Hack A PCB

Is there a good way to solder or just connect wires directly to traces on a one sided PCB?

Topic by Doug Costlow   |  last reply


PCB Manufacturing

I was wondering if anyone knows a cheap place to get some PCB boards printed? I used ExpressPCB to create the board (first thing I found on the computer at work) and it's giving me a .pcb file. I assume this file-type is pretty standard? I tried using their built in pricing software, but it seems a little pricey for small quantities. Any suggestions?

Topic by randofo   |  last reply


PCB traces? Answered

so if i have a high current device (inductor) on a pcb? it will run somewhere around 2 amps of power. Is there a minimum trace width to keep my pcb trace from being blown up?

Question by astroboy907   |  last reply


PCB making? Answered

Hello, Can I use H3BO3(boric acid) and HCl for etching?

Question by Zhuna87   |  last reply


dedicated pcb?? Answered

Yes i was wondering if its possible to dedicate certain circuit components to one pcb? like say one pcb has only amplifiers on it? 

Question by Newbie216   |  last reply


pcb design?

Hi how can i design a pcb for ba6849fm. i ask it because i can't find it's foot print.can anyone help me? please sent the answer to my mail

Question by nimasaboor   |  last reply


PCB Drilling?

I have heard that tugsten carbide pcb drill bits are too fragile and will break if used with a hand drill. I dont want to buy a drill press due to the cost (unless i can find a small and cheap one)... so will a 1/16 drill bit be ok for pcb holes for standard through hole components? because that is the smallest drill bit size i have that successfully works with my hand drill... any personal experience, knowledge or advice to help me? and thanks

Question by raykholo   |  last reply


printer pcb

I have a couple of laser printers i no longer use is it possible to convert them to print directly onto a flat surface like a pcb and skip the whole iron transfer process that never works right?

Topic by pattyshaw   |  last reply


PCB design?

Why do modern PCBs always use straight tracks and 45-degree diagonal tracks? I know it is good practice and design all my boards to this standard, but is there a reason behind it other than it looks visually appealing. It appears only relatively modern boards took this into account, I was looking at some 1970's electronics and quite a lot of them have rounded tracks of no definite thickness.

Question by andy70707   |  last reply


Cheap Pcb? Answered

Is it possible to create a pcb with cheap common household items and if true what can i use? I already have blank pcb but i was wonder can i substitute the etcher and acetone with other materials. 

Question by Kante Tech   |  last reply


PCB trouble?

I transferred this circuit to a circuitboard, but it didnt work. So, I tried just taking an led and soldering it to a pcb, but when I touched both leads with a battery, nothing happened. I didnt not clip the leads, I knew the cathode and anode. I was worried that when I put the led on it, I burnt it out from the soldering heat. So I desoldered it, but when I tested it OFF the pcb, it worked. The traces it was connected to was NOT connected to anything else. Any circuit I try putting on a pcb never works, none of them. Even when I just tried soldering a buzzer on it and connecting it to a battery, it only worked when it was off of it. I cant figure out why, but I am really frustrated about this. Tell me if you need to know anything else.

Question by 101yummYYummy101 


Pcb silkscreen? Answered

Im gonna try etching my own pcb but i want to know how to put a silkscreen on it and the mask to keep from short circuiting

Question by hightekrednek2396   |  last reply


HOW TO MAKE A PCB? Answered

I HAVE BOOK IN WHICH CIRCUITS ARE MADE ON PCB SO I WANT TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE A PCB?

Question by yhdesai   |  last reply


PCB etching question?

I wanted to start making PCBs. However, I read that because the chemicals dissolve the copper, you can't dump it down the sink or throw it away because it is "hazardous" and should be taken to hazardous waste disposal. I'm still in high school and can't really do that and/or my parents would think I'm doing something dangerous. Is there any other way to etch PCBs besides using chemicals, like a knife or something?

Question by 7654321   |  last reply


Help about PCB? Answered

Hi Guys, I happen to be stuck in a situation in which i need a pcb but only have a schematic and do not know how to make a pcb. So I was wondering if anyone ov er here could design me a pcb from a schematic (provided below). Help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Question by SA-DIY   |  last reply


Best price for PCB? Answered

Hi,   I am looking to make one PCB with dimensions 7"x7". I know that this is rather large, but was wondering if anyone knew the cheapest place to have this made as long it is decent quality? Time is not an important factor. It will probably be 2 layers, 4 at most. I know about Sparkfun's BatchPCB service. Thanks for your help.

