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PICList Thread
'New PCB etching technique...'
1998\01\27@232858 by Rob Zitka

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face
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone has tried (and been successful with) the PCB
trace making method described in the November 1997 Electronics Now article?
A laser printer was used to print the trace onto a piece of paper-backed
flexible copper sheet.  The paper is then removed and the copper traces
glued onto a piece of perfboard.  It sounded very promising (except for the
possible damage to the laser printer roller drum) and I wanted to try it
out for a new project.

Please let me and the others on this list know what experiences you may
have had.

Thanks

Rob

1998\01\28@072535 by Morgan Olsson

picon face
A similar, but I think easier tecnique, is to print on a special plastic
sheet "TEC 200", then transferring it to the copper side of normal PCD by
simply laying the sheet upside down on the copper and using heat and a
rubber roller to "press it over".
A friend of mine is using this technique.

You have to print using laser printer or photo copier.

In the Nordic Countries and Poland it can be obtained from Elfa, ph +46 08
7353535, artnr 49-516-38.
/Morgan O.

{Quote hidden}

Morgan Olsson, MORGANS REGLERTEKNIK, Sweden, ph: +46 (0)414 70741; fax 70331
-

1998\01\28@091507 by Bryson, William G (Bill)

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face
I've got all of the materials to use this technique,  but as yet haven't
tried it.  I'm currently working on learning to use Super PCB and Super CAD
from Mental Automation.  As soon as I get my project transferred into CAD
I'll try to knock out a board.  I really don't like to drill holes.  After
I've used this technique I'll post my results and experience to the list...

-------------------------------------------------
Work all day & night,
deliver on time & on budget,       Regards,
and justice for all...             Bill Bryson


> {Original Message removed}

1998\01\28@101539 by Martin R. Green

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Actually, the copper foil technique was developed precisely because it
is easier than the heat transfer method, and produces vastly superior
results.  It is very dificult for most people to get consistent
results with the TEC sheets (and similar products), and the very fact
that the toner is transferred twice limits the minimum reliable trace
width.  This new method promises high quality prototype PCB's with a
minimum of fuss.


CIAO - Martin.

On Wed, 28 Jan 1998 12:28:29 +0100, Morgan Olsson <spam_OUTmrtTakeThisOuTspamINAME.COM>
wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Martin R. Green
.....elimarKILLspamspam@spam@NOSPAMbigfoot.com

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1998\01\28@105837 by wft

face
flavicon
face
After you print the traces and glue the copper to a board, do you then
etch the copper using the toner as resist?  If this is the process,
there is (IMHO) a better way.  You can obtain gel paper which is benign
to the laser printer and transfers toner to copper clad.  I have even
made double sided successfully.   E-mail me if you want more data.
--
Gus Calabrese    Lola Montes      WFT Electronics
4337 Raleigh Street      Denver, CO 80212
303 964-9670......voicemail      wftspamKILLspamfrii.com   http://www.frii.com/~wft

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1998\01\28@105841 by wft

face
flavicon
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I would like to know, Martin, if you have actually used the copper foil
technique and if it worked for you.  I have seen many "really great"
improvements to PC fab that did not work.

Gus
--
Gus Calabrese    Lola Montes      WFT Electronics
4337 Raleigh Street      Denver, CO 80212
303 964-9670......voicemail      @spam@wftKILLspamspamfrii.com   http://www.frii.com/~wft

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1998\01\28@110320 by Aydin Yesildirek

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Is there a web site where I can purchase necessary components to try
the copper foil technique on my own?
TIA
AY

> Actually, the copper foil technique was developed precisely because it
> is easier than the heat transfer method, and produces vastly superior
> results.  It is very dificult for most people to get consistent
> results with the TEC sheets (and similar products), and the very fact
> that the toner is transferred twice limits the minimum reliable trace
> width.  This new method promises high quality prototype PCB's with a
> minimum of fuss.
>
>
> CIAO - Martin.

1998\01\28@113032 by JayQ

picon face
I have myself had a very dissappointing experience last night using one of the
"Toner Transfers"  even though the toner is of good quality.  I will be trying
this method described in "Electronics Now" for comparison very shortly.

1998\01\28@113705 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hello all,

I have a question regarding this whole thread: I have tried using the
special paper that you print onto using a laser printer and then "iron" on
to the board, and I have had very little luck (this is NOT the copper foil
paper, which I have never seen). What I did was to print my patter using a
laser printer. I baked the paper slightly in an oven (I also tried not
doing this). Then I thorouly cleaned and even lightly sanded the board,
placed the paper on it, and then applied heat and pressure. To apply the
heat and pressure I tried both an iron and a commercial t-shirt press on
max. heat and on medium heat. I then within 20 seconds placed the
board/paper combination into  water until the paper separated. I ALWAYS got
an unsatisfactory result, some of the toner would fall off in the water and
I would be left with a spotty board. I even called the manufacturer and
tried his suggestions. Nothing worked. I even tried several different
batches of paper. To no avail. Any idea what I was doing wrong?

Thanks,

Sean


At 11:04 AM 1/28/98 +0000, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

+--------------------------------+
| Sean Breheny                   |
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM |
| Electrical Engineering Student |
+--------------------------------+
http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
TakeThisOuTshb7EraseMEspamspam_OUTcornell.edu
Phone(USA): (607) 253-0315

1998\01\28@203604 by Wayne Foletta

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Rob:
Yes, I've used it for a while. It works fine.
To avoid laser printer roller drum damage be sure keep the copper edges
down. I have used Scotch tape but high temperature polyimide tape is the
best. Also use a fully charged toner and set the contrast up for the
best resist action.
This stuff works much better than the iron-on stuff - that is too low in
resolution and smears easily.

