Topics

MAKING YOUR OWN PC BOARDS


Bry Carling <af4k@...>
 

This sounds great! Thanks for the shopping list.


Can you tell us where to find a description by Chuck of how to make the boards?


I would love to start using his method!


Bry, AF4K / WN4NRR



From: 4sqrp@... <4sqrp@...> on behalf of Doug Hendricks ki6ds1@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 12:10 AM
To: 4sqrp@...; Walter - K5EST
Subject: Re: [4sqrp] Re: OzarkCon Alert: Special Prize Package after the 60 Minute Circuit Board presentation
 
 

Gee, I didn't spend nearly that much for my supplies to build boards.  I think Nick uses the Chuck Adams, K7QO method that is on his web site.  I am a huge fan of that method, and have made over 100 boards without a single failure.  After trying for over 20 years and failing every single time, I was amazed at how easy it is once you use Chuck's method.  Here is what I spent:

Laminator $25 Ebay
Samsung 2020 Laser Printer, $49 Fry's
Pyrex dish, $5 dollar store
Digital Thermometer, $8 Harbor Freight
Plastic clamp $1 for 6, Harbor Freight
3% Hydrogen Peroxide, $1.89 for 32 ounces, Lucky's Grocery Store
Muriatic Acid, $5 gallon, Home Depot
Steel Wool, $2 Home Depot
3m scouring pad, $2 Orchard Supply
pcb, ebay $7

Adds up to $105.89.

Guess you guys must be including the computer, lol.  I recommend that you attend Nick's session, you will learn a lot.  The best thing is that you will then be able to build any circuit you want to.  It is like unlocking the world.  72, Doug

On Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 4:37 PM, Walter - K5EST walter.k5est@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...> wrote:
 

Amazing prize drawing! Thanks, Ed.
73....Walter - K5EST



Jim, N5IB
 

Chuck has a nice video series on You Tube
the first part is at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6AmT1trO60

The presentation Nick and I will give at OzarkCon is about pretty much the same process. We just use the commercially sold transfer paper instead. I've found it is a bit faster and gave more consistent results and really isn't that costly. A $15 pack is enough to do several dozens of boards. I've been working on the same pack for three years now.

We'll also be talking about how to take the next step to using commercial board fab services. These are getting very reasonable now days. And since you generally get several boards at a time, its a great way to share projects.

Doug is right, if you latch on to some bargains, especially for the laminator and printer (or maybe you have the printer already) the rest of the stuff is little more than the cost of a pizza delivery. And you literally can go from a (simple) circuit idea to a finished board in an hour. Guys even profess success with a common household iron, but I've not been so lucky  :^))  

Jim, N5IB

---In 4sqrp@..., <af4k@...> wrote :

This sounds great! Thanks for the shopping list.

Can you tell us where to find a description by Chuck of how to make the boards?

I would love to start using his method!

Bry, AF4K / WN4NRR


 


Bry Carling <af4k@...>
 

Thanks - sounds great. Where do you find the commercially sold transfer paper? Does it have a particular brand / name or description?


I wish I could be there but will try these techniques.


Bry AF4K




From: 4sqrp@... <4sqrp@...> on behalf of n5ib@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 8:17 AM
To: 4sqrp@...
Subject: [4sqrp] Re: MAKING YOUR OWN PC BOARDS
 
 

Chuck has a nice video series on You Tube

the first part is at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6AmT1trO60
www.youtube.com
Introduction showing some circuit construction using different techniques using printed circuit boards.


The presentation Nick and I will give at OzarkCon is about pretty much the same process. We just use the commercially sold transfer paper instead. I've found it is a bit faster and gave more consistent results and really isn't that costly. A $15 pack is enough to do several dozens of boards. I've been working on the same pack for three years now.

We'll also be talking about how to take the next step to using commercial board fab services. These are getting very reasonable now days. And since you generally get several boards at a time, its a great way to share projects.

