making my own boards

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by mikemoore, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. mikemoore

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2013
    hi all
    I have been looking around youtube to see how you go about etching boards at home. i am now building projects that have out grown prototype board. i am still new to electronics but want to have a go at making these at home. this guy has made a tutorial on how he makes them here:

    so my question is if i follow these instructions will i be on the right track?
    many thanks for any help
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
  3. mikemoore

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2013
    thanks thats a great tutorial i have a question though which is better to laminate the artwork on the board or buy the photo board and devolope the artwork. are they both just as good as i already started to put together a light box and i dont have a laminator
    many thanks for your hep
  4. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
  5. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    I used the sun for UV and it worked perfectly. It was a photo-resist board and I used a photographic clear sheet with the "keep the copper" parts in black. I don't remember the timing now, but I do remember it was for a tiny board with surface mount parts, a great need to avoid leakage currents, and it worked perfectly.

    You can bet I followed the instructions that came with the photo-resist board because it only took one try and I had dozens of little PC boards printed. I just had to cut them out, one at a time.
  6. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    Of course if you can wait 2 weeks PCB's services from China are very cheap now.
    I've used this place with a 4 layer board and it was perfect..
    and thats price per lot not per board.. So 10 pcs of 5cm x 5cm max comes out to like $0.99 per board.. ($9.90 for 10)
    tshuck likes this.
  7. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    Producing constantly better results, maybe. But I can't see how it is easier. You need specially treated boards, transparencies etc.

    I find it very easy to use the toner transfer method. The right printer and a laminator really make life easier.
  8. SPQR


    Nov 4, 2011
    I've tried the transfer technique noted in Bill Marsden's excellent thread, and it works.
    But most of my boards now are done by the photo method.
    I buy the 2x4 Datak photoboards from Jameco.
    I draw my circuit with Express PCB.
    The circuit is printed on an INK JET transparency.
    I expose the board and transparency with a 100 watt bulb for 11 min.
    The board is developed in NaOH (2 teaspoons in 1 quart of H2O).
    Etched in HCl and H2O2.

    I've done this quite a few times, and from idea to drilled board it usually is about 2 hours.

    I think you should choose the method that best works for you and your budget.
    I want to try direct to PCB inject printing, but haven't had the time.
  9. mikemoore

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 6, 2013
    i have made a light box just waiting for chemicals and board to come from rapid will update on my first try at this!
    many thanks for all your help
  10. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    I wrote the AAC article in question for toner transfer, I am thinking of doing something similar for the photographic technique. Keep us (me) posted, I am interested.

    Have you checked the Completed Project Collection forum? It has several etching articles there, mine is just one of several.

    Completed Projects Index