For an electronics hobbyist, knowing how to do PCB design is a must. Building prototypes on breadboards or with wire-wrap just doesn’t cut it, once you reach a certain point. Then, a PCB board needs to be made specifically for your project. The previous tutorial Homemade PCB (Etching) showed you a quick, simple, dirty and easy way to make your own PCB. This tutorial will expand further and show you how to make a 2 layer (top and bottom) pcb.
PCB Design: DIY 2 Layer Boards – [Link]
My goal in writing this is to document the modification of the Epson R260 type printer (R260, R265, R270, R360, R380, R390) for use in directly printing resist on copper clad boards to make printed circuit boards. This “hack” has been done many times by numerous others over the last few years, but there does not seem to be a detailed “How To” that includes pictures and descriptions, starting with the intact machine and ending with the finished pcb printer.
Direct to PCB etch resist printing – [Link]
Like making circuit boards, but don’t like all of the toxic chemicals that you have to use to do it? You might want to take a look at Stephen Hobley’s directions, then. He’s claiming to be able to etch boards using only diluted hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and a bit of table salt. [via]
Etch circuit boards with common household chemicals – [Link]
After you’ve developed a circuit, perhaps tested a prototype and have finally got the perfect design, you may wish to create a printed circuit board. There are some home-brew methods, but if you get to the point of wanting more than a few boards, it may be time to turn to a commercial fab house….
To help you find a good fab house, the tables below list some of the sources I have used that produce good boards as a reasonable price.
PCB Fabrication Sources – [Link]
The Real Elliot writes:
Ferric chloride is a traditional home-use circuit board etchant. It’s easy enough to come by, and the Ferric by itself is no big environmental problem. However, once you’ve etched a board with it, you’re left with a solution with a bunch of copper chloride in it. This dissolved copper is an environmental problem, and you can’t just pour it down the drain (legally) — you’re supposed to take it to a hazardous waste facility.
A better etching solution than Ferric Chloride – [Link]
Since the widespread commercial use of the transistor, electronics minded people have assembled their circuits on a printed circuit board (PCB). Even if the circuits are increasingly complex, PCB design is actually becoming easier thanks to the availability of efficient design tools in the CAD realms. Whereas ten years ago CAD software to accomplish serious PCB design was beyond the reach of many, today you can download some of these tools for free on the internet. Often these tools are free but with limitations of some kind in terms of board size, number of components or file exporting. By contrast, a recently launched product called DesignSpark PCB has no restrictions, says the supplier RS Components. [via]
ShareBrained writes: [via]
I have these Avery mailing labels that I use to address Chronulator kit shipments to my customers. They’re made of paper, and they stick to stuff. What if I cut my stencil from a mailing label? Let’s give it a try…
To start with, I need to prepare a solder paste template. I output a PDF with the paste layers shrunk a bit. I shrink the paste layer because the mailing label is quite thick, and therefore so is the paste when it’s applied. So I need to compensate for the thick paste by making the paste areas smaller.
From the paste template file, I laser the mailing label with the Epilog 45W laser at work. My settings are “speed 25″ and “power 25″. I use raster mode, as it tends to produce more accurate, even results.
PCB stencils on the cheap – [Link]