PCB etching

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Mathematics!, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    1,022
    4
    Ok, so the directions for the toner transfer method say's I need semigloss paper. Is their something I can substitute that with. Since I don't know of any local store that sells this and the stuff I saw was like $50 or more.
    Not willing to pay that just want a few slice of paper so I can do the transfer. Is their any other transfer agent I can print on with my computer.

    Not willing to send away or buy online.

    Thanks for any help

    I read on one post that you can use tape to draw the lines since the acid doesn't eat away or under the electric tape.

    And somebody said you can use permanent markers or sharps? ( don't know how the acid won't eat away this but if it works I would be up for it)

    And somebody said their is a special etching pencil that you can send away for use to be sold in radioshack. (<-not willing to send away for anything though so this isn't any option )

    Curious what is the best quality and way of doing it between the 2 above methods.

    Also curious to know if their is another method of doing it? Other then the fact of using a 3 party company to make the board for you and charge you in the process.

    Note this is going to be my first time etching a board and I don't want to spend alot of money on stuff until I have had a few practice runs at it. And they are successful!

    The tools I have are the ferri...etc acid , drill to drill the holes , electric tape , sharps pens ,plastic pan to pour the acid into (one of those plastic painters trays)...etc , soapy water , and the correct printer to do the toner transfer with (though I don't have the semigloss paper for the transfer substitutes?) , also any iron and the copper clad board.

    Other then that I have nothing but the components to solder onto the board if all goes well with the etching.

    Hopefully I don't need to spend anything more?

    Thanks
    Note if I cann't use the printer/toner method because I cann't use something other then semigloss paper then I would be up for manual using a sharpe or tape to make the lines ...etc
    I would just need somebody to talk me threw the steps ...Is it just making the design with the tape or sharpe then stick it in the acid. If so then how long to stick it in their?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  2. AlainB

    Active Member

    Apr 12, 2009
    39
    0
    Use old magazine paper. Take a sheet from a magazine and print on it over what is already printed. It will work very well.

    The toner transfer method has been covered "ad nauseam". Every aspect of it. A simple "toner transfer" (using the quotation marks) search will return more than 54 000 hits if using Google.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  3. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    1,022
    4
    first is it ok to send magazine paper thru your printer?
    second will the magazine image on the paper transfer to the copper clad board as well because then that would screw the etching design up?

    If the magazine image was just a white paper then I could see it working when you iron it onto the board. Maybe you are talking about another method completely. If not could you eleborate on this method what to do ,...etc ???

    Also I mentioned using tiny pieces of electric tape would this work?

    Thanks
     
  4. Steve C

    Active Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    86
    0
    I'll have to try magazine paper, that sounds like a great idea. I use non glossy paper and it works well. It's cheap at Staples here in the US. the transfer works best if I scuff up the surface before transfer. Solvent cleaning never seems to work as well as a palm sander with a very fine grit paper.
     
  5. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    1,022
    4
    I just found out that the radioshack by me carries
    CircuitWriter conductive pen part 2760037

    So I bought one can you use this to draw the lines on the copper clad board then but it in the acid for etching?
    If so then all I have to do is draw the design on the board and put it in the acid, take it out ,wash it off, and peel and I would be done!
     
  6. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,675
    899
    If the ink is conductive, it will be etched. That is not what you want for an etch resist. The carrier for the ink may resist the etchant, but why depend on that?

    John
     
  7. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    1,022
    4
    All I want to know will this pen be ok to design on the copper clad board then put in acid ... or will the design made by the pen come off in the acid as well as the copper on the clad board?

    Either way if the pen wont work on copper clad boards can you use them to design stuff on perfboards that don't have the copper on them any where. Because I have some of these boards a never used because I cann't solder on them with out some copper holes on them. Wondering if the pen would be good for these board to design with. If so then their is no need to get copper clad board and acid just get the pen and some perfboards.

    Thanks for any clarity
    This pen said it was for fixing , design ,...etc PCB boards but maybe I am missing something?
     
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,675
    899
    You are asking for results from using that pen for a purpose for which it is not intended. Maybe someone has done that and can comment; otherwise, you will need to test it yourself. As for drawing entire circuits with the pen, check what its resistance and current capabilities are. I believe it is only intended to repair breaks in PCB's.

    My advice is that when starting out, it is better to stick with known methods than to try to invent new ones for common, well-established procedures.

    John
     
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