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Everything Else » Custom Etching PCBs

March 05, 2012
by Rocket_Man_Jeff
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Hi all,

I've read bits and pieces about etching your own PCB and am interested in trying this myself. I've seen a number of kits available to do this with. Has anyone successfully made a custom PCB and if so, how well does it work? Any recommendations? I've seen the services that you send away for, but would rather make my own since it seems to be more cost effective when only needing one board.

Thanks! Jeff

March 05, 2012
by mongo
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There are a lot of ways to do it. The most economical is to use the etch resistant marker and literally draw the circuit on the copper. Then all you do is etch the exposed copper away. Drill the pads with a little tiny bit, like around a #60 to poke the leads through and double check for breaks in the traces or bridging between them. I have used that method quite successfully numerous times and it is a great way to make one-off boards for experiments. As long as they are fairly simple, it should do a fine job.

March 09, 2012
by Rocket_Man_Jeff
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Thanks for the reply. Your method does seem to be the most economical. I've read about a few different techniques - everything from what you're suggesting to printing the board on a printer and transferring it to the material. I'm just trying to see what'll hopefully work out the best!

Jeff

March 10, 2012
by Rick_S
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Here is a thread where we were discussing this exact matter. May have some helpful info there for you.

LINK

Rick

March 11, 2012
by Rocket_Man_Jeff
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Thanks for the link Rick. I searched through the forums here a few weeks ago but that didn't turn up. Looks like all my answers are in there!

Jeff

March 11, 2012
by Ralphxyz
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That's why "How To etch a PCB" should be in the Nerdkits Community Library there lots of examples on the web and instructions but having a "local" reference would be nice.

Ralph

March 11, 2012
by Rick_S
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I like my current way best... Make some files, send them off with a little money... wait 3 weeks or so, and magically they appear in my mailbox BigGrin

Rick

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