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There are many ways to make your own homemade PCB's, They all work, but some better than other, some faster than other, ones are cheap and others expensive....
After several attempts, i found the way of making PCB's, wich is the cheapest, easiest and fastest for me.

I hope this instructable will help you to decide what's the best method for you, because there are so many to choose.

Step 1: Materials

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Formaking the circuit you will need:
-A copper board.
-The design printed with a LASER printer on glossy paper, antiadhesive oven paper works the best!
-An iron or a laminator.
-The etching solution (Hydrochloric acid + Hydrogen peroxide).
-a plastic flat container.
-Steel wool or fine sandpaper.
-Acetone.
-A Dremel for the trough-hole components.
-The components.
-A soldering iron.
 
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sathees319 days ago

Thanks a lot! It was really geniune. I was looking for a copper board to buy; Is there any thickness recommended??

Love this guide. As someone who's started dabbling in DiY/hobby tech design stuff this is really helpful. Also works well with some other info I've been pouring over like this: http://www.elex.co.nz/services/pcb-design/ . Though I think it's about time I pulled my head out of books/guides/texts and started cutting some copper :P Anyone have any links to other resources or step-by-steps I should use too?

diy_bloke2 months ago

I use this method for a long time already, goes perfect. Still, i observed something odd: when I used the printer ink that came with my printer it went well. after I bought new brandless ink the toner transfer didnt go so well.
Now I am not saying you shld buy expensive ink, on the contrary as I have only tried it twice since I bought new ink. But I am wondering if others have the same problem.
Maybe it is just a matter of adapting the heating, as my new ink seemed to melt and smudge

schabanow2 months ago

Electrolyte solution is just CuSO4 / NaNO3 = 1 / 2

CuSO4 is bluestone and NaNO3 is cooking salt. Any 20% peroxide! )) The process is smooth, quiet and pretty quick (up to 30 min for 20 C deg.)

Here is an article in Russian - some further details and vivid pictures: http://easyelectronics.ru/travlenie-pechatnyx-plat...

tantris schabanow2 months ago

> CuSO4 is bluestone

Also available as root remover for drain pipes.

> and NaNO3 is cooking salt.

Please don't invite me for dinner.

schabanow tantris2 months ago
> Also available as root remover for drain pipes.
Well we use ax just like as our ancestry did ... or air compressor cleaning + chainsaw then = in most complicated cases. ))

And our bluestone is good for tomatoes' cure for many blights (in mixture with lime and water).
schabanow2 months ago

> ... antiadhesive oven paper works the best!

I'm sure THICK GLOSSY PAPER for INKJET PHOTO PRINTERS works MUCH better than your oven paper. Cause glossy layer impregnated and baked into melted toner traces gives much more thick and robust mask than naked toner itself... Try and compare!

cburg2 months ago

I have been using this same basic method for years, and it works great. This is very good write up of the method. This old dog learned a new trick ... The Paper!

The paper that I used in the past was the cheap photo high gloss print paper from Staples. After testing many other kinds this is what I found worked best BUT not all the time.

I will buy some "Parchment Paper" tomorrow! This old Dog wants to try out this new bone!

Thanks, Great Job!

BTW: I use 40% Muratic Acid and 60% Hydrogen Peroxide. I buy the Muratic Acid anywhere they sell building supplies. It is used for both drain cleaning and brick cleaning. I buy the Hydrogen Peroxide at a beauty supply store. I use 20% concentrate.

oh and where might i find hydrochloric acid
hydrochloric acid is normal pool acid found in general groceries stores

Also known as Muratic Acid (aka HCL). Available at any big box home improvement store or any large discount store. Look the pool maintenance section.

MrTinkerer2 years ago
How do you line it up for a double-sided PCB?

