Author Options:

Is there another way to make pcbs without copper board, lazer printers, or acid? Answered

I need to bulid a PCB but dont have time to buy equipment also it is going to be a one off build so I also dont want to buy anything expensave. I have strip board but getting what I want to make small is very hard. Is there a way to build pcbs with household items?


No. Without the board, it isn't a printed circuit.

How much circuitry are you making ?

I am olny using 2 transistors and 2 resistors. I was hoping to make it about 1.8cm by 4cm. It is only going to be one off. If it wasn't I would buy the proper equipment.

erm, 2 transistors and a pair of resistors? I guess I missed those dimensions before... Just use the copper clad perf board (ie, those little square radio shack hobby boards with copper clad pads on one side) and cut it down to size. unless we're talking power transistors and power resistors, you don't even need that much space. three pads each for the transistors and perhaps another two each for the resistors., that's roughly 700x600 mil, so your requirements are easy.

I've done it on many many occasions for one-offs, both for homebrew and professional work...yes for professional work. When you need something NOW to solve a problem or hack a solution that later can be fabbed using "proper" channels, you do what you need to do as an engineer...

I forgot to say. I was olny going to run 3v on it.

You can do that very easily as a "rats-nest" - the way that things like Joule-thieves are shoe horned into very small spaces.


Looks like it would break if it bent or i dropped it. Maby I after I build it I will glue it to a peice of wood.

Well, you can get clever with extra wire to build a soldered frame if you're good with the iron, wrap it with vulcanized tape if it's not a power circuit (too much heat), shrink wrap it using wide heat shrink tubing, put it in a small enclosure....lots of ways to protect the circuit once built.

There's a simple way.
You get a base board of thin wood or plastic. Make a drawing to have a guide on where your components and parts will be. Make small holes on the base board according to the places where you need them. On the back side of the board put some pieces of copper wire to do the connection links. Throw the holes pass the wires of the components and solder them to the copper on the other side as if it was the pcb paths. You can, in the end, put another thin layer, to get it all fixed on place, below the soldered parts. On YouTube you may find something like this with card board and the components wires as connections.

If the circuit only has a few IC's or not many components, you could build it on a small piece of plastic. Just epoxy or hot glue the components to the card. Then run all the wires using some THIN insulated wire like 22 gauge. If the circuit is not high frequency or high power then you can do this. High frequency circuits require a good grounding so it would be better to build on a thin sheet of metal like copper or brass.