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'[EE]: Making PCBs... (was: Re: Re: [OT]: re'
2002\03\13@180846 by Pic Dude

This email is about making PCB's... no, really!  So the subject tag
has been changed.  Experiences, tips and questions within.  Long
email, so excuse the shorthand english, which in some circles may
be referred to as "nano-english". :-)

(1) Toner-transfer:  Good.  Need some practice, though.  Definitely for

(2) Datak incandescent-resist.  Having probs sourcing these.  Datak's web
site claims Austin dealers, but dealers say no more.  Other dealers only
have remnants left (no discounts), not sure which, and are dropping the
Datak line.  Still looking.

(3) So I splurged $32 for the MG UV lamp.  Also picked up one
photo-resist board and developer.  Result:  98.273% perfect.

(3a) First tricky part was lining up the transparency with the PCB.
It just kept slipping when I put the lexan over it.  (If it were the Datak
boards, I would've ruined it after taking so long to get it right.)  So I
thought of a good way to line these up.  Other than the "envelope"
technique a la Mike Harrison, a piece of scrap board in an "L"-shape
can be stuck to the inside of the envelope. The board to be etched
would then be slipped in the middle until it's corner nestles neatly in
the inside-corner of the "L".  Perhaps I should get royalties for
this idea?

(3b) Another thing I thought of was to get some mirrors and
expose both sides at the same time.  Why?  Cause even after
marking the board so I know how to align side 2 after etching
side 1, I lost it and had to think carefully and pray a lot.  Luckily
I got it right.  Anyone have a simple mirror setup you can
explain?  If not, I expect royalties for this idea too. :-)

(3c) Instructions: 5 mins min exposure.  Me: 1 side @  8 mins,
other @ 11 mins.  After developing, few fading traces on one side,
and the other has an light-blue shady region. Fading traces fixed
with etch-resist pen -- easy.  Other became a noticeable prob
after etching as there was unwanted copper in an area approx
1/4" dia.  I just scraped that off with a knife.

(3d) So this was successful, and nice, but I need practice.

(4)  Was looking at PCB services and thinking that I would like
to use them someday.  However, the ones I've found are steep.
Custom PCB's prices are not bad (DIY) service, but they are
not setup for this now (ran out of positive process chemicals).
Doh!  Plus the Malaysia thing is odd.  Express PCB is okay,
though I'd prefer to get less (eg: no holes) and pay less.
Advanced circuits is very expensive for 1 or 2 boards.

Any other recommendations?  My prefs would be 2 sides, no
soldermask or screen, and NO holes.  I would panelize/array
and scoring would be nice, but not necessary.  Thru-plating
doesn't apply w/no holes, and any board type/thickness is fine.
Again, biggest priority is a price that can me measured in
femto-dollars.  :-)


{Original Message removed}

2002\03\13@182955 by Cliff Griffin

Injectorall has some good info on their web site--they make photo-resist
boards. I talked to the guy on the
phone, and he suggested using a hole punch to put some holes in vacant
places on the board, and use scotch tape to secure it to the board. That
prevents it from slipping after you have it aligned.


{Original Message removed}

2002\03\13@185420 by Pic Dude

Cool, but ouch.  Just called them after seeing your email and the guy
was telling me that it would be expensive -- some few hundred dollars
just for tooling.  He'll get back to me with something more official though.

I thought about the scotchtape but wasn't sure if I should left the tape
touch side 1 while side 2 was being exposed.


{Original Message removed}

2002\03\13@185649 by kben

picon face
Hi Neil, check out
$26 for double sided & $8 for delivery (10 Days).
Best of all, Olimex has been given the PICLIST seal of approval
from an earlier thread. Also, Olimex is providing a free
board once a month for the PCB contest, so if you win every
month you never have to pay for a board !!!

>Any other recommendations?  My prefs would be 2 sides, no
>soldermask or screen, and NO holes.  I would panelize/array
>and scoring would be nice, but not necessary.  Thru-plating
>doesn't apply w/no holes, and any board type/thickness is fine.
>Again, biggest priority is a price that can me measured in
>femto-dollars.  :-)

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2002\03\13@190053 by Cliff Griffin

Wow, he must not want to sell much. I was going to order a starter kit from
him, just so I didn't have to run around town finding all the right stuff.
He talked me out of it. I ended up spending a couple hundred at Gateway
Electronics anyway! (but it wasn't ALL board related.) I just didn't want to
get in the middle of something and wish I had just one more thing.


{Original Message removed}

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