I line up both side by putting a bright light behind the papers and line it up visually. Then i tape the papers together then just slide the board in between before ironing.

pinomelean (author)  MrTinkerer2 years ago
I've seen that people print 4 dots out of the circuit, they hole them, and hold them in place with something trough them. But you have to make sure that the design of both sides match correcly.
what do you use to design your PCB?
For a first attempt, play with PCBExpress (Google it). It's FREE. There are other sources for free design software, just search a little.
PCBExpress did not have design software but ExpressPCB did. testing it out. thanks for the lead.
Correct, mybad. Senior moment :)
pinomelean (author)  MrTinkerer2 years ago
I've used photoshop, but there is specific software to do it.
kelebrin2 months ago

According to step 4 Removing the paper. I hold move transferred board into vinegar bath, hold it in for few minutes then paper goes out very easy.

theboz14192 months ago

I used to do this with my boards, but the cost and the error rate can be a problem from time to time. Now, I just use OSH Park and I get 3 copies of small boards for less ten dollars including shipping. Three boards of about 2x5 cost about $50

pinomelean (author)  theboz14192 months ago
It may be convinient, but $50 is more than the whole budget i have for most projects.
Mc2mahon3 months ago
i didnt find copper plate where exactly they available?
pinomelean (author)  Mc2mahon3 months ago

They're sold on ebay, just look for copper clad boards.

cooldharap1 year ago

It worked for me but everytime i had a fallure that only 10-12% toner is not getting transeferred onto the board ..... it has happened thrice now and the portion not transferred is the same everytime ... what could be the possible reason behind it ? do give a solution

pinomelean (author)  cooldharap1 year ago
Now i use parchment paper to make the circuits with the best results, just print the circuit on the anti-adhesive side. No toner gets stuck in that paper.
cooldharap1 year ago

can u plz give the concentration of chemicals for etching solution ?

pinomelean (author)  cooldharap1 year ago
It can vary, normally i aim to make a 50-50 solution, but i haven't experimented for optimal results.
CoreyCoop2 years ago
What is the mix of acid to hydrogen peroxide, or is it a product off the shelf?

Generally 30% concentrated HCL and 2-3% conc H2O2 in equal quantities will etch the board in 1-2 minutes.

I use 1 part HCl to 2 parts H2O2. There is a shorter shelf life for this mixture, it generally doesn't last long unless you 'regenerate' the etchant solution. Search online if you are interested in this ;) I would still recommend this process over other etchants.
there are many etching solutions available from most electronics supply houses. even the radio shack has an entry. some are shipped as a powder for safety reasons. you may find some with which you can live. good luck
there are many etching solutions available from most electronics supply houses. even the radio shack has an entry. some are shipped as a powder for safety reasons. you may find some with which you can live. good luck
pinomelean (author)  CoreyCoop2 years ago
This mixture produces chlorine gas once mixed, and to bottle a product that expands producing poisonous gases is not the a good idea.
thanks i will be trying this out
sydkahn1 year ago

on the anti-adhesive baking paper - is that the same as "Parchment Paper?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parchment_paper_(baki...

pinomelean (author)  sydkahn1 year ago
Yes, i think so.

FWIW - I just tried a test print on some Reynolds and Reynolds parchment paper with an HP Laser Printer. When R&R claim non stick - they really mean it. You can actually rub the toner off it. I am going to try and iron a pattern on a board - I will be very, very, careful not to smudge the print.

aldeen192 years ago
Nice and neat, thanks.
guds7772 years ago
i was making my own pcb and it was for a smd Mc33035 IC chip and it has very very fine legs, 0,4 mm thick with 0,3 mm apart. And i tried to draw the tracers with a permanent marker, and i tried to paint it on with a varnish fly-tying paint it works well, except it is hard to paint very fine accurate tracers. So what works best for me is to use clear tape, draw the layout on with a permanent marker, put another layer on, then cut it out with ruler, sharp blade and a soldering helper with magnifying glass, it is important. The acid don't touch the plastic tape. If you dont have the glossy paper or the printer then this is my recommendation.
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