Introduction: PCBs Without a Printer!
Ever felt tired of veroboard or perfboard and wanted to do your own PCBs?
Here's where I was just recently, having failed numerous times with toner transfer and unable to find printable film, to do the photoresist trick.
I came up with a solution and also made photos for this very instructable, while testing it out.
What you will need:
- Blank copper clad PCB
- Veroboard or perfboard at least the same size as your project
- Drill and a 1mm drill bit
- CD marker
- Etching supplies(will not go into detail, lots of tutorials out there)
- Double sided tape(normal tape will probably do as will blu-tac
- Your favourite beverage such as coffee or beer.
Step 1: Plan Out Your Board
First, using your favourite editor such as eagle (or use EasyEDA, a browser based and free schematic and PCB editor, check it out, it's awesome! www.easyeda.com), draw your PCB to be, keeping it all on a 2,54mm(1/10 inch for the metrically disabled;) ) grid or whatever hole spacing your veroboard is at.
Step 2: Glue and Mark
Now take the double sided tape or whatever you planned on using and fix the blank PCB to the Vero, aligning one of the corners
IMPORTANT: Make sure it's fixed tightly or you will have hole misalignment like I did.
When fixed, mark all the holes/Vias to be drilled.
Step 3: Drill the Holes.
Sit the assembly on top of a piece of scrap wood and drill all the holes you marked.
To preserve your self esteem, double check and then triple check, that you have marked and drilled every last one, before you proceed to the next step or you will feel stupid like I did.
If you didn't, yet, here's a good chance to see if your components fit!
Step 4: Prepare for Drawing
Remove the Veroboard and gently deburr the newly drilled holes with fine sandpaper.
Step 5: Draw It!
Now using the CD marker, draw your traces according to the plan, you made in the first step.
Step 6: Etch It!
Now make sure the girlfriend/wife/mother is not home, get a glass bowl from the kitchen, heat it up with running hot water, pour in 50/50 boiling water/FeCl3 and etch away. Do not overdo it, like I did or you will etch away your finer traces.
When finished wash the board and remove the marker with acetone or scrub it away.
Or use whatever etch method you have, there's tons of tutorials.
Step 7: Enjoy Your Product!
I overetched mine, left it unattended for too long and thus got a cut trace and the fine print got etched away too, but all in all I am happy. Small cut traces can be fixed with extra solder.
Feels MUCH better to complete it, than a project on vero :)