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'[EE] Need critique of my SMD PIC18F4550 PCB - Fini'
2011\01\30@022809 by Bob Blick

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Changed tag to EE
On Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:28:36 -0500, "MCH" said:
> I would like to hear more about the details of making boards this way. A
> webpage reference/tutorial would be fine, too, but I would still
> appreciate any real list member experience.

The results are very sensitive to the amount of finesse you put into the
process. And luck has something to do with it. Some days I can get
decent boards, some days I can't. Lately I have been using the slippery
paper from the backs of labels. You need to tape a piece of it bigger
than your board to a piece of regular paper so it will go through the
laser printer. Use a label to tape the leading edge. Take a little of
the shine off the paper first with a tissue or paper towel.

Traces .010" and below, expect to have to repair here and there. Bigger
stuff is usually OK. Boards bigger than 4 inches in any direction will
have some fuzziness or bad etch resistance because of the dimensional
change in the paper when you iron it on the PC board. Peel the paper off
while it's still hot.

I just did a board tonight 4 inches by 1.5 inches that has a .025" pitch
QSOP on it and it turned out really nice. But it was aligned in the
right direction. A SOIC package chip that was at 90 degrees to it has
some roughness.

If you put a border all the way around the edge of your layout it not
only helps you align it on the board but also keeps the traces near the
edges from getting extra pressure from the iron.

Preheat the board before ironing.

As I said, technique has a lot to do with it.

I don't try double sided boards or anything too complicated.

I've used NEC and various HP laser printers. I've never found one that
didn't work. Right now I am using the worst laser printer ever made, the
HP LJ 6L. Worse than the 5L? Yes, they didn't learn from the 5L!

Friendly regards,

Bob



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