Question by Hammock Boy   |  last reply


How to clean PCB?

There is a bunch of gunk on my R/C car's PCB, how do I clean it off without damaging the circuits?

Question by Zem   |  last reply


Simple PCB etching? Answered

To print out a pcb circuit you need magazine paper, a transparency or photo paper. Well I was just wondering if I can just take magazine paper out of a actual magazine if its a blank page and print right on to that and then iron that on to my pcb?

Question by Kante Tech   |  last reply


Prevent rust on a PCB? Answered

How do I prevent rust?  Or should I just not worry about the rust?  I am using single sided board etched with ferric chloride, if that matters. Also I need the copper to conduct "on the top", like if I put a multimeter on a trace it would still conduct.  So I can't use something like a clear coat spray paint. AI

Question by JaredsProjects   |  last reply


electronic diagram to pcb

Hi i need anyone that can help me with this diagram,i think its okay,at least thats how i have it in a breadboard and it works,basically its a 555 timer delay on (5secs) and then the buzzers beeps reallly fast,seems simple but one bad conection and it wont work when the pcb arrives,(it happened already,)the not conected pins seems crazy maybe but it works i have everything in breadboard,i hope someone can help me please thankss have a great day :)))

Topic by NelsonN2   |  last reply


Etching a pcb with bleach?? Answered

Yes i know there has been a question about this already... but im asking it again. Can you etch a pcb with bleach? I dont really want to go out and find ferric chloride or hydrochloric (muratic) acid :) I just wanted to know if this would work.  Also pros and cons would be good too, if not possible i can find a place with the right chemicals.. :) Thanks!

Question by astroboy907   |  last reply


Pcb charger question?

Hi All Am new to this, I just build a set of LED bike lights (kinda ugly but they are the portotype..lol) and am in the middle of figuring out how to build the batteries. I am a bit confussed about the PCB, found this one on Ebay and it says it is a charger as well, so......... if I build a battery up with this board can I just charge it with any power source (I work with computers so have buckets of laptop chargers, as well as Li-ion batteries). I am now charging two batteries at a time and running the lights in a 8 battery case, only run for 2-2.5hrs so they are not going below 2.5v. Heres a pic of my EVIL lights. http://www.ebay.com/itm/PCB-Charger-4-Packs-3-7V-Li-ion-Li-Lithium-18650-Battery-Rechargeable-2-3A-/260855721168?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D27%26meid%3D2785617145070280447%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D1011%26rk%3D2%26sd%3D260858719737%26

Question by vallka   |  last reply


Flexible PCB rewiring

Hi,     I'm working on a project where I want to strip a 'roll up piano' down and take the rubber keyboard innards which feed into the electronic sound unit and get rid of the floppy rubber roll up piano keyboard and replace it with a standard PC qwerty keyboad. I got used to using a qwerty keyboard for playing tunes already and want tomake one that is stand alone that I don't need to connect to the PC to play music with. That means I need to take all the connections that you can see in the photos I uploaded and re connected each one to a key on the keyboard.  First of all, I don't know if pressing the rubber key on the roll up keyboad 'completes a circuit' and therefore prompts the electronic unit at the end of it to play the sound or if it 'breaks the circuit'. These units have two flexible pcb sheets as you an see in the second photo so when the rubber key is pressed they touch (although they all seem to be pretty much touching anyway). In an old casio solid keyboard I have there is a hard pcb and the piano keys touch a small rubber disk (much like is what under qwerty keys) to the pcb.   would it be better for me to take a razor and painstakingly slice up the flexible plastic which the pcb is printed on then lead them to the innards of the qwerty keyboard I'm going to modify or would it be better for me to just chop the flexible pcb off and use some kind of very thin coppe wire to feed dirctly into the unit and to the underside of the qwerty keys?   Any guidence would be appreciated.    