- Wayne Foletta
BMI - Saratoga, CA

{Quote hidden}

1998\01\28@203612 by Joel A. Kunze

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More time and more pressure are what you need. If the toner falls off,
it did not get hot enough or there was not enough pressure to 'fuse' it
to the copper. I press an iron set at 'cotton' on the board for 1
minute. It does seem to work best if the iron is heating the board which
heats the paper. If you press too hard, the toner will spread. I have
had at least a 70% success rate on small boards 100mm^2 or less. I have
also made a couple of double-sided boards as well. I have never dried
the paper prior to useing it.

It sounds to me that the best results could be obtained with a modified
plotter (If you don't mind wider traces). There is a web site somewhere
out there on which a claim is made as to the best ink to use.

Now I have to find out where I can by some copper to test. How does this
affect the corona wire and power supply? I would imagine you might be
able to nearly short the corona to a ground.


Joel A. Kunze


Sean Breheny wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1998\01\28@203638 by wft

face
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All I know is that I was able to use gel-based laser papaer to transfer
toner to copper and etch it.  I have made quite a few PCBs this way.

Gus
--
Gus Calabrese    Lola Montes      WFT Electronics
4337 Raleigh Street      Denver, CO 80212
303 964-9670......voicemail      RemoveMEwftEraseMEspamEraseMEfrii.com   http://www.frii.com/~wft

EMERGENCY:   791 High Street     Estes Park, CO  80517
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1998\01\28@203640 by larz

flavicon
picon face
At the end of the day, nothing beats photoetching. Use your laser to print
the artwork on a transparency and expose it to UV light, develop it and
etch it. Simple.

Adios,
LarZ

------------------- TAMA - The Strongest Name in Drums --------------------



{Original Message removed}

1998\01\28@203644 by carlott

picon face
{Quote hidden}

       I wonder if this thread is starting to get a little off topic.

       I've been using the toner transfer system for about 4 years now, and
I get very good results. I've used both the 'blue' waterless
Press-n-peel stuff, and the gel 'water' paper from DynaArt Designs.
The DynaArt material gives slightly better results but it's
twice as expensive. I order transfer sheets 50 at a time (I use
it a lot!) and I don't throw much of it in the garbage from botched
results.
       I've never did anything special to prepare the copper clad beside
clean it with some steel wool.
       I've used an HP LJ-IIp and a LJ-III printer and both worked fine.

       The only real suggestion I can give to improve results is to always
use a laminator to transfer the toner to the copper clad. Cloth irons
don't work consistently, and I don't think a tee shirt press will
work.
       I use a small badge laminator for 99% of my designs (boards
can't be more then 5 inches wide), but I've borrowed a larger
laminator for bigger designs and it also worked fine. It helps to
crank up the heat setting a bit and run the artwork through twice
just to be sure all the toner transfers. Also make sure the
copper clad is absolutely dry before it goes through the transfer
process.

       DynaArt sells a modified (slower) 12 inch laminator
that works great, but at about $200.00 (US), it's a bit (IMHO)
expensive.
       I usually find small used laminators at Ham Fests for about $25.00.
As a plus you can also make all the luggage tags you'll ever need.


Hope this helps............


BTW,  some phone number before anybody asks:

       DynaArt Designs 805-943-4746
       (All sorts of home PCB fabrication materials  definitely worth
getting their catalogue)

       Techniks 908-788-8249
       ( Makers of Press-n-Peel transfer film)

carl

--------------------------------------------------------
Henry Carl Ott   N2RVQ    RemoveMEcarlottKILLspamspaminterport.net
http://www.interport.net/~carlott/
--------------------------------------------------------
Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

1998\01\28@203659 by Wynn Rostek

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At 11:35 AM 1/28/98 -0500, you wrote:

>I have a question regarding this whole thread: I have tried using the
>special paper that you print onto using a laser printer and then "iron" on
>to the board, and I have had very little luck

I have tried (over the years) the following:


Plotting directly on the PCB with various resist pens.

This worked fine for wide traces on small boards.  I had problems with
larger boards, which I suspect could be cured by going to a flat bed
plotter.  (I have purchased one, but have no documentation on it so far. Sigh)


Press-N-Peel  (A forerunner of TEC-200)

This was just a mylar sheet with teflon on it.  Toner would not stick to it
very well.  Never really had any luck with this at all.


TEC-200  (The blue stuff)

I had problems at first with the toner sticking to the PCB. I bought a
laminator that is sold with the Eagle Design stuff, and used the laminator
to apply the blue stuff to the PCB.  Not too bad.  You can get some fairly
narrow traces.  The big problem is that the toner tends to smear towards the
end, which limits the size board you can do.  I suspect you can run up to 8"
by 5" with this set up.


PrintGoCo

This is a small silk screen set up for doing screen printing at home.  I
used up two batches of supplies (10 screens total) figuring out how to get a
good clean master screen.  They supply a filter sheet that you are supposed
to use when exposing a laser printer/copier.  This is a thermal unit, they
use two very large flash bulbs to heat the carbon in a special ink, or the
toner.  A thin plastic film on the screen melts.  The problem I kept running
into was some of the toner kept sticking to the master, and that portion
would not print.  I found that by running the laser printer copy through the
laminator, with a plain sheet of paper over it, would fuse the toner enough
to allow production of a good master.  The screen appears to be way under
100 threads per inch, so I suspect you would not be able to run more than
one trace between .1" pads.  The ink supplied with the unit is good for
printing on paper, but does not work for PCBs.  I suspect this system may
turn out to work fairly well for small runs (10-100) 3" x 5" PCBs once I
find a suitable ink.

