Etching PCB's

Any old or new electronic projects on the go
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Stew
Posts: 218
Joined: 02 Mar 2018, 10:21
Location: Cockfield, County Durham

Etching PCB's

Post by Stew » 20 Sep 2019, 11:22

Hi all.

Can anyone recommend somewhere where I can get the gubbins to have a bash at etching my own circuit boards? A kit with everything in it would be good!

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Shaun
Posts: 476
Joined: 15 Feb 2018, 21:49
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Etching PCB's

Post by Shaun » 20 Sep 2019, 12:04

Have you received the article etc I emailed over.

Look on the CPC website

PCB Production Accessories
KEMO ELECTRONIC A200 Circuit Board Etching Kit.


Shaun

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PaulJ
Posts: 311
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 19:01
Location: Ipswich, UK

Re: Etching PCB's

Post by PaulJ » 20 Sep 2019, 12:14

FWIW, I got blank board and Ferric Chloride off ebay..........

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PCB-Fiber-gl ... 2749.l2649

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ferric-Chlor ... 2749.l2649

Used sparingly a little goes quite a long way. ;)

Paul

Tobe
Posts: 137
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 06:19
Location: Varberg or Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Etching PCB's

Post by Tobe » 20 Sep 2019, 13:25

...don't forget the Press n' Peel !

Martin
Posts: 311
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 14:11
Location: Warwickshire

Re: Etching PCB's

Post by Martin » 20 Sep 2019, 15:18

It's so quick and cheap to get PCBs made by companies like JLCPCB now that it hardly seems worth the bother of etching and drilling your own - by the time you've bought the copper clad boards, the chemicals and drill bits, it probably costs more too.

Of course, to use JLCPCB you need to have the Gerber files - which probably means that either you or someone else designed the board using some kind of PCB-CAD software (such as the excellent free KiCAD). If you've made the board layout by old fashioned hand methods then getting those into Gerber format is probably difficult.

Many years ago, at work, I used to lay out complicated double-sided boards using red and blue tape and Letraset on big sheets of acetate or Mylar. I seem to remember working at 2X or 4X scale and the artwork was then sent off to the PCB manufacturers who reduced it using photographic processes, separated the top and bottom copper layers by photographing through blue and red filters, and somehow produced the drill tape by digitizing the positions of the holes. I used to use a scalpel to cut the tapes, so it was a bit like covering and trimming a model. :) It was important not to get any dirty fingerprints on the sheet or let any bits of fluff or hairs get trapped under the tape - as they would be eventually reproduced in copper on the PCBs! :lol:

Sometimes we had to modify old PCB artwork, and generally a few of the pads or tracks would fall off when you retrieved it from the drawing cabinet. :o

You could buy sheets of pad layouts for chips and common connectors, so you didn't have to position all the pads individually. I think the materials were made by a USA company called Bishop Graphics. I forget who the UK distributor was.

This kind of thing:
Image

I'm glad we don't need to work like that anymore! :lol:

Stew
Posts: 218
Joined: 02 Mar 2018, 10:21
Location: Cockfield, County Durham

Re: Etching PCB's

Post by Stew » 21 Sep 2019, 11:34

Martin, wow, that's fascinating stuff. I do give a lot of thought as to how even mundane objects I pick up every day are made. I love to know the processes.
I wanted to etch my own as a learning experience, to see how the old home builders were doing it. I've some construction articles and a really good one that Shaun kindly sent me that's going to see me busy for many happy hours with my soldering iron and various nasty chemicals and all the interesting stuff that makes life worth living for people like us.

'Natural born tinkerer'

Stew

Kad370
Posts: 3
Joined: 19 Sep 2019, 11:28

Re: Etching PCB's

Post by Kad370 » 26 Sep 2019, 08:15

I did try with JLCPBC and must say, top quality and super cheap. 2$ for 5pcbs and I paid DHL express shipping and they gave me discount so I paid about 20$ for all. Got package in less than a week since order them.
I’m thinking to draw board for SC TX since I’m building two of them.
Best regards,
Kristjan
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Stew
Posts: 218
Joined: 02 Mar 2018, 10:21
Location: Cockfield, County Durham

Re: Etching PCB's

Post by Stew » 01 Oct 2019, 22:22

If I loan someone the book with the PCB designs in it you think you can make a Gerber file from it?
If so, let me know!
I think making my own PCB's may well not end with the results i'm especting...!

Stew.

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