Quest for the perfect printed circuit board...

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by W4INF, Oct 17, 2008.

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  1. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went back and saw this, so I wanted to update that last post.

    Since I have changed out the drum unit the results I am getting now is JUST STUNNING! A combination of the laminator, new drum and lots of experimenting and Im more than satisfied with the results.

  2. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    2 part question for you gurus-

    I am using FR4.

    1) What is FR4, FR2/3 and I think it is CAR or CAT?

    2) Where do YOU get your copper clad board? Always looking for a cheap price!

  3. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm with you on this Andrew - always looking for a good source of "cheap" copper clad board - both double sided and single sided.

    I just happened to find some cheap at a hamfest a couple yrs ago and bought several sheets - from 4X6 inches to 8X10 inches. Still using from that, but it does go pretty fast.

    I'll be looking for ideas on "cheap" sources also.

    73 de Ken H.
  4. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I paid over $45 for a batch off a guy off ebay, but have yet to materialize.

    Sad thing is, I think he got kilt by a bus.

    This is the second transaction with the same seller, the first one went smooth as Exlax, this time Ive not even heard from him.

    Ill give it at least 30 daze before I file with PayPal.

    The first batch of boards I got were really nice, what a shame.

  5. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Update: I just finished 2 new boards, 2 different designs and everything is working 100% FB! Perfect transfers, perfect etching, now if the designer was just perfect! HA HA! Ill have some pix of that soon... been busy.

  6. w0bev

    w0bev Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tnx for your efforts

    Andrew, just read all 13+ pages so far about your efforts for making pcb. Learned a lot tonight, and it has been years since I made pcb's myself. I will want to try the technique's you have perfected. I have done photo etch, sharpie and actual tape methods (using pads and line tape to make one off boards). I have a hankering to build a simple two-tube audio amp (12AX7) this fall. I might just try to build the circuit board for the design using the same techniques here. Also, I will look at using your version of etchant as well. Might have a bottle of acid in the garage. Looking forward to updates!:D

  7. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the update Andrew, this has been interesting to follow.
  8. KD0FML

    KD0FML Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    As of right now, I am getting 99% success rate with my methods and equipment. As soon as I get over this nasty sinus infection that has since settled into my chest, Ill get the energy to do a full writeup. Video too.

    I am very pleased with how everything is working out. Now, if I could just learn more electronics so my PCBs would be laid out _correctly_, Id be making some real headway!!!

  10. N0NS

    N0NS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very nice looking board indeed.

    Just curious, how much do you think it cost you to make that board?

    Or put another way, if you were to send that board out to be made, I would guess it would cost you $35.00 or so. It looks to me like you would have come in under the $35 number for the same if not better quality.

    Joe N0NS
  11. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Joe, I havent figured it out to the dime yet, but since you brought it up, lets take a look at the numbers.

    I got 45 boards at 3" X 4" for $35, thats about $.80 for one board.
    The Hydrogen Peroxide is $1.50 for a BIG bottle, I only use a "splash" to etch.
    I forget how much the Hydrochloric Acid is, I think it was $6 for a bottle.
    The magazine I print on for toner transfer, was free.
    The cost of the toner should be calculated, Id guess $.10 a print.
    The Acetone is used to remove the toner after it is etched.
    I already bought the drill bits. I wont calculate that.
    The software (Pad2Pad) was free.
    The laminator was $80 but Ill chalk that up to start up cost.

    So that should be:

    Board: $.80
    Hydrogen Peroxide: $.10
    Muriatic Acid: $.25
    Toner: $.10
    Acetone: $.10

    Total: $1.35 per board

    From print to board ready to solder, about 10-12 minutes. That includes drilling. And its fun.

  12. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow Brian, slow night at the Hosendia? HA HA! Thanks for the interest.

    As soon as I really have some free time, I need to put together a full and detailed posting on the full process with full detail.

    Thanks for looking-
  13. WD4HXG

    WD4HXG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Andrew

    Do you dilute the Muriatic acid and if so what is the ratio?

    What concentration Hydrogen Peroxide do you use?


  14. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Please dont take this wrong, but I want to point out, I spent a lot of time and energy in this thread. All the information you need is in the 13 pages of this, plus some information you dont need! HA HA!

    To just give you the information would be too easy, so I will respectfully ask you to go back and read up, plus some questions that may arise will also be answered as you read.

    Its a good read, and I promise its not a waste of time! I also promise, if you follow my method, you too can make your own 99% perfect PCBs!!

    Thanks for posting & 73s-
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