Project: How to make PCBs

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
Last time I checked Radio Shack still sold it (for way too much). You can order it from a local store. Or you can look for the powdered form from a chemical company.
 

kbyrne

Joined Dec 10, 2011
93
Last time I checked Radio Shack still sold it (for way too much). You can order it from a local store. Or you can look for the powdered form from a chemical company.
I know that route also Bill, Just mix with water and measure the right way. I have also a digital meter for temperature reasons, it is easier to read than other types. Nice post, it has helped me a lot in itself. Keep up the good work, Kevin
 

Dr.killjoy

Joined Apr 28, 2013
1,196
Has anyone ever used the ferrite Chloride powder before and how does it work ???
Can you run a paper a couple times through the laser printer to get a better transfer ???
 

kbyrne

Joined Dec 10, 2011
93
Power type ferric chloride has worked good for me when mixed right with attention to temperature. Transfer paper smears when reheated. 1200 times 1200 dpi produces the results needed. What type of printer and type of ink
inside solved my problems. Bills formula of etchant works as good but is less in cost to use.:)
 

Dr.killjoy

Joined Apr 28, 2013
1,196
Power type ferric chloride has worked good for me when mixed right with attention to temperature. Transfer paper smears when reheated. 1200 times 1200 dpi produces the results needed. What type of printer and type of ink
inside solved my problems. Bills formula of etchant works as good but is less in cost to use.:)
I picked up a used Samsung ML-2510 laser from work and I got it working again.. I will ave to check out Bills formula later..
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
In case if any of you guys have a flat top wood stove you can use it to transfer toner on the copper too :D.

Just place a flat sheet of aluminum foil over the stove and place the PCB with toner paper on the stove and keep it under steady pressure via brick or something else that's flat and heavy.
 

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,156
I have a couple of 1/4" sheets of 8.25X8.25 Aluminum I'm going to play with that should replace the laminator. If I get it working it will be a separate Completed Projects thread.
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
I have a couple of 1/4" sheets of 8.25X8.25 Aluminum I'm going to play with that should replace the laminator. If I get it working it will be a separate Completed Projects thread.
I think that sandwich press could work too.Placing the PCB between 2 aluminum sheets would spread the heat evenly and wouldn't leave that grid marks but I'm not sure if it delivers heat evenly trough the whole press.
 

PeteHL

Joined Dec 17, 2014
340
Not having read through this entire thread, I don't know if anyone else has already made this suggestion about etching with hydrogen peroxide and muriatic (hydrochloric) acid. Bring the hydrogen peroxide close to a boiling temperature before adding the acid to it. As the peroxide solution is mostly water, this is harmless to do with a cooking pot on a kitchen stove. Of course you must first transfer the hydrogen peroxide solution to a container that the muriatic acid won't react with, such as made of plastic or glass. This results in much faster etching than with the peroxide at room temperature. In my experience, etching occurred at too slow of a rate if the peroxide isn't heated, and it is 3%, that is, off the shelf from a drugstore.

A word of caution: prior heating of the hydrogen peroxide solution before making the mixture of acid and H2O2 increases the rate of chemical reaction. This combination of acid and H202, even without increasing the temperature of the mixture to greater than room temperature, already produces a lot of gaseous product. So a lot of room ventilation is an absolute must with this etchant, and additionally keep your nostrils away from where the etchant is exposed to the air ( the opening of the etchant tank). Probably a flat etchant tank is a bad idea for this etchant. The plastic type of etchant tank that is upright with a long width and narrow depth at the top should be used.

The muriatic acid must be added VERY SLOWLY to the hydrogen peroxide.
 
Last edited:

Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
Not having read through this entire thread, I don't know if anyone else has already made this suggestion about etching with hydrogen peroxide and muriatic (hydrochloric) acid.....
Yes, there are a lot of posts about using hydrogen peroxide and muriatic acid to etch boards.

This thread is a good read, you should try it. You might also use the search function.
 

PeteHL

Joined Dec 17, 2014
340
I will stick to ferric chloride. It is no where as dangerous as mutaric acid and hydrogen peroxide.
Yes, I think that muriatic acid is quite a bit more potent than ferric chloride. The hydrogen peroxide solution is really weak. A chemist could I assume explain the difference between the two acids.

What I like about the etchant with muriatic acid with prior heating of the hydrogen peroxide solution is that you don't need a tank heater (usually an aquarium heater) and agitation, and still etching proceeds very quickly.

If you have respect for the muriatic acid, stay away from the fumes, and handle it properly, I would say that it is okay. But if you consider muriatic acid too potent, then certainly ferric chloride is the better option, assuming that you can obtain it. Here in the US, starting with maybe the start of the 21st century, it is more difficult to obtain liquid ferric chloride. Ferric chloride in powder form, to which water is added, sometimes is not the equivalent of liquid ferric chloride.
 

Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
@Robin Mitchell
@PeteHL

There are good and bad points for each PCB etchant.

My personal choice is Sodium Persulfate. No fumes, no staining, easy on the skin and clothes (if exposed), price competitive with ferric chloride and ships dry. 8 ounces etches 100 square inches of 1/2 oz PCB easily.
 
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