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HOWTO: Create your own PCBs on the cheap!

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by GooSE, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    Probably not. There is a high chance that the solder will just sit on the pads and not get to your pins.

    The way I do it is to make my own vias, so right next to or even on top of the pad in question, you make a via hole and solder in a wire link from top to bottom and solder that in, hand file the top to flatten it out if needed and then solder the part in on the bottom to the wire link


    Totally agree, making good pcb's is so hit and miss that I would rather make a nicer tighter layout and get it fabbed, for the little extra you spend it cuts out so much hassle
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  2. dohzer

    dohzer Member

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    Often it's a lead time thing.
    Sure, getting PCBs manufactured isn't that expensive anymore, but if you need a simple board really quickly, you end up paying for it (unless I'm missing some special cheap and rapid service a company is offering).
     
  3. rockofclay

    rockofclay Member

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    I'm building a UAVP board for a quadrocopter, I'll probably avoid the hassle now for the main board, and get that ordered in. I'll still make a few breakouts for gyros and accelerometers though, as they're a lot simpler and like you say, I don't want to be waiting!
     
  4. 2xCPU

    2xCPU Member

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    For me, it's a number of factors starting with lead time.
    $25 will get one small single sided board with no solder mask or silk screen.

    I can make that in 30 min.

    To me, the greatest benefit of a 'manufactured' board is plated through holes and solder mask - you don't get either for $25.

    As soon as you need multiple boards, the numbers improve rapidly.
    There is no way I'd bother making ten boards (even five), but for a one-off, I can't justify $60 for a 25x50mm board.

    2.
     
  5. NanoDuke

    NanoDuke Member

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    Sorry for the year-old bump, but I just got a laser printer and want to try the toner transfer method.
    Is HCl/Peroxide still the best method for etching?

    Also where is the best place to buy copper boards from?

    Jaycar has large boards, but they seem overpriced for their size. Maybe eBay (China?) is the best option?
    Bonus points if someone can find a bunch of pre-cut boards about the size of a match-box ;) Failing that I'll just cut my own from a large sheet.
     
  6. Symon

    Symon Castigat ridendo mores

    Joined:
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    Probably years overdue, but I have stickied this thread :thumbup:
     
  7. 1800-gumby

    1800-gumby Member

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    Honestly with the price iTead does boards for I'll never try and etch another board again. A through hole plated and masked board makes soldering soooooooo much easier.
     
  8. shadowtec

    shadowtec Member

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    Oct 8, 2006
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    Hi all...

    I think it is the first time I have posted on OCA

    just under 2 years ago I brought a cnc kit from Zentoolworks.

    Because of reallife stuff it took a while to get it going

    [​IMG]

    and this is where I have gotten up to with milling SMT boards

    [​IMG]


    this was before I made a new table for the machine because the one from the factory was warped (as you can tell with the board I milled)

    as soon as I have some time I try to get it all sorted (back in April I brought a small reflow oven) :)
     
  9. shadowtec

    shadowtec Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
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    Well it's been a while since I been playing with pcb's and I got some new toys to solder with

    this is a board I knocked up the other night (a simple pic circuit that flashes leds and output i2c) [​IMG]

    I also brought this a year ago. it helps a lot with soldering [​IMG]
    as long as you remember where the solder iron is in relation to your fingers :)
     
  10. Thunder

    Thunder Member

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    Jul 22, 2001
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    I've just finished making a light box for making PCBs using the kinsten resist coated boards. It uses 168 straw hat UV Leds, wired 7 in series and powered by a 24 volt plug pack.

    I've developed and etched one board with it so far. Exposure time is about 2 - 3 minutes, but I still need to do some experiments to work out the exact time required.

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full-sized image!
    Hosted by UGBox Image Store
     
  11. rameshrai

    rameshrai Member

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    Oct 15, 2012
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    Re

    great information, someday i will try this out..
     
  12. ericks

    ericks Member

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    Nov 3, 2012
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    Location:
    Adelaide
    Hi,

    I normally use PressnPeel, it works well for small boards. But when i do large boards i struggle! End up having to make repairs with a permanent marker. Just did my first board on a cnc, have done a lot of other stuff like lables, gears, front panels etc.

    I milled, rubbed out, drilled and cut out the pcb with the cnc. Used a 0.2mm v-bit, as you can imagine it took a while to rub out the left over copper...
    The smallest tracks are 0.5mm, everything came out 100%.

    Have images of the board, but it seems i am not allowed to post them atm...

    *** This will be my new best option to do larger boards for once off projects...

    Another "quick" option might be to use a permanent marker on the cnc, and plot the tracks... i might give this a go...:)
     

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