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'[EE] home pcb making with HCL + H2O2'
2005\06\02@081407 by Tobias Wieler

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Hi,

I just followed the discussion about pcb making using heating, air bubbling and all the associated mess. Everybody claims his method is the best - so I will do too.

I quite often need small size pcb - sometimes just 15 x 25 mm and hardly ever larger than 100 x 100 mm. My favourite method is:

- doing the schematics and board layout on the PC with 'Target' software (easy to use - great value for the little money it costs - my opinion)
- printing the layout reflected with my 'not fancy at all' HL-1430 laser printer on cheap 90g/m² translucent paper (local paper shop)
- using a small picture frame (10x15cm) and tunnel type fingernail polish curing lamp (4x9Watt, ebay) to transfer to photoresist coated pcb. (2 minute exposure)
- developing with NaOH-free (superb results!!) developer in typically less than 15 seconds.
- etching with mixture of about 45% water, 45% concentrated HCL (33%) and 10% H202 (30%).  Very small amount of liquid needed. Etching time usually less than 1 minute - no heating but ventilation most strongly recommended.
- clean off the photoresist with alcohol or expose again with UV-light and put back in developer solution.
- if the board needs to look nice and stay shiny I use chemical tin plating - just dip and wait few minutes.
- DONE!

I like the process because it is cheap, quick & efficient.

I just did two very small pcb's today and I put a picture on http://www.wieler.de/piclist/homebrew.jpg to see the result. Traces of 0,4mm are no problem and I rarely have boards with defects.

As mentioned above, the amount of chemicals is very little. Today I needed:

1ml developer concentrate + 14ml water  (half of that would have done as well)
3ml HCL + 3ml water + 1 ml H2O2 = 7ml of etching fluid

There is no need to heat anything up and my boards were etched in less than one minute.

Just be aware that the concentrated HCL and H2O2 is 'dangerous stuff' and kept in a safe place - and don't forget good ventilation while working with the stuff.

Tobias

2005\06\02@092453 by Russell McMahon

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> - etching with mixture of about 45% water, 45% concentrated HCL
> (33%) and 10% H202 (30%).  Very small amount of liquid needed.
> Etching time usually less than 1 minute - no heating but ventilation
> most strongly recommended.

This is great fun to use ****BUT**** very very very nasty on your
lungs. Said to be highly carcinogenic by some and, even if it's not, a
whiff will tell you that it's not going to encourage your lungs to
last longer. First rate ventilation absolutely mandatory. Failing that
do it outside downwind of anything currently living. By far the best
etchant I've seen, and one of the nastiest.


       RM

2005\06\02@093801 by rosoftwarecontrol

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I was tried H2NO3, pure 99.999%.....
with big, green/yellow smoke,
pcb will be ready within one minute.
too much fighting.

where to buy HCl and H2O2, in Canada?
FeCl3 is too expensive.

FeCl3 release Cl2, the most deadly and
notorious cancer generator.

So, never think about home pcb in big size
and more than 20 pieces.




{Original Message removed}

2005\06\02@094226 by rosoftwarecontrol

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hi,

I have one bottle negative photo-resistant praying
liquid, call ER-71. It has been say, cheaper. Spraying it on
clean copper clad board, after dry, I get photo-senstive
pcb in negative. I don't have exposure equipement
and never tried.

It should be better and more convenient
material for you.





{Original Message removed}

2005\06\02@095113 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell McMahon" <spam_OUTapptechTakeThisOuTspamparadise.net.nz>
Subject: Re: [EE] home pcb making with HCL + H2O2


> This is great fun to use ****BUT**** very very very nasty on your
> lungs. Said to be highly carcinogenic by some and, even if it's not, a

Only by Greenpeace.

HCl is VERY NASTY,  but that doesn't make it carcinogenic.  There is no
evidence that HCl or compounds like it are carcinogenic.  When Greenpeace
was on their ban chlorine crusade, they tried to portray all chlorine
compounds as carcinogenic.  They got off that kick when someone pointed out
that eliminating chlorine would require eliminating virtually all living
things on this planet.

HCl, however, is VERY NASTY.  Fortunately, it has "good warning properties".
What that means is that it hurts like hell, so it's hard to cause yourself
serious damage unless you get it in your eyes.  Yes, a good lungfull would
be bad, but unless you have a huge amount of it in the air, the pain of
breathing it in will prevent you from getting very much exposure.

--McD

2005\06\02@102420 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> When Greenpeace
> was on their ban chlorine crusade, they tried to portray all chlorine
> compounds as carcinogenic.

Which is 99% true (only) when you limit your scope to *organic* chlorine
compounds. But in this respect GP - alas - tends to operate like your
average political party: "this argument sounds good, let's use it". (No
intent to attach any political party in particular. And I guess almost
no-one in the wider world would be interested in the details of the
Dutch political spectrum anayway :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\02@102542 by Tobias Wieler

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I think the reputation of of the method is by far worse than the actual
risks. Many people make the mistake mixing by far too much of the stuff
at a time causing the need to store the used acid for next time.
Since the H2O2 will still keep producing gas the mixture cannot be
stored in a sealed bottle.