Topic by poita   |  last reply


Get into PCB creation? Answered

Well I just realized over the past few weeks that I really need to start getting onto the PCB bandwagon and start manufacturing my own stuff...  So... I need materials and instructions on how to make my own PCBs... I have copper boards already (sourcing them is not a problem...), and i am pretty good at designing boards in EAGLE (I find it fun), but I need a method of etching them.... I have tried many toner methods and they never work how I like, I always get some pretty big mistakes and etching them sucks...  I have heard of photo resist methods, and it sounds wonderful because it has a pretty good accuracy and can go down to some pretty fine wiring... My only problem is that you have to get presensitized boards (Expensive!), as well as other chemicals... As for etching, I think I am fine, I have used a vinegar/salt/something combo and it works pretty well, just takes a while to etch.. I have some muratic acid but that stuff is nasty so I have never really tried that.. Anybody have any non-toner PCB creation process that is pretty inexpensive? (I am in high school and have a limited budget already...)

Question by astroboy907   |  last reply


Etching PCB boards

I know that copper is a better conductor than tin or aluminum. But one of my friends a few days ago told me that instead of etching his layout on copper, he used the bottom of an altoids tin. he said all he did was sand the bottom until there was no paint of the altoids can and then he etched his layout. (Chemical bath, toner, etc.) So my question is, Does anyone know how to etch custom layouts (toner layouts) on tin or aluminum? **I figure this could save people some money and time on some projects. :)

Topic by batboy61490   |  last reply


PCB toner transfer? Answered

Hey all- back with another dilemma. Whilst trying to make a PCB for the second time (first failed miserably), Im stuck on toner transfer. I printed my design out from eagle and laid it out, and Ironed it for about 2min on each side (mostly because the first time i tried i did it for about a minute and i only got about half the design on). When it cooled down i took it off and nothing got transferred. I got some residual lines from I think heat stress on the paper, but I was able to take them off. So naturally I tried again- but this time with a different method. I found some t-shirt transfer paper upstairs, and tried that. NEVER doing that again. I ended up having to sand my board down for like 5-7 min trying to get all the gunk off. Any ideas why my printer method doesnt work? Im using the same brand of photo paper as last time (Costco Kirkland brand), but a different printer- a canon instead of a brother. I have access to the brother printer, a hi quality photo printer (1200 dpi I believe), a dell laser printer, and the canon. I think I used the brother printer last time I tried (or possibly the photo printer- also a canon). Could that be the problem? Thanks in advance- Astroboy907 P.S I also have some transparency sheets if anyone has a method to get that to work.

Question by astroboy907   |  last reply


Milling PCBs with grbl?

Hi everyone. Ive just finished my little mill, and it works great, its ardunio based running grbl control software. I thought it would be cool to mill PCBs  so I downloaded fritzing, designed a PCB and Im now stuck, as I need something to output an NC Gcode to the mill. Fritzing can output a few different formats, pdf, svg, and grber. I have got Vcarve but it doesn’t like  fritzings pdfs, I can import grber file into grbl, but the scale is wrong and the trace looks like its full of errors. Can anyone recommend a PCB design package that is compatible with grbl?

Question by liquidhandwash   |  last reply


Schematic and PCB layout

I saw a schematic from http://makelifeeasy.yolasite.com/ this is the schematic design http://members.misty.com/don/linefl.gif and i tried to make a PCB layout and this is what i came up with the design http://img825.imageshack.us/i/circuitz.jpg/ is the layout correct? the blue line will likely be a jumper wire.. thanks in advance for the guidance.. =]

Question by gameshark888   |  last reply


Help With Eagle PCB Layout

Hello All. I'm trying to etch a board created in Eagle.  2 Questions: When I export the image, the "plastic part" of the pin headers on my board are showing up in the exported image. Is this image really "doable" using a toner transfer method due to the thin clearances and trace widths? Exports of the schematic and board images are attached. Thanks! Cam

Topic by evilknot   |  last reply


Strip board or custom PCB

I'm writing an article that gives detailed instructions on how to build a simple electronic gadget. What I like to know is would you prefer to see the gadget built step by step on strip board or a custom PCB? I would normally just get a custom PCB made and they look neat in photos but if I use strip board people don't have to go to the effort and can get all the bits they need from an electronics store. Just seeing what people think.

