What do you plate your PCB's with?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Shagas, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Shagas

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 13, 2013
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    74
    Hello


    I was wondering , what do you guys plate your DIY pcb's with?

    I usually use a silver bath for an increase in current handling capability of the
    smaller trances that can't be made bigger and because I just have a thing for silver.
    The problem is that it tarnishes fast and looks messy after a few weeks of use .

    I've tried a tin bath once but (due to lack of experience) bought an expired bottle so I didn't get very good results and only ended up stinking my dorm floor with the smell of rotten eggs.

    I also noticed (and will be ordering and trying out) a nickel bath in my local shop. Any advantages of plating with nickel Vs tin? How is the soldering on nickel plated pads?

    Are there any specific properties that these metals exhibit concerning electronics ? Perhaps at the RF range?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,414
    3,353
    I coat the board with a spray of clear urathane lacquer.
     
  3. Zeebit

    Member

    Nov 8, 2013
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    0
    Clear spray paint or you could buy a UV curable paint to be used as solder mask. Solder on the tracks also help with it carry more current.
     
  4. Shagas

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 13, 2013
    802
    74
    After you solder on the components I assume?
    Someone told me a month ago about a laquer that allows for soldering even after applied.

    I've been wanting to try that out for a few months now but haven't found any info on how it's done or what materials are used ..
     
  5. Zeebit

    Member

    Nov 8, 2013
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    0
    Just buy the paint from eBay or other sites you prefer. Search for "solder mask".

    Using it is simple. After etching and drilling(if necessary), coat the board with the paint and allow it to dry without exposing it to light. Print out the pads of your board on a sheet of acetate. Place the acetate on the board and make sure the pads align with the board pads. Next, place it under the sun for half and hour or under a UV lamp for much quicker curing. After that, just rinse off the uncured paint. Done.

    Sorry for the block of text. It's hard to format on my phone.
     
  6. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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  7. Shagas

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 13, 2013
    802
    74
    Sounds pretty simple !

    I'm currently looking at this :

    And this one

    I wonder how accurate the mask can be made though since most of the boards that I do lately are smd
     
  8. Shagas

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 13, 2013
    802
    74
    Thanks for the link mcgyvr , i've seen it mentioned here a few times.
    I have it bookmarked and will be looking into it pretty soon.
    How long do you wait for your boards to come from that place?
     
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