat the FeCl to about 145 degrees. The etchant is in a Corning Wear dish, and as you can see, repeated uses have turned it a brownish yellow.
I am putting you on my list of people from whom I will NEVER accept a dinner invitation... ;)


MRehorst 7th October 2002 10:36 PM

Back when I was etching boards I used to use a plastic tank. I used an aquarium heater to get the temperature up a little, and an aquarium air pump and stone to bubble air through the liquid. The air does the agitating so I got nice, evenly etched boards and I didn't have to stand around watching the thing and agitating it for what always seems like hours (a watched pot never boils, as they say).

These days I cut boards in a T-Tech milling machine (sometimes it pays to work for a big technology company). It's a lot of up-front work to lay out the board in CAD and squirt out Gerber files, but it makes it real easy to make multiple boards. No nasty chemicals except the optional tin plate solution.


jackinnj 8th October 2002 01:49 AM

my most sincere apologies "les gourmands" de Plano
Plano has never been the same since JCPenney moved down there. Sixth Avenue's loss was your gain. :)

The CNC milling machine arrival down the block was a disaster. It fell off the lift gate of the truck and was sent back -- probably a product of the public education system in the us, and of course this occurred after Con Freight went bust and left everyone stranded including the awaiting recipient who had to arrange alternate transportation. Yes, I look forward to milling the boards !!!! until then it's Avery labels, NaOH and FeCl.

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