PCB boards


Joined Dec 13, 2006
You can make them yourself, but it is very time consuming. try doing a google search for "do it yourself pcb." there are some good links there.
ill explain the way ive been doing it. with this method its only possible to make DIP sized traces. any smaller than that is a gamble, but here ya go:

design your traces on a program like corel draw, adobe illustrator or photoshop if you have to. remember to design them as though you were looking at the top of your pcb and the top of your components or your layout will turn out to be a mirror image. (not good)

print it out on high gloss paper using a LASER printer. you dont have to be too specific with the paper, most kinds will work. some better than others, though. just make sure its high gloss. you might want to check the scale of your design. if you design it to scale in a program like corel draw, it may print out slightly stretched in one direction or another. if it is stretched, draw two parallel lines 2 inches or so apart, print it out, then measure it with a ruler. make adjustments accordingly.

next, wet sand your pcb with 1000-2000 grit paper to get a fresh layer of copper, and also to help the toner stick. dry it off as best you can when you are done sanding.

take the design you printed out and place it where youd like it on your pcb. (toner side of the paper touching the copper side of the pcb). iron the paper onto the pcb using an old iron. dont use the same iron you use for your clothing, get a cheap one. it wont ever work the same again. use a lot of pressure when ironing the design on the pcb, but dont move it around. leave it in one spot for a moment, lift it straight up, then put it back on in a slightly different spot to make sure the toner adheres evenly. (the little dimples in the bottom of your iron can be a pain). keep ironing it on until your paper starts to look a little brown, but certainly not burnt.

take your pcb and put it in a container filled with soapy water. (dish soap works fine for me). leave it for 10 minutes or so, then come back and carefully peel of the paper. if you did it correctly, the toner should be stuck on the pcb.

dry it off, then go ahead and etch. after etching, wash the ferric chloride off and sand the toner off of your traces /w the fine grit you already have. drill your holes and there ya go! an easy to make, half decent pcb for your random circuits!