Etchant Agitator

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,815
When making printed circuit boards, it is important to continue to agitate the etchant. I had an idea in mind to convert an old scanner to do the job. Probably a lot simpler way to do this function but this was just a fun project working with stepper motors.

At the heart of the agitator is a PIC 18F45K22. More horse power than needed but a very versatile chip and my go to chip. I have several on hand.

The pic controls a Reprap stepper motor controller. There are two TCRT5000 photo sensors, one at each end to sense the limits.

When first turned on the agitator will first go through a light test. When the run button is pressed, the agitator will go through an initialization process to find the center of the bed. Once initialized and Run is pressed once more, the control panel can control distance traveled as well as the speed of the bed.



 
Last edited:

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
8,355
I made a real simple one. A metal tray with a couple of resistors bolted on the bottom which heat the tray, with a thermostat to control the temperature, and a geared motor to rock the tray back and forth. Put your dish of etchant and it gets heated. When ready, add a board.

It is now redundant, replaced with a CNC.
 

nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
Looks good.

What do you use as an etchant. Ferric Chloride? Do you use som sort of heat source to speed up the process?
 

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,815
Looks good.

What do you use as an etchant. Ferric Chloride? Do you use som sort of heat source to speed up the process?
Hydrochloric acid and peroxide. It is readily available, it does not stain as bad as ferric chloride and it is clear so you can see when the etching is done.

Thinking of adding one of these

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Zoo-Med-Repti-Therm-UTH-Under-Tank-Heater-Reptile-Heat-Pad-Mat-10-20-gallon-NEW/273041842048?epid=710149987&hash=item3f928fdf80:g:USMAAOSwYDZaWY4P
 

Dr.killjoy

Joined Apr 28, 2013
1,200

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
788
When making printed circuit boards, it is important to continue to agitate the etchant. I had an idea in mind to convert an old scanner to do the job. Probably a lot simpler way to do this function but this was just a fun project working with stepper motors.

At the heart of the agitator is a PIC 18F45K22. More horse power than needed but a very versatile chip and my go to chip. I have several on hand.

The pic controls a Reprap stepper motor controller. There are two TCRT5000 photo sensors, one at each end to sense the limits.

When first turned on the agitator will first go through a light test. When the run button is pressed, the agitator will go through an initialization process to find the center of the bed. Once initialized and Run is pressed once more, the control panel can control distance traveled as well as the speed of the bed.



Awwww.... little bezels around the cute little LEDs.... I don't know why I like 'em so much. *NICE* control panel, by the way ;)
 
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