Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer
Ive had much trouble with this too, and ended up doing a lot of stuff trying to get DIY pcbs to work with no avail. The only thing I have not tried is going for broke and buying photosensitive boards (I tried photosensitive films with bad results... but I am using muratic acid instead of ferric chloride so that may be my problem)....My opinion would to be to get them from a 3rd party (eg, seeedstudio, etc). Takes 3 weeks, but the results are very nice and professional looking. Having the materials for a quick one-off isnt bad either, I would much rather do that for prototyping!! You can get plain boards from taydaelectronics.com for ridiculously cheap, thats what I used before I realized I was no good at PCB making...
If the circuit is fairly simple...and you only want to build ONE or two... then I just take a BLANK copper board and a dremmel tool. I cut grids of squares at various places on the blank copper surface. Then I use the squares to connect transistors and other parts to. This is a quick and easy way to make a prototype or ONE-OFF circuit. Don't try to cut DETAILED traces, just clusters of places to solder parts to.. then run little jumper wires to match your schematic.
If you only need a few every now and then, give them away. If you need them regularly, DIY may be a better option. What kind of technology? Single layer, normal pitch - good for DIY Double layer, no vias, normal pitch - tricky but doable Lots of vias, fine pitch - may be better to give away Multilayer, buried vias etc - that's stuff for professionals
Depends on size and technology. Most amateur boards are simple enough to do at home, with basic methods.Steve
for a one off send it away.For many DIY - The equipment doesn't need to be complicated or expensive.We used to make PCB's in shallow trays, the only bit of equipment we really had was a UV light box.For small PCBs you can buy the chemicals in a plastic, use once, pouch.