(The unit costs about $125 US and comes with enough supplies for 5 masters.)


Gel Paper (Sugar Paper)

A lot like the blue stuff, except that the paper coating dissolves in water.
I don't I would try this without the laminator.  I found getting good toner
adhesion fairly tricky.


Still to try:

Photo exposed silk screening.  Speedball makes a small screen printing set.
I have actually finished getting the screen preped.  (You have tape the
edges and shellac them, and then bolt the screen to a hunk of plywood.  The
speedball screen appears to have about 200 threads per inch.  You coat the
screen with a compound, and then expose the screen.  I have not yet come up
with an exposure box, but I may be able to do this in the net couple of months.

The nice thing about this approach is the board size you can work with.  I
purchased a 300 thread per inch 30" by 24" screen in Orlando for less than $50.

If you allow the developed screen to sit around for a few days, the pattern
becomes fairly permanent.  Not really bad if don't mind spending $20-$25 for
a pattern you want to keep around and print once in a while.

As always, I'll try and keep everyone posted.


If anyone could get me the information on where to buy the copper sheet, I'd
like to try laser printing on it, and plotting on it directly.

Anyone have additional information on Home PCB fabrication they don't mind
sharing?  Might save me a little time and money. :-)

Wynn Rostek

1998\01\28@203711 by wwl

picon face
>>
>>I was wondering if anyone has tried (and been successful with) the PCB
>>trace making method described in the November 1997 Electronics Now article?
>> A laser printer was used to print the trace onto a piece of paper-backed
>>flexible copper sheet.  The paper is then removed and the copper traces
>>glued onto a piece of perfboard.  It sounded very promising (except for the
>>possible damage to the laser printer roller drum) and I wanted to try it
>>out for a new project.
>>
>>Please let me and the others on this list know what experiences you may
>>have had.
Not used it myself, but have heard good reports.
The problem I can see with this type of method over normal
photographic methods is that the stuff you put through the printer is
the expensive bit, whearas with photo-etch, the expensive bit is the
coating on the PCB.
This can be a problem if you do small PCBS - you can easily cut
photo-pcb down to the right size, and the offcuts will be useable, but
you usually can't put anything smaller than an A5 sheet though a
printer, so there is a lot of potential waste, though I don't know how
the relative costs per square whatever work out.

    ____                                                           ____
  _/ L_/  Mike Harrison / White Wing Logic / wwlSTOPspamspamspam_OUTnetcomuk.co.uk  _/ L_/
_/ W_/  Hardware & Software design / PCB Design / Consultancy  _/ W_/
/_W_/  Industrial / Computer Peripherals / Hazardous Area      /_W_/

1998\01\28@203741 by Al Williams

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Look on my ham website for some ideas about iron-on toner transfer. I have
had good results. http://www.al-williams.com/wd5gnr


Regards,

Al Williams
AWC
*Solderless Stamp (and PIC-Stic) prototypes at
http://www.al-williams.com/awce.htm

{Original Message removed}

1998\01\28@203748 by DREITEK

picon face
In a message dated 98-01-28 10:19:50 EST, you write:

<<
Actually, the copper foil technique was developed precisely because it
is easier than the heat transfer method, and produces vastly superior
results.  It is very dificult for most people to get consistent
results with the TEC sheets (and similar products), and the very fact
that the toner is transferred twice limits the minimum reliable trace
width.  This new method promises high quality prototype PCB's with a
minimum of fuss.


CIAO - Martin.
 >>
Hello Martin,
I admit that I haven't tried the direct foil method (I would like to someday)
but I have to take issue with the statement that the toner transfer method
limits reliable trace width.  I have spent quite a lot of time perfecting the
toner transfer method.  I routinely do double sided boards with traces down to
10 mil.  I will admit that I gave up on commercially available transfer
papers.  My company uses a silicon coated mylar for our casting machine
(http://www.dreitek.com if you are interested).  I cut the scrap rolls from our
ceramic casting operation into sheets and use that directly.
I also found that you never use an ordinary houshold iron to do the transfer.
It is far better to heat the board and NOT the transfer.  I use a rubber mat
heater controlled by an ordinary dimmer switch.  I get the board hott enough
to make the toner tacky but not so hot that it oxidizes the copper.  I use a
small paint roller to smooth out the pattern.  I let it sit and cook for about
10 minutes, and then I give it a final roll with the paint roller.  I remove
the board and the transfer from the heat and apply an ice cube to the top of
the transfer.  It falls off with absolutly no toner remaining on the transfer
sheet.  For double sided boards I transfer the top side pattern and then drill
two or more small holes that act as alignment for the bottom side transfer.
When I flip it over I have to use another sheet of mylar underneath to prevent
the other side from sticking to the heater.
Most of the boards I make use surface mount PIC based devices. and surface
mount components down to 0603 size.

Dave Duley

1998\01\28@204746 by Martin R. Green

flavicon
face
Your experience sounds much like mine, and this is why I think this
new method is likely superior, but I do have a suggestion for you.
Note that I HAVE NOT TRIED THIS, but the idea was triggered by one of
the steps in the new method.  Every heat transfer technique I've seen
tells you to polish the copper blank, then roughen it with sandpaper
to give the toner something to adhere to, but I have never found this
to be a satisfactory solution.  One of the techniques used in this new
method is probably applicable to the heat transfer method as well.