Topic by rarebeasts   |  last reply


Arduino PCB Board Layouts

I thought I might share some the circuit board layouts (Top and bottom) of several Arduino boards that I've created. They could be used to etch your own board or just used to compare sizes. I created them from the eagle files provided from the Arduino website and exported each layer in monochrome with help from this Instructable. Automating Eagle export and preparing it for printing by truhlik_fredy To create your own PCB layout on eagle i found this Instructable was the most helpful Turn your EAGLE schematic into a PCB by westfw Download Eagle for free here The File is available as an Adobe Illustrator file and as a png

Topic by MrSirLRD 


Homemade PCB Photoresist Developer?

This site has GREAT 'ibbles for ways of etching and transferring toner to PCBs.  I still use photoresist and would love to know if anyone has a recipe for homemade developer.  I know its mostly Sodium Carbonate, but there's some pH nonsense that needs to be addressed.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Question by zaphodd42   |  last reply


How to connect a motor to this PCB ??? Answered

Hi ... in this case, I would appreciate your advice when it comes to connect a little bigger motor to this PCB. I know, that the description "bigger motor" wont be sufficient, but that's all what I know :( ... I added a picture of this motor. It's from a RC car ... and as you can see, it has a gear box. I used an adapter to make it run (3V-1A) and the power it gives, is enough for my project. The question/issue I see (with my poor knowledge) ... is to drive this motor from this PCB. This PCB is from a dog bark trainer. It is operated by radio remote control. It was able to make elec. shocks and to vibrate (the small motor). My plan is to operate the gearbox motor CW by pressing the "elec.shock" button on the RC and CCW by pressing the "vibrate" button = (remove the vibra motor, use the connections to drive my motor and do the same, but with opposite wiring by using the elec.shock connections) Questions : 1. do you think, that the microcontroller would survive the AMPs that the motor would consume ??? 2. do you think, that it is the microcontroller that decides, how long is the vibra motor on ??? (it's on for 2 seconds, after pressing the button...my personal opinion is, that yes) Thank you ... in advance :) zholy

Question by zholy   |  last reply


Safe DIY PCB etchant

Hello out there, I was wondering if anyone knew a safe, homemade PCB etchant other than the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide method. That produces copper (II) acetate and I don't have any use for it other than copper plating, and I suck at electroplating anyways. I would like to find a safe, homemade copper etchant that is easily disposed or can be reused for something.  Thanks, Sam.

Question by DELETED_JesusGeek   |  last reply


PCB Trace Width Questions

Hello instructioners, So i am working on a PCB to use my XBOX 360 power supply as a standard 12volt 16 amp without hacking it apart. I've taken the female plug from a dead Xbox and I've recreated the layout in ExpressPCB. my only issue is being that its 16 amps @ 12volts is the trace widths to hold that much power are ridiculously wide we are talking 7mm or there abouts. I used several different online calculators to determine trace width.  My question is..  how small can i get away with for traces and still get 16amps.. is there a way of bridging the front and back side of a 2side PCB to allow for more amperage on smaller traces? i am really at a loss here. since my PCB is set at 38mm by 38mm and the connector size is 27mm long by 23mm wide. with 7mm wide traces i can't connect all the power pins together and all the ground pins together and route them out. Now i realize the 16amps is max draw but i'd like to plan for a max draw situation that way i feel confident enough to not have to check it all the time to make sure its not melting. Below is an image of the current board in Express PCB the labeled Thru-hole are connections i will need to make for this all to work. the other remaining holes are for mounting the female jack securely. The three yellow boxed connections are 12v+ The three greyed boxed connections are gnd ENG is bridged to +5 to make the XBOX PSU provide 12v

Topic by jgosselin   |  last reply


Is it possible to etch PCB's with HCL? Answered

I bought one of ladyada's USBtinyisp avr programmers a few days ago, its working great! i program alot in visual basic but i never tried anything quite like the C similar programming of the avr chips. because of that i reprogram my chip ALOT, so i decided to make a target board. i already have the "blank" board and a UV lamp to prepare it. i have sodium hydroxide to develop it. all i need is something to etch off the copper. so i was wondering: can i etch off the copper with 32% hydrochloric acid/muratic acid/HCL?

Question by solidacid   |  last reply


Water-damaged PCB repair

So water leaked in to the General Electronic Module (GEM) on my pickup and now it's acting all funny. A/C runs when the ignition is off, randomly switching to 4L, airbag light chattering on and off, etc. I want to try and repair it. My intuition is that it just acts up when there's stray conductivity between traces/elements, so if I give it a good clean and keep it dry it should work like new.However, I noticed upon pulling it apart that there's some corrosion taking place. Can anyone suggest a good way to repair these traces/SMD resistors? I have a soldering iron but heavily oxidized things don't take solder well in my experience. Or should I just put some lacquer on it and not worry about it?Thanks!

