Diy Copper Plated Through Hole

Thread Starter

emalper

Joined Aug 4, 2016
24
Hello my friends,

I am trying to set up my own pcb making station and i am having a little bit difficulty with through hole plating.

While i was searching online i found quite a few articles and intractable on the internet. I found a activator solution to pre dip the copper boards but i cannot find the chemical compundin my country. I live in Turkey.

The solution is :
1. Distilled water
2. Copper sulfate
3. Calcium hypophosphite (Ca(H2PO2)2)
4. Ammonium hydroxide (25%)

I am wondering if it is possible to replace the Calcium hypophosphite (Ca(H2PO2)2) with some other chemical. Did anyone tried this kind of activator solution for their homebrew pcbs.

Also can anyone give me a decent electrolyte solution recepie for copper plating which will make my plates look profossianls and decent.

Thank you in advance.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,050
Given the cost of professionally made boards, you would do well to focus on learning math, physics, chemistry or any other science. And, if your are more interested in the arts, how about the evolution of English. In other words, you are wasting your time.

Moreover, there are plenty of YouTube videos on how to do it. In ten years, do you plan to be an expert in PTH (plated through holes) or something useful?
 

Mark Hughes

Joined Jun 14, 2016
409
"In other words, you are wasting your time."
"PTH (plated through holes) or something useful?"
John -- emlaper is learning about a topic that interests him/her. That's how most great learning happens. Grabbing a tough interesting problem, working it, and seeing it through to completion. There's no need to discourage at this point.

@emalper keep you via aspect ratio low -- for a typical 62 mil board, keep your vias to 30 mils or so -- at least at first. As you finalize your technique, you can increase your aspect ratio.

The two things to figure out are the power supply, the chemistry, and the cleaning. Start with one issue, work it through, and then move on to the next. I'd start with the power supply personally, just because it's the thing I'm most comfortable with.

I'm afraid I've never done home plating -- but if you're ever in the Bay area -- I can arrange a tour for you at a PCB fabrication house -- you can ask the plating engineers everything they know.

Good luck!
Mark
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,050
John -- emlaper is learning about a topic that interests him/her. That's how most great learning happens. Grabbing a tough interesting problem, working it, and seeing it through to completion. There's no need to discourage at this point.
What interests you and $5 may get you a discounted coffee at Starbucks.

What is important is learning how to do something that will get your kids though college debt free and keep you and your family off the government dole. My mom, a woman who grew up during the depression, was very bright despite her lack of formal education. She didn't waste a lot of words, but when she said, "John, you need to work hard, or you will lose your job, go broke, and starve to death," I didn't need much more encouragement.
 

Ohmlandia

Joined Mar 2, 2020
30
Making PCBs with single sided tracks is not difficult, but making them with doubled sided tracks is harder. Making boards with plated-through-holes just adds yet another level of difficulty. Don't try to run before you can walk! Plated-through-holes are a curse if they haven't been done properly, believe me I know from bitter experience.
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
796
I never tried through hole plating but about 20 years ago I needed to make a double sided board and successfully used copper eyelets through the holes. It was a tedious process but it worked very well for the single board I needed to make. The board is still working in the audio part of my entertainment system.
Keith
 

ebeowulf17

Joined Aug 12, 2014
3,274
What interests you and $5 may get you a discounted coffee at Starbucks.

What is important is learning how to do something that will get your kids though college debt free and keep you and your family off the government dole. My mom, a woman who grew up during the depression, was very bright despite her lack of formal education. She didn't waste a lot of words, but when she said, "John, you need to work hard, or you will lose your job, go broke, and starve to death," I didn't need much more encouragement.
Did your mom also tell you to never have a hobby, and to never try anything that wasn't part of your plan for self preservation?

I'll agree that if the thread starter is planning to go into business starting from scratch, the odds are severely against them and it may not be a wise choice. However, if it's a hobby interest, what's wrong with that?
 

ebeowulf17

Joined Aug 12, 2014
3,274
Back on topic, I think if I was going to DIY double sided boards, I'd just put the pads on each side, drill the holes, and use tiny lengths of wire soldered on both sides to join the two (of course, anywhere that had a through hole component, you'd just use the legs of the component, but solder both sides instead of just one.)
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,050
Back on topic, I think if I was going to DIY double sided boards, I'd just put the pads on each side, drill the holes, and use tiny lengths of wire soldered on both sides to join the two (of course, anywhere that had a through hole component, you'd just use the legs of the component, but solder both sides instead of just one.)
I have used eyelets and short pieces of wire. Eyelets are expensive and relatively large. For a hole that takes a device (pin) where you cannot solder both sides, there is probably little option, but I have never faced that. I solder the top (device side), then heat the pin(s) and slide the device into place. End with soldering the bottom.

For vias, I use awg 24 tinned wire and drill a hole that is a snug fit. Stick a piece in the hole, solder, cut the other side short and solder it. Since the wire fits snugly, it doesn't fall our when soldering the opposite site.

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