The trick here is to polish the board as usual, but then instead of
using sandpaper to roughen the surface, dip the blank in etchant
instead.  After some small percentage of the total etching time (by
trial and error), remove the board and rinse thoroughly under running
water.  Dry the board with warm air (even a lint free cloth might snag
some debris in the rough surface), then transfer the toner to the
board with heat as normal (the surface will probably look terrible,
but that's the idea).  After etching, remove the toner, with solvent
preferably, then use steel wool or rubbing compound to polish the
remaining copper.

As I said, I have not tried this, but the copper surface should be far
more porous this way than with the sandpaper method, and the toner
should have much more luck adhering to it.  If this works for you,
please let the PICLIST know with a short message describing your
results.

CIAO - Martin.

On Wed, 28 Jan 1998 11:35:15 -0500, Sean Breheny <spamBeGoneshb7STOPspamspamEraseMECORNELL.EDU>
wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Martin R. Green
EraseMEelimarspamEraseMENOSPAMbigfoot.com

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Stamp out SPAM everywhere!!!

1998\01\28@213657 by richard skinner

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I use the GC Electronics Positive Boards,  a Laser Printed Transparency,
and a standard Heat Lamp for like in Bathrooms.

I set my heat lamp 11" from the Transparency,  I expose for 90 seconds, drop
the board
in developer for 2 to 3 minutes,  then Etch.  I would say my success rate is
99.5% and
I do get two traces between each Ic Pin with .100 spacing.

I'm not using the "suggested" Light, but this one is quick!

When first learning, which I just did a couple of months ago, I bought 1
4"x6" board
and cut it into 4 sections.  I experimented with exposer time and distance on
each section
until I found the results I wanted.  The Only thing I can suggest about this,
is when you use a larger
board, raise the light so you have an even intensity over the entire board.
I found in "my" testing
that 5 seconds addition exposer for every inch above the 11" work fine.

My first board was a single sided 4x6 with 6  16 pin dips,  2 40 pin dips,
and 2 18 pin dips.  I had 10
traces running vertical under each 16 pin dip (.300 wide) and had Zero
problems.  If I remember right,
they are .010 traces with .010" between, with some to spare around the ic
pads,  not bad?

The GC Boards are Postive Coated and are a little more than bare copper, but
much less than alot
of other brands.  They are readily available (here anyways) and have a foil
bag and a protective
liner stuck to them.  It makes them easy to cut in regular light with
exposing the entire board.

Just my experiences.....

Richard Skinner
@spam@rwskinner@spam@spamspam_OUTworldnet.att.net
http://home.att.net/~rwskinner

----------
{Quote hidden}

Sigh)
{Quote hidden}

the
> end, which limits the size board you can do.  I suspect you can run up to
8"
{Quote hidden}

running
> into was some of the toner kept sticking to the master, and that portion
> would not print.  I found that by running the laser printer copy through
the
> laminator, with a plain sheet of paper over it, would fuse the toner enough
> to allow production of a good master.  The screen appears to be way under
> 100 threads per inch, so I suspect you would not be able to run more than
> one trace between .1" pads.  The ink supplied with the unit is good for
> printing on paper, but does not work for PCBs.  I suspect this system may
> turn out to work fairly well for small runs (10-100) 3" x 5" PCBs once I
> find a suitable ink.
>
> (The unit costs about $125 US and comes with enough supplies for 5
masters.)
>
>
> Gel Paper (Sugar Paper)
>
> A lot like the blue stuff, except that the paper coating dissolves in
water.
{Quote hidden}

months.
>
> The nice thing about this approach is the board size you can work with.  I
> purchased a 300 thread per inch 30" by 24" screen in Orlando for less than
$50.
>
> If you allow the developed screen to sit around for a few days, the pattern
> becomes fairly permanent.  Not really bad if don't mind spending $20-$25
for
> a pattern you want to keep around and print once in a while.
>
> As always, I'll try and keep everyone posted.
>
>
> If anyone could get me the information on where to buy the copper sheet,
I'd
> like to try laser printing on it, and plotting on it directly.
>
> Anyone have additional information on Home PCB fabrication they don't mind
> sharing?  Might save me a little time and money. :-)
>
> Wynn Rostek

1998\01\28@235704 by John Griessen

flavicon
face
Great,

To try it if you are ready to use transfer paper is only a little increment
of effort.  where do I get some copper foil t try this out?

John Griessen
Austin TX

At 07:50 PM 1/28/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Rob:
>Yes, I've used it for a while. It works fine.
----snip----
>
>- Wayne Foletta
>BMI - Saratoga, CA

1998\01\29@001823 by John Payson

picon face
> The trick here is to polish the board as usual, but then instead of
> using sandpaper to roughen the surface, dip the blank in etchant
> instead.  After some small percentage of the total etching time (by
> trial and error), remove the board and rinse thoroughly under running
> water.  Dry the board with warm air (even a lint free cloth might snag
> some debris in the rough surface), then transfer the toner to the
> board with heat as normal (the surface will probably look terrible,
> but that's the idea).  After etching, remove the toner, with solvent
> preferably, then use steel wool or rubbing compound to polish the
> remaining copper.

This is what some friends of mine used to do; I'd always thought it was
simply to remove oxidation or contaminants, though if it pits the copper
that might be helpful too.

