Making PCBs

By: Laen

2008-10-16 09:58:18

I'm on a quest to make some PCBs. I was going to wait for PortlandBeaverton TechShop to open, but it's clear now that that's going to be a ways away. I need boards to etch: * Copper Clad Boards ("FR4", says drtwist) (1.6 mm thick (35um copper), says the riccibitti link below) * Surplus Gizmos has tons of scrap copper clad. It's also available very cheaply on ebay. I ended up ordering 50 sheets of 1/2oz copper clad FR-4, 0.060 thick, 6"x11" from "abcfab" on eBay. Special paper for transfering my design onto the boards (not strictly necessary, but may provide higher quality transfers) * Toner Transfer Paper (Digikey 182-1003-ND) * Green TRF (182-1021-ND) - improves quality of etching by binding to the toner. I ended up using magazine paper. It works really well, and is practically free, unlike toner transfer paper which is about $1 a sheet. I haven't found the green TRF to be necessary. Chemicals to etch with: * Chemicals (Ferric Chloride or Ammonium Persulphate, says drtwist) ** ** * I'll be getting some Sodium Persulfate from Travis. I ended up using the muriatic acid + hydrogen peroxide version. (!--A-better-etc/) Chemical resistant gloves. Latex? Rubber dish gloves? * Rubber dish gloves with the "water catcher" fold on the end. I bought a box of Nitrile gloves. Tinner? Flux? * "liquid tin" from MG Chemicals is available from Norvac (from drtwist) * Tinner probably isn't necessary with liquid flux. Liquid tin makes the boards pretty and keeps the copper from oxidizing, which it _will_ do. A drill press to drill holes (or I could just go 100% SMD) * Dremel tool (already have it) * Dremel Rotary Tool Work Station (order from Amazon) * Drill bits. Either micro-carbide (brittle, but works great with a dremel and FR-4 board), or steel (heats up and distorts. Can rip up traces on the board.) Harbor Freight in Portland seems to be a good place to get them. Snips to cut the board with. FR4 dust is carcinogenic, so you want to make as little of it as possible. An iron or laminator. I bought and modified a GBC-H212 laminator. The Method: *
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