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PICList Thread
'[EE]: Heating FeCl3 etchant'
2004\09\25@073158 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
Hi,
 As a result of the recent thread on PCB etchant chemistry, I've gone ahead
and built up an etch tank. So far, I've got:
 1x 2-litre polypropylene cereal container (with lid)
 1x Plastic (foam?) air bubbler (unknown manufacturer, seem to be stocked by
    most of the Pets at Home stores in the UK; this one is green with green
    plastic fittings)
 1x Penn-Plax AirTech air pump
   This leaves me with one last thing to buy... the heater. What heaters are
you guys using in your etch tanks? I found a few "Visi-therm" and similar
thermostat-controlled heaters in a local pet shop (at a rather insane £26.99
for a 100W heater), but the temperature controls only go up to 32 Celsius on
most of them, well below the 35-55C recommendation in the etchant MSDS
("Optimum working temperature: 45(degrees)C in a temperature controlled
etching tank").
 Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks.
-- Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
spam_OUTphilpemTakeThisOuTspamphilpem.me.uk              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... I could be arguing in my spare time.
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2004\09\25@094606 by Dominic Stratten

picon face
This sounds similar to the heater I used to use before I bought a "proper"
etch tank (without the bubbles though).

I think mine was from a brewing kit. It raised the temperature up to about
37 degrees at full pelt which was just enough to make the difference. Have a
look here - http://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/item1238.htm

To be honest with you I got pretty decent results without having to heat the
etchant up too much.

Dom

{Original Message removed}

2004\09\25@112914 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <20040925134632.YFTI19539.mta07-svc.ntlworld.com@dom>
         "Dominic Stratten" <.....dominic.strattenKILLspamspam@spam@ntlworld.com> wrote:

> To be honest with you I got pretty decent results without having to heat the
> etchant up too much.

All the better then :)
I've just ordered a 50W aquarium heater off eBay for £14. It's a
"Combi-Heater" (or something like that), basically a 2mm-thick glass envelope
surrounding a nichrome heating element and a bimetallic-strip thermostat.
I've got some Araldite to fix the bubbler down too - fingers crossed...

Later.
-- Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
philpemspamKILLspamphilpem.me.uk              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... Does history record any case where a majority was right?
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2004\09\25@144049 by Peter Johansson

flavicon
face
Philip Pemberton writes:

>   This leaves me with one last thing to buy... the heater. What heaters are
> you guys using in your etch tanks? I found a few "Visi-therm" and similar
> thermostat-controlled heaters in a local pet shop (at a rather insane £26.99
> for a 100W heater), but the temperature controls only go up to 32 Celsius on
> most of them, well below the 35-55C recommendation in the etchant MSDS
> ("Optimum working temperature: 45(degrees)C in a temperature controlled
> etching tank").

The Visi-therm brand is known for good quality and accurite
regulation, but that does come at a price!

>   Does anyone have any suggestions?
The el-cheapo units often have a much broader temperature range, you
might find one that will actually regulate up to 45 degrees.  The
cheaper ones are also not sealed, allowing for the removal of the
thermostat.  In that case, use a PIC and a thermocouple to regulate
the temperature.

-p.
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2004\09\25@163247 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <.....20040925184046.GB4233KILLspamspam.....elemental.org>
         Peter Johansson <EraseMEpeterspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTelemental.org> wrote:

> The Visi-therm brand is known for good quality and accurite
> regulation, but that does come at a price!

So I've noticed. I did see something that looked like a 50W Visitherm for
£12.99. Of course, it was the last one in the shop, a discontinued model..
and it was broken. Bah.
I've got one on order from an ebay auction - item number 4324979790. It
appears to be a "Combi-Heater" (assuming I've read the text off the photo
correctly)

> The el-cheapo units often have a much broader temperature range, you
> might find one that will actually regulate up to 45 degrees.  The
> cheaper ones are also not sealed, allowing for the removal of the
> thermostat.  In that case, use a PIC and a thermocouple to regulate
> the temperature.

Hmm. ZC triac, PIC, thermocouple and a failsafe. I'd try it on a lightbulb
first, though - 30p lightbulb vs. £15 heater :)

Later.
-- Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
philpemspamspam_OUTphilpem.me.uk              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... Our necessities are few but our wants are endless...
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