1998\01\29@030541 by larz

flavicon
picon face
It's the best and most accurate way to make a good board. Especially when
dealing with very fine 10mil tracks. Nothing comes close to photoetching,
even for prototyping 3#-)

Adios,
LarZ

------------------- TAMA - The Strongest Name in Drums --------------------



{Original Message removed}

1998\01\29@103603 by Joe McCauley

picon face
At 08:01 29/01/98 +1100, you wrote:
>At the end of the day, nothing beats photoetching. Use your laser to print
>the artwork on a transparency and expose it to UV light, develop it and
>etch it. Simple.
>
>Adios,
>LarZ
>

If you do this make sure the toner side of the transparency is next to the
copper. You can get some light where you dont want it otherwise. This is
more of an issue when doing double sided boards. I have had more success
however doing the following.

Print out your layout using normal paper on your laser printer.

Lay this print on a UV exposure unit.

Spray this with a product called ISO DRAFT. (Available in art stores I think)
This makes the paper translucent.

Lay your photoresist board on the layout.

Expose for longer than usual. (I use 6.5 minutes but this will depend on
your UV)

Develop in NaOH or whatever.

Etch in FeCl.

I have used this for prototypes and small runs for over 7 years, and have
done some fairly complex boards. Don't ask me about line thickness because
normally I don't care as long as they are about what I expect.

Joe

1998\01\29@104623 by ifly2

picon face
On Wed, 28 Jan 1998 14:59:33 -0500, you wrote:


>If anyone could get me the information on where to buy the copper sheet, I'd
>like to try laser printing on it, and plotting on it directly.

Here ya go.  The article about the flexible copper foil was in the Nov 97
issue of Electronics Now, page 52.  The stuff is called Z-Flex by Courtaulds
Performance Films, PO Box 5068, Martinville, Va., 24115.  The article says
they only sell in 24 inch by 100 foot rolls.  The author of the article will
sell in smaller sheets, five 8 by 10 inch sheets for $45 or ten for $80 and
postage.  Address is Lancelot, PO Box 541005, Merritt Island, Fl., 32954.  No
phone numbers given.

This is info from the article, I have no affiliation to the product or the
author.  I have not used the stuff so I'm just passing along the info.  I too
will be interested in more details from people who have used it as scratching
of the drum concerns me and was a caution in the article.  I would also like
to find other sources of similar material.  

Later all.

Terry

1998\01\29@124106 by Rajnish

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Would be obliged if you can guide to some sources/suppliers of UV boards.

Thanks,

Rajnish.


At 03:27 PM 29/1/98 +0000, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1998\01\29@143732 by wft

face
flavicon
face
By the way,  I found that my local PCB house would give me scaps of
double clad copper board for FREE.  Give it a try.

Gus
--
Gus Calabrese    Lola Montes      WFT Electronics
4337 Raleigh Street      Denver, CO 80212
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1998\01\29@155731 by Max Toole

picon face
Sean,
I have used the process that you are talking about.  I bought it from DynaArt.
I had trouble until I discovered that you are supposed to print on the Shiny
side of the paper.  Once I did that, it works fairly well for quick
prototypes.  I use their Super Fuser to heat and apply pressure to the boards.

Hope this helps,
Max

1998\01\29@162526 by Martin R. Green

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face
Ok, I think we are confused here.  Sean was asking for replies from
anyone who has used the new direct to copper method described in
Electronics Now, but it sounds like you are talking about one of the
heat transfer papers or films.

Martin.

On Thu, 29 Jan 1998 15:48:56 EST, Max Toole <spamBeGoneMaxToole@spam@spamspam_OUTAOL.COM> wrote:

>Sean,
>I have used the process that you are talking about.  I bought it from DynaArt.
>I had trouble until I discovered that you are supposed to print on the Shiny
>side of the paper.  Once I did that, it works fairly well for quick
>prototypes.  I use their Super Fuser to heat and apply pressure to the boards.
>
>Hope this helps,
>Max


Martin R. Green
TakeThisOuTelimarspamspamNOSPAMbigfoot.com

To reply, remove the NOSPAM from the return address.
Stamp out SPAM everywhere!!!

1998\01\29@181902 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
At 09:12 PM 1/29/98 GMT, you wrote:
>Ok, I think we are confused here.  Sean was asking for replies from
>anyone who has used the new direct to copper method described in
>Electronics Now, but it sounds like you are talking about one of the
>heat transfer papers or films.
>
>Martin.

Martin,

Thanks for trying to clarify the matter, but actually I WAS asking for
responses about the older, heat transfer paper technique. BTW, thanks to
all who responded to my question, next time I want to try to make a cheap
prototype board, I will try what has been suggested.

Thanks,

Sean

+--------------------------------+
| Sean Breheny                   |
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM |
| Electrical Engineering Student |
+--------------------------------+
http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
shb7EraseMEspamcornell.edu
Phone(USA): (607) 253-0315

1998\01\29@183737 by Al Williams

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face
Look on my site under construction tips for my experience with ironing PCBs.

Al Williams
AWC
*Solderless Stamp Prototypes at http://www.al-williams.com/awce.htm

{Original Message removed}

1998\01\29@204720 by Max Toole

picon face
Sorry, Martin,
The one that I read and then selected reply was signed by sean and, as I
recall, was talking about using the paper method and not having very good
results.

Max

1998\01\30@003116 by wft

face
flavicon
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Wow  if $45 is the cost for 5  8x10  flex copper sheets, I will stick
with the cheaper DynaArt gel paper, especially since I can get copper
clad scraps for free.

