Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A better board

My first PCB was not successful, so here is try number two: As you see here, my I wrapped the copper-coated board more closely than before to ensure maximum contact between iron and board as well as supposedly guranteeing a minimum of shifting. So, after repeating the process from before (see previous post for board creation process), I wound up with the following:
As you can see from the large amount of bright white traces on the bottom, the silkscreen transfer was not very successful on the bottom side of my board. I believe this is due in part to the papers that were wrapped too tightly around the board, because I certainly ironed down on the board hard enough to make a successful transfer. After fixing the weak traces with white-out, I dropped the board into the etchant in this plastic bowl.
It took me 4 hours to completely remove all the copper. It was about 60-65 degrees outsidethat night, and I had the fan on because of the fumes. I would imagine the best place to etch would be outside in 70+ degree weather.
I used small rubber PC motherboard spacers to keep the board off the bottom of my large plastic bowl (picture after etching):Next came the drilling, with a 1/32" bit this time. The only place I could find a 1/32" bit was in a little drill-bit set for sale at Home Depot. The 6-piece set was marked and sold specifically for Dremels, so I don't know if I paid too much for them because of that. It was approxiamately $7.50. Finally, after drilling and buffing the excess ink and white-out off the board, the (new and revised!) etching process, was finished!