Doug is right, if you latch on to some bargains, especially for the laminator and printer (or maybe you have the printer already) the rest of the stuff is little more than the cost of a pizza delivery. And you literally can go from a (simple) circuit idea to a finished board in an hour. Guys even profess success with a common household iron, but I've not been so lucky  :^))  

Jim, N5IB

---In 4sqrp@..., <af4k@...> wrote :

This sounds great! Thanks for the shopping list.

Can you tell us where to find a description by Chuck of how to make the boards?

I would love to start using his method!

Bry, AF4K / WN4NRR


 


Jay <aj4ay@...>
 

Jim,

 

Will your presentation be available in some form for those of us that can’t make it to OzarkCon?  I would really like to see it.

 

Regards,

Jay

AJ4AY

Mobile, AL

 

From: 4sqrp@... [mailto:4sqrp@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:17 AM
To: 4sqrp@...
Subject: [4sqrp] Re: MAKING YOUR OWN PC BOARDS

 

 

Chuck has a nice video series on You Tube

the first part is at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6AmT1trO60

The presentation Nick and I will give at OzarkCon is about pretty much the same process. We just use the commercially sold transfer paper instead. I've found it is a bit faster and gave more consistent results and really isn't that costly. A $15 pack is enough to do several dozens of boards. I've been working on the same pack for three years now.

We'll also be talking about how to take the next step to using commercial board fab services. These are getting very reasonable now days. And since you generally get several boards at a time, its a great way to share projects.

Doug is right, if you latch on to some bargains, especially for the laminator and printer (or maybe you have the printer already) the rest of the stuff is little more than the cost of a pizza delivery. And you literally can go from a (simple) circuit idea to a finished board in an hour. Guys even profess success with a common household iron, but I've not been so lucky  :^))  

Jim, N5IB

---In 4sqrp@..., <af4k@...> wrote :

This sounds great! Thanks for the shopping list.

Can you tell us where to find a description by Chuck of how to make the boards?

I would love to start using his method!

Bry, AF4K / WN4NRR

 

 


John Lonigro
 

Bry:

I'm not sure if this is the same brand Jim uses, but I've had good luck with Pulsar Technologies.  Go to PCBFX.com for all the details.  A sheet of transfer paper isn't real cheap, but they explain how to make a lot of PCBs using just one sheet, as long as your PCBs aren't 8"x10".  I switched to this method and their supplies and haven't found anything better, unless I spend the money to have the PCB's professionally made.

BTW, Mouser and other suppliers handle the same product, in case you need to combine the order with electronic components.

72,

John, AA0VE


On 02/22/2017 09:44 AM, Bry Carling af4k@... [4sqrp] wrote:
 

Thanks - sounds great. Where do you find the commercially sold transfer paper? Does it have a particular brand / name or description?


I wish I could be there but will try these techniques.


Bry AF4K




From: 4sqrp@... <4sqrp@...> on behalf of n5ib@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 8:17 AM
To: 4sqrp@...
Subject: [4sqrp] Re: MAKING YOUR OWN PC BOARDS
 
 

Chuck has a nice video series on You Tube

the first part is at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6AmT1trO60
Introduction showing some circuit construction using different techniques using printed circuit boards.


The presentation Nick and I will give at OzarkCon is about pretty much the same process. We just use the commercially sold transfer paper instead. I've found it is a bit faster and gave more consistent results and really isn't that costly. A $15 pack is enough to do several dozens of boards. I've been working on the same pack for three years now.

We'll also be talking about how to take the next step to using commercial board fab services. These are getting very reasonable now days. And since you generally get several boards at a time, its a great way to share projects.

Doug is right, if you latch on to some bargains, especially for the laminator and printer (or maybe you have the printer already) the rest of the stuff is little more than the cost of a pizza delivery. And you literally can go from a (simple) circuit idea to a finished board in an hour. Guys even profess success with a common household iron, but I've not been so lucky  :^))  

Jim, N5IB

---In 4sqrp@..., wrote :

This sounds great! Thanks for the shopping list.