Topic by RelaxedSoup   |  last reply


what is meaning of PCB in electronics? Answered

somebody called this wire board

Question by warengadia   |  last reply


LED dimmer PCB needed!? Answered

I was looking to make a LED dimmer cct and wanted to know if anyone had a pcb layout for one? The problem I am having is the 555 IC can only power 4 LEDs and i need to power 11 rows of 5. I was woking off this cct Can anyone help, thanks. 

Question by crazyaxemax   |  last reply


magazines as etching paper for PCB's? Answered

I've read somewhere that you can use magazines for etching PCB's. now, that seems perfect (if it works) becouse of the reuse, its cheap, and it works :D but, 2 questions came to me: first, wouldnt the ink already in the magazines (text, pictures, etc) mess up the toner transfer? and how about the size of the paper? just cut it down to A4/A5 format using one of those big knive cutting tools? (don't know how theyr called in english :P )

Question by godofal   |  last reply


Symbols Configuration for PCB Libraries

Hi everyone !, I would like to know what kind of symbol configuration most of engineers or pcb designers use or what standards follow to create the symbols.I found some recommendations and i have two examples of symbol configurations , In the "Image #1" i created the symbol placing inputs and pasive pins on left side and outputs on the right side and in the "Image #2" i followed the symbol configuration of the typical application of the datasheet.Which of the two configurations is preferred or recommended to use and why?Thank you.

Question by Juan DavidD3   |  last reply



Will someone make me 2 PCBs??

I need two circut boards done and i have copper clad and PDFs and i can't get Mine to turn out right. How much would you charge me?

Question by 16zzundel5   |  last reply



Whats the best Laser Printer to buy to make pcbs ?

Whats the best Laser Printer to buy to make pcbs using the toner transfer method ? alot of people seem to use HP but dont know what model to buy, is there a certain type of toner to use are they all the same please help

Question by welder030   |  last reply


Whats the best method to tonertransfer a _double_ sided pcb?

I was mad a lot of single sided pcb layouts with the toner transfer method. now i want to make some double sided pcb layouts, but i dunno how i can do it right, so that its 100% same position on every side.

Question by ninharp   |  last reply


PCB fab lab questions? (and nixie tubes?) Answered

Now that I have a new oscilloscope (rigol DS1054Z), and have learned a LOT about programming and electronics while down at NASA langley for a research program (semi-intern), I feel like I should start working on a real project (other than my quadcopter), and was thinking about making a nixie tube clock. I would like to make it from scratch of my own design as I feel one learned the most about electronics by not using other's designs. However, I do not have the resources or time to bother trying to etch my own PCB. I attempted that before and was not able to get usable results. What kind of costs am I looking at if I locate a relatively local company for the job? I hate calling people and companies, but I suppose that is still the most practical way to figure out what I need to do and place an order, I don't know. Economies of scale is a great thing, makes things in bulk production cheap! However, would the costs of ordering one or 2 PCBs be non-economical and/or non-practical? Should I consider many smaller projects and stuff to be created on a breakout board? I hate messy, sloppy protoboard, it is just nasty, though easy for non-high-density boards. however, I would love to hear the opinions of others for these things. When dealing with nixie tubes, are sockets for the 1N-14 avalible? A lot of the new old stocks seem to have very thin and long legs, almost as if they are meant for through hole soldering directly onto a PCB like capacitors and resistors. I would prefer a socketed tube to make replacing them quicker and easier. 

Question by -max-   |  last reply



It is possible to make homemade PCB blanks? Or is there a good place to buy blanks in Canada? ?

 I know there are many places online to buy boards for 2$ or less but shipping to Canada can be upwards of 8$. Anyone know a good place for Canadians to buy blanks. I imagine making your own blanks would be too difficult, hopefully someone can correct me on this. Thanks

Question by A_Sab   |  last reply


Can I etch my own PCB's at home? If so, where can I get a step by step guide for it??

I'd reely like to have all the details....cuz im sick of not finding any1 to do my PCB's for me!

Question by Yashknowsbetter   |  last reply