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Old 27th August 2002, 06:59 AM   #1
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Default PCB Protection

Hi all,
I have mastered the art of producing PCBs using photo resist, UV exposure etc, but now find that some of my older boards are starting to corode!
How does one protect them from corosion? or is there some way I can tin all the copper tracks like the pro's do?

Any help will be apreciated

DieterD
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Old 27th August 2002, 07:04 AM   #2
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Hi Dieter

There are several ways to solve this :
1. The use of a plastic/solder spray
2. Tin bath

The first is obvious i guess and can be bougth in every parts shop.

The second (i never tried it), you can buy (e.g. Conrad in germany, holland and probably farnell) tin plating stuff which you can apply without to much difficulty.
Mix a sachet of this tin plating stuff with ???, throw in your board for a while and.......................... done.

grtz

Simon
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Old 27th August 2002, 11:15 AM   #3
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Default Tin bath

I have tried the chemical tin bath approuch too but gave it up after a couple of tries (I tried several brands of bath).
The bath is extremely liable to even the slightest contamination and most times it isn`t possible to keep it that clean.
The PCB itself has to be extremely clean too.
Even minimal residue of cleaning (water, solvent, finger prints or whatever) prevent the tin bath from working properly.
Also at some PCB`s where the bath seemed to function okay, after a while (some month) there was a blackening (corroding) of the surface again.
To do a tin protected PCB at home as the pro`s isn`t almost possible IMO.
I give my self made PCB`s to a professional PCB manufactorer now.
They coat them by a hot air tinning process. That works great is easy to solder, looks good and protect the PCB almost forever. Besides, it is also cheaper than the tin bath.
And: no mess with this toxic liquids at home.
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Old 27th August 2002, 01:16 PM   #4
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professional PCB manufactorer

What company is this ?
PCB-Pool ???


grtz

Simon
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Old 27th August 2002, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
What company is this ?
Hi Simon:

No, it is a small local company. We have even several of these here.
Depending on where You`re located, there might be one near You. Take a look at Your local "Yellow-Pages".
That`s the way I found the company where I have made tinning my PCB`s.
The small quantities of PCB`s I have once in a while, is not really big business for them (actually they always seem to be rather amused) and so sometimes they do not even charge me because the bill would be of more effort than what it`s worth the tinning (and so mostly the only thing I pay is a donation in their "coffee funds")
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Old 27th August 2002, 02:34 PM   #6
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I use www.olimex.com, they are very cheap, but the quality is perfect!
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Old 27th August 2002, 03:26 PM   #7
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DieterD,

I've asked the same question in another thread before. From all the help and suggestions by fellow members I finished my PCB protected.

Jackini suggested "Liquid Tin" or "Tinnit" the product is called. It works wonders with my boards. In less than a minute they were tinned at room temperature and any surplus can return to the original container save for future use. No mess
But I learned that better to finish all your drilling and soldering prior to protect it with Silicone Laquor a couple of layers. But you need to have a very sharp probe when taking measurements on the PCB to get a good contact.

Hope this helps.
Chris
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Old 27th August 2002, 03:32 PM   #8
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Hello DieterD,

Why not try to put a tin layer of solder over all tracks ?
It is very easy, simple and cheap method, assumed for the smaller sized boards.


Best regards,
Kristijan Kljucarc
http://web.vip.hr/pcb-design.vip
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Old 27th August 2002, 03:50 PM   #9
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I remember there's a kind of solder-painting, sold in little glass bottles. I don't know the right name of it, but I saw it in my local dealer shop. You must apply it with the included little pencil.

You can also try to resolder the tracks, but I'm afraid the tracks will go off when heating them too much.

Best regards,

HB.

EDIT: I see chris_ma is talking about the same product.
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Old 27th August 2002, 04:11 PM   #10
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Default another solution for small PCB`s

Below You can see a tin brush for a Weller (Cooper Tools) soldering station.
It is mounted instead of the solder tip.
This works to some extend for smaller PCB`s but the tin does not get so evenly distributed and does not look as good as a professional tinned PCB.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tinbrush.jpg (29.3 KB, 364 views)
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