Can you tell us where to find a description by Chuck of how to make the boards?

I would love to start using his method!

Bry, AF4K / WN4NRR


 


ki6ds13@...
 

Jim, I use the paper Chuck specifies, and it is $17 for 250 sheets. Tony Fishpool uses paper that he gets from advertising in the mail printed on slick paper. I think your covering how to do commercial boards is a fantastic next step. Good show. Bryan, I referenced Chuck's website in my previous post.


Jim, N5IB
 

I've tried out Chucks's suggested paper, and a couple of other re-purposed alternatives. they certainly work, but it took a while to soak off, and I always had trouble cleaning off the paper residue that remains stuck. For a while even I tried working with the "Press'N Peel Blue" plastic transfer film (more costly, but at the time it was on the boss's nickel). But I was convinced on the spot the first time I used the Pulsar paper stuff and saw it just float off the board in about a minute, leaving nothing but toner and clean copper behind - ready to pop directly into the etch bath.

The raw deposited  toner has some porosity and pitting can be seen under magnification. Not nearly enough to be damaging unless traces are really thin. Recently I've started using the"Toner Reactive Foil" product as well and find a much cleaner surface to the un-etched copper and ability to get consistent traces down under 10 mils.  The foil pretty much eliminates the pitting.

Now, for DIY, I just about never use traces smaller than 15 mils, but some of the text legends and such that I'll etch for ID will have lines of 6 or 8 mils, and they usually come out clean.

If you were going to do a "mini mass production" of maybe a few dozen boards (I did that once for a club kit - never again, the drilling was a drudge - hi), a more economical alternative paper is not a bad idea.  But nowadays my DIY boards are just about always one-off, Then if it turns out to be a useful project that others might have interest in, off it goes to a fab house. Nick and I will talk about the "gotchas" for that process. There aren't many, but they are important..... ask me how I know   :^))

If you like Pittsburg style, or SMT, where drilling can be mostly avoided, the DIY route is really attractive, even for modest quantities.

Jim, N5IB


radiocaledon@...
 

I think I'm on the same path.  I've been trying to re-create boards using Chuck Adams methods, but with varying degrees of success.  Learning curve on using the software was huge, but I got past it.  Latest attempt was a lot of closely spaced traces but after 3-4 tries I was suffering quality issues in the transfer.    My little paper laminator just doesn't get hot enough, I think I need a badge laminator.  I tried the household iron, but was getting inconsistent results, partial transfers or distortion because of too much heat.

With a bit more research, I found someone using a hobby iron.  So have one of those on order ($27) to see if it gives me any better control over the transfer and heat.

Here's an interesting link I found which got me thinking about all the variables in the transfer.  Hope it is of some help.  Not sure I'd use his iron and rolling pin method, but how he chose to analyze the variables of heat/pressure etc helped me understand what I was trying to accomplish.


Good Luck
Hendrik - VA3HA


WA0ITP
 

Sounds like an informative and timely presentation, even for us ol dudes who
have been making our boards forever (seems like).  I'm looking forward to learning about new processes and materials. I've had pretty good luck using ink ink jet photo paper and an iron on the kitchen counter.  But this foil thing has me very interested.

Many thanks to Jim and Nick for presenting on this interesting subject.
72 WAØITP
I love this radio stuff.
www.wa0itp.com
www.4sqrp.com
On 2/22/2017 12:57 PM, n5ib@... [4sqrp] wrote:

 

I've tried out Chucks's suggested paper, and a couple of other re-purposed alternatives. they certainly work, but it took a while to soak off, and I always had trouble cleaning off the paper residue that remains stuck. For a while even I tried working with the "Press'N Peel Blue" plastic transfer film (more costly, but at the time it was on the boss's nickel). But I was convinced on the spot the first time I used the Pulsar paper stuff and saw it just float off the board in about a minute, leaving nothing but toner and clean copper behind - ready to pop directly into the etch bath.

