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Craters on home made PCB tracks ??? How to avoid ??? Answered

Hi ...

I would like to ask how do you do your own PCB - so that you have nice/solid tracks ??? I did mine by using laser printer - iron - Ferric Chloride (FeCI3).

When I've finished the board ... I've took it under 30x magnifying loupe and saw a lot of craters in those copper tracks - which sometimes lead to NO CONNECTION between the copper.

Or I made this = I saw a track that did transfer signal (I've checked it for continuity) but it seems to be very thin. So I've decided to put solder over it to make it solid.  But to my surprise ... as soon as I put solder over the "weak spot" ... the connection get lost. I had to make a "bridge" by using a small wire.

Could you explain me, why this happened and how to make the track NICE and SOLID ???

Thank you in advance.



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Best Answer 10 years ago

Some possibilities for cleaner etching:

1) Make wider traces
2) Use different paper to print your transfer onto (I use store-brand Photo Gloss from Staples with good results. YMMV.)
3) After transferring the traces, go back over them with a sealant to eliminate pinholes. Sealants worth trying include Sharpie marker, nail polish, paint pen, and asphaltum.
4) Use a commercial toner transfer paper.
5) Etch using muriatic acid/peroxide instead of ferric chloride
6) Etch using a galvanic etching technique instead of ferric chloride

One (or a combination) of the above may give you the results you are looking for.


10 years ago

Better resist or shorter etch time... or both...