Gus

(unless of course, flex copper works insanely greatly)
--
Gus Calabrese    Lola Montes      WFT Electronics
4337 Raleigh Street      Denver, CO 80212
303 964-9670......voicemail      RemoveMEwftEraseMEspamspam_OUTfrii.com   http://www.frii.com/~wft

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1998\01\30@051808 by wwl

picon face
On Thu, 29 Jan 1998 15:27:02 +0000, you wrote:

>At 08:01 29/01/98 +1100, you wrote:
>>At the end of the day, nothing beats photoetching. Use your laser to print
>>the artwork on a transparency and expose it to UV light, develop it and
>>etch it. Simple.
>>
>>Adios,
>>LarZ
>>
>
>If you do this make sure the toner side of the transparency is next to the
>copper. You can get some light where you dont want it otherwise. This is
>more of an issue when doing double sided boards. I have had more success
>however doing the following.
>
>Print out your layout using normal paper on your laser printer.
I use tracing paper - very good toner adhesion, cheap and translucent
enough to UV. I often do PCBS with 10 thou tracks no problem.
You need the heavy stuff - 90gsm or more - the thin stuff crinkles too
much.
>Develop in NaOH or whatever.

Forget NaOH - it's horrible, temp sensitive,  the solution doesn't
last long, and you need to get the strength right to get a sensible
dev time without over-developing. The ONLY good thing about it is it's
cheap.
I use a silicate based developer from Mega Electronics - it is almost
impossible to over-develop with this stuff, so you can use
it really strong, development taking about 10 secs, but leaving it for
30 secs won't over-develop. Solution lasts until you use it all up,
i.e. very long shelf-life, and you can just top it up when it gets
slow. It comes as a concentrate, so a bottle lasts a long long time.


    ____                                                           ____
  _/ L_/  Mike Harrison / White Wing Logic / spamBeGonewwlEraseMEspamnetcomuk.co.uk  _/ L_/
_/ W_/  Hardware & Software design / PCB Design / Consultancy  _/ W_/
/_W_/  Industrial / Computer Peripherals / Hazardous Area      /_W_/

1998\01\30@101704 by Craig Webb

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face
I have some of the copper foil sheets sitting around but haven't tried them
as of yet. I would love to hear from someone who has actually used it too.

C. Webb
At 06:17 PM 1/29/98 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1998\01\30@191246 by Alan McFarland

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face
<x-rich>I've been using the Dyna Art stuff with their laminator and their etching tank.
It works ok most of the time; I usually do really small boards 6-10 up at at
time and the yield is about 75-90% per board.


I intend to go to photoetching soon- I think there will be less steps ultimately
and less wasted materials & time when there are problems.  Plus I can get all
the expendibles at Fry's instead of ordering them from Florida.  Most of the
work I do is prototype quantities where i have to deliver the entire project to
the client in under a week (at least that's been the case lately).


The entire reason I'm even writing is to go aon record about the best etchant
I've ever used:  Ammonium Persulfate.  It doesn't stain; it doesn't stink; it's
clear, becoming bluer as it exhausts.  You can see the board etch, rather than
with FeCl.  It comes as a white powder you mix (for my tank) 1 lb to the
gallon.  This typically lasts me 2 months.  I think it does have less capacity
than FeCl; it is harder to find (I get mine from Mouser), and it does need to
be heater to 100 F or so (my tank does this with twin aquarium heaters and
pumps), but if any of you out there have ever tried to completely clean up a
Ferric Chloride spill, lemme tell ya, this stuff is the only way to go!

<center><bold><bigger>Alan McFarland's Applied Magic

</bigger>Custom Electronics for the Motion Picture Industry

</bold><smaller>Lighting and Electronics for Models, Miniatures, Props &
Sets


</smaller></center>http://www.appliedmagic.com
</x-rich>


'New PCB etching technique...'
1998\02\02@190135 by Rick Dickinson
flavicon
face
At 06:56 PM 1/28/98 -0500, Joel A. Kunze wrote:
>More time and more pressure are what you need. If the toner falls off,
>it did not get hot enough or there was not enough pressure to 'fuse' it
>to the copper. I press an iron set at 'cotton' on the board for 1
>minute. It does seem to work best if the iron is heating the board which
>heats the paper. If you press too hard, the toner will spread. I have
>had at least a 70% success rate on small boards 100mm^2 or less. I have
>also made a couple of double-sided boards as well. I have never dried
>the paper prior to useing it.

How useful is a 1cm^2 or smaller board? (10mm x 10mm = 100mm^2)  That's
smaller than most PICs....

- Rick "Just wondering" Dickinson

+---------------------------------+---------------------------+
| Enterprise ArchiTechs Company   |"You can't reason someone  |
|     Lotus Certified Notes       |  out of a position they   |
|  Appl. Design & Administration  | didn't reason themselves  |
|(818)563-1061  rtdspamBeGonespamnotesguy.com  |  into" -- Rick Adams,     |
|   http://www.eArchiTechs.com    |   in alt.folklore.urban   |
+---------------------------------+---------------------------+

1998\02\03@031033 by root

flavicon
face
I haven't  the beginning of this conversation.
Please, Repeat instruction for new  PCB technique .
E.Vaulin  <RemoveMEvaulin@spam@spamspamBeGoneparus.ural.ru>
----------
> Nr: Rick Dickinson <.....rtd@spam@spamEraseMENOTESGUY.COM>
> Jnls: .....PICLISTRemoveMEspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Rel`: Re: New PCB etching technique...
> D`r`: 3 tebp`k  1998 c. 4:58
>
> At 06:56 PM 1/28/98 -0500, Joel A. Kunze wrote:

1998\02\04@053545 by Philip Cowley

flavicon
face
>>had at least a 70% success rate on small boards 100mm^2 or less. I have
>>also made a couple of double-sided boards as well. I have never dried
>>the paper prior to useing it.
>
>How useful is a 1cm^2 or smaller board? (10mm x 10mm = 100mm^2)  That's
>smaller than most PICs....