The raw deposited  toner has some porosity and pitting can be seen under magnification. Not nearly enough to be damaging unless traces are really thin. Recently I've started using the"Toner Reactive Foil" product as well and find a much cleaner surface to the un-etched copper and ability to get consistent traces down under 10 mils.  The foil pretty much eliminates the pitting.

Now, for DIY, I just about never use traces smaller than 15 mils, but some of the text legends and such that I'll etch for ID will have lines of 6 or 8 mils, and they usually come out clean.

If you were going to do a "mini mass production" of maybe a few dozen boards (I did that once for a club kit - never again, the drilling was a drudge - hi), a more economical alternative paper is not a bad idea.  But nowadays my DIY boards are just about always one-off, Then if it turns out to be a useful project that others might have interest in, off it goes to a fab house. Nick and I will talk about the "gotchas" for that process. There aren't many, but they are important..... ask me how I know   :^))

If you like Pittsburg style, or SMT, where drilling can be mostly avoided, the DIY route is really attractive, even for modest quantities.

Jim, N5IB



Jim, N5IB
 


Forgot to mention something in the previous post...

Some folks are put off by the cost of the hot laminator we've been mentioning.

Like Doug pointed out, there are some bargain deals to be found, though they seem to be not as plentiful these days. And don't discount an iron and some elbow grease.

But I found my laminator to be well worth the dollars. It may nigh have paid for itself (compared to having Office Depot do it) laminating insurance cards, med lists, photos, membership cards, even the odd souvenir fall leaf collected on leaf peeping trips.

It also does a dandy job of making a panel overlay for radio projects. I found it was possible to make a full color panel layout on a laser printer, then put it down of a piece of copper clad PCB material, cover it with just one side of a laminating pouch, and run it through. The films sticks to the face of the paper nicely, but you can easilly peel it away from the copper and be left with a very flat, but well protected panel overlay. Trim and cut/drill/punch holes as needed. It lies flatter on the panel surface than if it were laminated on both sides.

Nick and I will try to work a demo of that also into out talk.

Jim, N5IB




davemrtn
 

Jim,

    You mentioned minimum trace width.

    Playing around making a smt board for an oscilator I made this board with 0.016" (16mil) traces, and fortunately the even narrower spaces between (near the chips) did etch out ok.

The worst thing was dealing with solder bridges, so use of solder wick was required from time to time.




David Martin - NA1MH - Mountain Home, Ar. -----------------------------------------

On 2/22/2017 12:57, n5ib@... [4sqrp] wrote:
 

I've tried out Chucks's suggested paper, and a couple of other re-purposed alternatives. they certainly work, but it took a while to soak off, and I always had trouble cleaning off the paper residue that remains stuck. For a while even I tried working with the "Press'N Peel Blue" plastic transfer film (more costly, but at the time it was on the boss's nickel). But I was convinced on the spot the first time I used the Pulsar paper stuff and saw it just float off the board in about a minute, leaving nothing but toner and clean copper behind - ready to pop directly into the etch bath.

The raw deposited  toner has some porosity and pitting can be seen under magnification. Not nearly enough to be damaging unless traces are really thin. Recently I've started using the"Toner Reactive Foil" product as well and find a much cleaner surface to the un-etched copper and ability to get consistent traces down under 10 mils.  The foil pretty much eliminates the pitting.

Now, for DIY, I just about never use traces smaller than 15 mils, but some of the text legends and such that I'll etch for ID will have lines of 6 or 8 mils, and they usually come out clean.

If you were going to do a "mini mass production" of maybe a few dozen boards (I did that once for a club kit - never again, the drilling was a drudge - hi), a more economical alternative paper is not a bad idea.  But nowadays my DIY boards are just about always one-off, Then if it turns out to be a useful project that others might have interest in, off it goes to a fab house. Nick and I will talk about the "gotchas" for that process. There aren't many, but they are important..... ask me how I know   :^))

If you like Pittsburg style, or SMT, where drilling can be mostly avoided, the DIY route is really attractive, even for modest quantities.

Jim, N5IB