Self etched PCBs: what trace width and spacing should I use? - diyAudio
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Old 20th November 2004, 03:51 PM   #1
Bricolo is offline Bricolo  France
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Default Self etched PCBs: what trace width and spacing should I use?

Hi all,


I wanted to know what was the minimum trace width and spacing I could use with DIY PCBS. The printing is done on a laser printer.

And, what's a good trace width for line level audio use?


Thanks
Alex
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Old 21st November 2004, 10:24 AM   #2
Bricolo is offline Bricolo  France
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Eagle's default setting is 16mil tracks with 8mil spacing

Isn't this a bit small?
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Old 21st November 2004, 12:01 PM   #3
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Default Help needed?

If you care to sign an oath with a lawyer and a witness to promise you are not going to produce this PCB for commercial gains or groupbuys then our senior citizens may entertain you.
Otherwsie I think you may be on your own due to no fault of your own of course!

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Old 21st November 2004, 12:13 PM   #4
Bricolo is offline Bricolo  France
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It's for a personnal project, nothing to sell
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Old 21st November 2004, 12:49 PM   #5
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I have never used the laser method, but I suspect you might want to make up a test sheet for minimum line spacing, lots and lots of lines at different pitches and see what works with your toner and paper.
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Old 21st November 2004, 12:55 PM   #6
Bricolo is offline Bricolo  France
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ok I'll try that

and what about the trace width? what's a good size?
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Old 21st November 2004, 01:16 PM   #7
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Hi,

I am not so sure about the size of the tracks and spacing if you have doubts regarding the software's default setting then go overkill for safety by manual setting if it is an option.

Let me share my experience with laser prints and iron onto the copper. I like to set the print to BOLD to ensure enough toner but when you have spacing too close to each other then there is a danger of BOLD would make a short! As pinkmouse stated try and experiment. At this stage you are not going to ruin the copper board since you can wipe it clean and start printing again..

hope this help

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Old 21st November 2004, 01:36 PM   #8
Bricolo is offline Bricolo  France
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Now I'm not sure I understoor your advices, Al and Chris


Did you mean, printing and etching a test pcb, or only printing it and see the result on the transparency?
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Old 21st November 2004, 01:43 PM   #9
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I would print and etch, just to make sure. You only need to use a scrap of cheap phenolic board, doesn't need to be anything special.

Use a group of lines of one size, not just a pair, though, that will average out any inconsistencies in etching.
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Old 21st November 2004, 01:56 PM   #10
TroelsM is offline TroelsM  Denmark
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Default My experience

I have made a lot of PCB's with trackwidth: 15mills and track-to-track spacing: 12mills without any errors. The biggest source of error is usually the poor quality of the PCB that are available to me.

If there is the smallest scratch in the protective foil you'll get an error in you design. But the same goes for the quality of your print-work.

HP's Laserjet 4 (and maybe 5) are some of the best. They will print perfekt every time even for smaller trackwidths.

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