I think he meant 100mm X 100mm! (thats 10,000mm^2)

Phil

1998\02\04@191626 by Han

flavicon
face
----------
> From: root <.....rootSTOPspamspam@spam@PARUS.URAL.RU>
> To: PICLISTEraseMEspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: New PCB etching technique...
> Date: Tuesday, February 03, 1998 7:47 PM
>
> I haven't  the beginning of this conversation.
> Please, Repeat instruction for new  PCB technique .
> E.Vaulin  <RemoveMEvaulinspamspamBeGoneparus.ural.ru>
hi
i had cut and paste the conversation (random) :,maybe it's useful for you
sorry for my bad english language
HAN    spamBeGonehanhalimKILLspamspam@spam@bdg.centrin.net.id



Hi
I was wondering if anyone has tried (and been successful with) the PCB
trace making method described in the November 1997 Electronics Now article?
A laser printer was used to print the trace onto a piece of paper-backed
flexible copper sheet.  The paper is then removed and the copper traces
glued onto a piece of perfboard.  It sounded very promising (except for the
possible damage to the laser printer roller drum) and I wanted to try it
out for a new project.

Please let me and the others on this list know what experiences you may
have had.

Thanks


A similar, but I think easier tecnique, is to print on a special plastic
sheet "TEC 200", then transferring it to the copper side of normal PCD by
simply laying the sheet upside down on the copper and using heat and a
rubber roller to "press it over".
A friend of mine is using this technique.

You have to print using laser printer or photo copier.

In the Nordic Countries and Poland it can be obtained from Elfa, ph +46 08
7353535, artnr 49-516-38.
/Morgan O.

I've got all of the materials to use this technique,  but as yet haven't
tried it.  I'm currently working on learning to use Super PCB and Super CAD
from Mental Automation.  As soon as I get my project transferred into CAD
I'll try to knock out a board.  I really don't like to drill holes.  After
I've used this technique I'll post my results and experience to the list...

-------------------------------------------------
Work all day & night,
deliver on time & on budget,       Regards,
and justice for all...             Bill Bryson

Actually, the copper foil technique was developed precisely because it
is easier than the heat transfer method, and produces vastly superior
results.  It is very dificult for most people to get consistent
results with the TEC sheets (and similar products), and the very fact
that the toner is transferred twice limits the minimum reliable trace
width.  This new method promises high quality prototype PCB's with a
minimum of fuss.


CIAO - Martin.

After you print the traces and glue the copper to a board, do you then
etch the copper using the toner as resist?  If this is the process,
there is (IMHO) a better way.  You can obtain gel paper which is benign
to the laser printer and transfers toner to copper clad.  I have even
made double sided successfully.   E-mail me if you want more data.
--
Gus Calabrese    Lola Montes      WFT Electronics
4337 Raleigh Street      Denver, CO 80212
303 964-9670......voicemail      wftspam_OUTspam@spam@frii.com   http://www.frii.com/~wft

EMERGENCY:   791 High Street     Estes Park, CO  80517
if no success with spamBeGonewft@spam@spamfrii.com, try .... RemoveMEwftEraseMEspamKILLspambigfoot.com   then
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I would like to know, Martin, if you have actually used the copper foil
technique and if it worked for you.  I have seen many "really great"
improvements to PC fab that did not work.

Gus
--Is there a web site where I can purchase necessary components to try
the copper foil technique on my own?
TIA
AY
I have myself had a very dissappointing experience last night using one of
the
"Toner Transfers"  even though the toner is of good quality.  I will be
trying
this method described in "Electronics Now" for comparison very shortly.

Hello all,

I have a question regarding this whole thread: I have tried using the
special paper that you print onto using a laser printer and then "iron" on
to the board, and I have had very little luck (this is NOT the copper foil
paper, which I have never seen). What I did was to print my patter using a
laser printer. I baked the paper slightly in an oven (I also tried not
doing this). Then I thorouly cleaned and even lightly sanded the board,
placed the paper on it, and then applied heat and pressure. To apply the
heat and pressure I tried both an iron and a commercial t-shirt press on
max. heat and on medium heat. I then within 20 seconds placed the
board/paper combination into  water until the paper separated. I ALWAYS got
an unsatisfactory result, some of the toner would fall off in the water and
I would be left with a spotty board. I even called the manufacturer and
tried his suggestions. Nothing worked. I even tried several different
batches of paper. To no avail. Any idea what I was doing wrong?

Thanks,

Sean

Rob:
Yes, I've used it for a while. It works fine.
To avoid laser printer roller drum damage be sure keep the copper edges
down. I have used Scotch tape but high temperature polyimide tape is the
best. Also use a fully charged toner and set the contrast up for the
best resist action.
This stuff works much better than the iron-on stuff - that is too low in
resolution and smears easily.

- Wayne Foletta
BMI - Saratoga, CA

More time and more pressure are what you need. If the toner falls off,
it did not get hot enough or there was not enough pressure to 'fuse' it
to the copper. I press an iron set at 'cotton' on the board for 1
minute. It does seem to work best if the iron is heating the board which
heats the paper. If you press too hard, the toner will spread. I have
had at least a 70% success rate on small boards 100mm^2 or less. I have
also made a couple of double-sided boards as well. I have never dried
the paper prior to useing it.

It sounds to me that the best results could be obtained with a modified
plotter (If you don't mind wider traces). There is a web site somewhere
out there on which a claim is made as to the best ink to use.