Just for my small job today I used 3 milliliters of the acid - so the
worst fume emission was getting the small amount out of the 1 liter
storage bottle. On all official warning sheets HCL is toxic and
corrosive - fully admitted - but I don't believe the rumor of HCL to be
carcinogenic. If chlorine was so bad, it would not be used for swimming
pool desinfection.

The smell I produced years ago when I had to heat up 1 liter or more of
acid in my etching-machine every time even for little jobs was by far
worse - at least what I remember.

Tobias

> This is great fun to use ****BUT**** very very very nasty on your
> lungs. Said to be highly carcinogenic by some and, even if it's not, a
> whiff will tell you that it's not going to encourage your lungs to
> last longer. First rate ventilation absolutely mandatory. Failing that
> do it outside downwind of anything currently living. By far the best
> etchant I've seen, and one of the nastiest.  

2005\06\02@103344 by Tobias Wieler

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I tried that for a while too - but i went back to buy pre-coated
material. The copper needs to be cleaned very well to get a good coating
and that is quite a bit of work.
The smell of the spray is quite strong and I am not so sure if it is
even worse healthwise than the rest of the procedure. Finally if you do
the spraying at home it is likely
to have some dust  fall onto the wet photoresist - and that may quite
likely cause you a little defect on the pcb.

The main factor for me is not really the cost but the speed to get the
whole process done. With the pre-coated material I just cut the size I
need by routing with a small CNC-Desktop machine which can do the
drilling from Excellon file as well. After drilling and routing I just
need to peel off the protection film and ready to go....

{Quote hidden}

2005\06\02@112647 by Alan B. Pearce

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>HCl is VERY NASTY,  but that doesn't make it carcinogenic.
>There is no evidence that HCl or compounds like it are
>carcinogenic.  When Greenpeace was on their ban chlorine
>crusade, they tried to portray all chlorine compounds as
>carcinogenic.  They got off that kick when someone pointed
>out that eliminating chlorine would require eliminating
>virtually all living things on this planet.

One ponders what they were going to do with all that seawater that their
"Rainbow Warrior" boats float on.

2005\06\02@122416 by phil B

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Well, heating any HCl solution isn't a terribly good
idea as the boiling point of HCl is reasonably low.
You'll get more HCl evaporation which will attack
metals.  I've used this method (actually it is the
precursor to CuCl based etching) and frankly don't
like it.  Its pretty quirky, produces gas and exhausts
quickly.  I have switched back to Ammonium
Persulphate.  More expensive but not nearly as nasty.


Lets be clear, all etching produces copper salts which
are environmentally bad.  I'd not worry about the
chlorine (other than inhalation...) as much.

--- Tobias Wieler <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@wieler.de> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2005\06\02@124159 by Alan B. Pearce

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>And I guess almost no-one in the wider world would
>be interested in the details of the Dutch political
>spectrum anayway :)

Apart from the way a "Nee" has dropped the Euro a Eurocent against the GBP?

2005\06\02@140753 by Peter

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On Thu, 2 Jun 2005, Tobias Wieler wrote:

> but I don't believe the rumor of HCL to be carcinogenic. If chlorine was so
> bad, it would not be used for swimming pool desinfection.

Let alone digestion in your stomach.

Peter

2005\06\02@151401 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> >And I guess almost no-one in the wider world would
> >be interested in the details of the Dutch political
> >spectrum anayway :)
>
> Apart from the way a "Nee" has dropped the Euro a Eurocent
> against the GBP?

That "way" (the way exchange rates are determined) has of course nothing
to do with my country. The fact that the majority voted "no" has - to
some extent: the vast majority of the political parties was in favour.
We are living in interesting times (old chinese curse).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\02@151723 by Debbie

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--- microsoftwarecontrol <microsoftwarecontrolspamKILLspamyahoo.ca> wrote:

> I was tried H2NO3, pure 99.999%.....
> with big, green/yellow smoke,

HNO3 on Cu???
Uh, the green/yellow .. brown(?) "smoke" will be nitrogen dioxide. This is
seriously deadly stuff small amounts of which can cause death by pulmonary
oedema hours after exposure. :(

> FeCl3 release Cl2, the most deadly and
> notorious cancer generator.

No way ... HCl fumes, maybe. Organochlorines may have a Q. mark but elemental
Cl2 is not carcinogenic to my knowledge. Cl2 used to be used as a war gas,
though, so ... take care.:|

> > > - etching with mixture of about 45% water, 45% concentrated HCL
> > > (33%) and 10% H202 (30%

Have to look it up but I seem to recall conc H2O2 is an explosion hazred in
presence of organic chemicals ... eg oils. Maybe someone should set up an In
Memoriam page ... for PICers deceased in the course of experiments? :))
Debbie.


Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

2005\06\02@163715 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 09:14 PM 6/2/2005 +0200, you wrote:

>We are living in interesting times (old chinese curse).
>Wouter van Ooijen

This is OT, but I'll leave the subject line for now:

The Chinese are puzzled by having this "curse" attributed to them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/hub/A807374
http://hawk.fab2.albany.edu/sidebar/sidebar.htm

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam.....interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2005\06\03@074404 by use.reply-to.address

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you'll get HCL 30% (muriatic acid , in the paint departement of your
favorite hardware store) in 2 liter bottles for roughly 3$CAD
and 1 liter of 30% H202 (hydrogen peroxide , hair bleach at the
drugstore (not the medical peroxide that one is just 2-3%)) it cost
about 1$CAD

microsoftwarecontrol wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\06\03@123745 by Peter

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On Thu, 2 Jun 2005, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Which is another way of saying, that the parties are not representing
the population's views ?

Peter

2005\06\03@143115 by Josh Koffman

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Not EE anymore guys. Please change the subject tag.

Josh Koffman
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams


On 6/3/05, Peter <EraseMEplpspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTactcom.co.il> wrote:
> Which is another way of saying, that the parties are not representing
> the population's views ?

2005\06\06@093919 by Tom Smith

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Tobias,

What developer do you use? A web search on 'NaOH-free' turned up nothing
useful.

Have you ever experimented with ammonium persulfate for the etching step?

The chemical tin sounds like a reasonable alternative to silver plate. I'm
aware of Cool-Amp (http://www.cool-amp.com) silver-plating powder but it's
rather costly.

Cheers

-----Original Message-----
From: piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu [@spam@piclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu]On Behalf Of
Tobias Wieler
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 8:14 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: [EE] home pcb making with HCL + H2O2

<snip>
- developing with NaOH-free (superb results!!) developer in typically
less than 15 seconds.
<snip>
- if the board needs to look nice and stay shiny I use chemical tin
plating - just dip and wait few minutes.
<snip>

Tobias



2005\06\06@113032 by Tobias Wieler

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> What developer do you use? A web search on 'NaOH-free' turned up nothing useful.

I use a developer from German company 'Kepets GmbH' and the Product name is 'SENO 4006'. It is a liquid which needs to be diluted with 14 parts of water for 1 part of concentrate. I usually just mix enough so that the pcb just gets covered with liquid since the mixed solution reacts with CO² in the air and is not really good to keep for long times.
The difference to the 'normal' NaOH I had used for years is truely amazing. The picture usually is developed after 10-20 seconds - but even if you leave the board in the solution for two more minutes the picture still stands clear and crisp. With NaOH it always was difficult removing the board at the right time and even a few seconds difference would ruin my boards.
The simple laser print on transparent paper does not really have a great contrast ratio but with this developer I always get perfect results on the first shot. The concentrate sells here at about 10¤ for one liter - I have done a lot of pcbs already and probably have left still more than 0,85 liters....

> Have you ever experimented with ammonium persulfate for the etching step?

I tried once and it worked ok - but if I remember correct it was necessary to heat the solution and it took several minutes for a board to be completely etched. I just googled for ammonium persulfate and found quite a bunch of health warnings.  HCL and H2O2 are not toys either - admitted - but for the small prototypes I need in stamp-size or creditcard-size a few milliliters do the trick and I am done in minutes. The used etchant is dark green and I collect in in an plastic container intended for gasoline. Maybe 30 years from now when I retire the container will be full and I will bring it to a proper waste disposal place

> The chemical tin sounds like a reasonable alternative to silver plate. I'm aware of Cool-Amp (http://www.cool-amp.com) silver-plating powder but it's rather costly.

The tin is not really cheap either - it is from the same company and the product name is 'SENO 3211' and the powder to make 1 liter of solution sells at 13¤. The stuff does not smell but contact with skin needs to be avoided. 1 Liter is sufficient for plating 30 pcs of 100x160mm single sided full surface copper boards. The stuff seems to be quite picky with contamination with other chemicals - I once ruined my solution but now that I am using a separate bowl for the plating  it last very well. The surface is glossy, looks nice, stays nice and has good solderability.

Regards,
Tobias

>  

2005\06\06@120523 by Tom Smith

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-----Original Message-----
From: KILLspampiclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu]On Behalf Of
Tobias Wieler
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 11:31 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [EE] home pcb making with HCL + H2O2


>I use a developer from German company 'Kepets GmbH' and the Product name
>is 'SENO 4006'
Thank you, I'll try to determine if they have a US distributor.
>Maybe 30 years from now when I retire the
>container will be full and I will bring it to a proper waste disposal place
:)
>The tin...is from the same company and the
>product name is 'SENO 3211' and the powder to make 1 liter of solution
>sells at 13¤.
OK, if I can find the developer I should be able to find this also.
Thank you for elaborating. I am very impressed with the small amounts of
chemicals your procedure requires. The results are very nice too!
Cheers,
Tom

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