Now I have to find out where I can by some copper to test. How does this
affect the corona wire and power supply? I would imagine you might be
able to nearly short the corona to a ground.


Joel A. Kunze

       I wonder if this thread is starting to get a little off topic.

       I've been using the toner transfer system for about 4 years now,
and
I get very good results. I've used both the 'blue' waterless
Press-n-peel stuff, and the gel 'water' paper from DynaArt Designs.
The DynaArt material gives slightly better results but it's
twice as expensive. I order transfer sheets 50 at a time (I use
it a lot!) and I don't throw much of it in the garbage from botched
results.
       I've never did anything special to prepare the copper clad beside
clean it with some steel wool.
       I've used an HP LJ-IIp and a LJ-III printer and both worked fine.

       The only real suggestion I can give to improve results is to always
use a laminator to transfer the toner to the copper clad. Cloth irons
don't work consistently, and I don't think a tee shirt press will
work.
       I use a small badge laminator for 99% of my designs (boards
can't be more then 5 inches wide), but I've borrowed a larger
laminator for bigger designs and it also worked fine. It helps to
crank up the heat setting a bit and run the artwork through twice
just to be sure all the toner transfers. Also make sure the
copper clad is absolutely dry before it goes through the transfer
process.

       DynaArt sells a modified (slower) 12 inch laminator
that works great, but at about $200.00 (US), it's a bit (IMHO)
expensive.
       I usually find small used laminators at Ham Fests for about $25.00.
As a plus you can also make all the luggage tags you'll ever need.


Hope this helps............


BTW,  some phone number before anybody asks:

       DynaArt Designs 805-943-4746
       (All sorts of home PCB fabrication materials  definitely worth
getting their catalogue)

       Techniks 908-788-8249
       ( Makers of Press-n-Peel transfer film)

carl

--------------------------------------------------------
Henry Carl Ott   N2RVQ    .....carlottspamRemoveMEinterport.net
http://www.interport.net/~carlott/
--------------------------------------------------------
Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

I have tried (over the years) the following:


Plotting directly on the PCB with various resist pens.

This worked fine for wide traces on small boards.  I had problems with
larger boards, which I suspect could be cured by going to a flat bed
plotter.  (I have purchased one, but have no documentation on it so far.
Sigh)


Press-N-Peel  (A forerunner of TEC-200)

This was just a mylar sheet with teflon on it.  Toner would not stick to it
very well.  Never really had any luck with this at all.


TEC-200  (The blue stuff)

I had problems at first with the toner sticking to the PCB. I bought a
laminator that is sold with the Eagle Design stuff, and used the laminator
to apply the blue stuff to the PCB.  Not too bad.  You can get some fairly
narrow traces.  The big problem is that the toner tends to smear towards
the
end, which limits the size board you can do.  I suspect you can run up to
8"
by 5" with this set up.


PrintGoCo

This is a small silk screen set up for doing screen printing at home.  I
used up two batches of supplies (10 screens total) figuring out how to get
a
good clean master screen.  They supply a filter sheet that you are supposed
to use when exposing a laser printer/copier.  This is a thermal unit, they
use two very large flash bulbs to heat the carbon in a special ink, or the
toner.  A thin plastic film on the screen melts.  The problem I kept
running
into was some of the toner kept sticking to the master, and that portion
would not print.  I found that by running the laser printer copy through
the
laminator, with a plain sheet of paper over it, would fuse the toner enough
to allow production of a good master.  The screen appears to be way under
100 threads per inch, so I suspect you would not be able to run more than
one trace between .1" pads.  The ink supplied with the unit is good for
printing on paper, but does not work for PCBs.  I suspect this system may
turn out to work fairly well for small runs (10-100) 3" x 5" PCBs once I
find a suitable ink.

(The unit costs about $125 US and comes with enough supplies for 5
masters.)


Gel Paper (Sugar Paper)

A lot like the blue stuff, except that the paper coating dissolves in
water.
I don't I would try this without the laminator.  I found getting good toner
adhesion fairly tricky.


Still to try:

Photo exposed silk screening.  Speedball makes a small screen printing set.
I have actually finished getting the screen preped.  (You have tape the
edges and shellac them, and then bolt the screen to a hunk of plywood.  The
speedball screen appears to have about 200 threads per inch.  You coat the
screen with a compound, and then expose the screen.  I have not yet come up
with an exposure box, but I may be able to do this in the net couple of
months.

The nice thing about this approach is the board size you can work with.  I
purchased a 300 thread per inch 30" by 24" screen in Orlando for less than
$50.

If you allow the developed screen to sit around for a few days, the pattern
becomes fairly permanent.  Not really bad if don't mind spending $20-$25
for
a pattern you want to keep around and print once in a while.

As always, I'll try and keep everyone posted.


If anyone could get me the information on where to buy the copper sheet,
I'd
like to try laser printing on it, and plotting on it directly.

Anyone have additional information on Home PCB fabrication they don't mind
sharing?  Might save me a little time and money. :-)

Wynn Rostek

All I know is that I was able to use gel-based laser papaer to transfer
toner to copper and etch it.  I have made quite a few PCBs this way.

Gus
--
Gus Calabrese    Lola Montes      WFT Electronics
4337 Raleigh Street      Denver, CO 80212
303 964-9670......voicemail      wftspam@spam@frii.com   http://www.frii.com/~wft

Look on my ham website for some ideas about iron-on toner transfer. I have
had good results. http://www.al-williams.com/wd5gnr


Regards,

Al Williams
AWC
*Solderless Stamp (and PIC-Stic) prototypes at
http://www.al-williams.com/awce.htm

{Original Message removed}

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