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VERY FAST & EASY PCB
by Jacques Brodeur VE2EMM November, 03
This page describes a new way to make PCBs with a
laser printer, water release paper and a laminating machine.
- MATERIAL REQUIRED
- PCB drawing software.
- Laser printer with a resolution of better than 600 dpi or a
- Water release paper.
- Green TRF Film.
- Modified Hot laminating machine.
- Etching liquid.
- 320 wet sanding paper.
- Transparent Green spray enamel.
- scrubbing pads.
- Stainless & Copper cleaner powder.
- DRAW THE TRACES WITH A PCB DRAWING SOFTWARE
- My preferred software is Sprit-Layout
in Germany. Also check their sPlan
It is for home-brew users as it supports only 2 sided PCBs, but it
is so friendly that you will be able to design PCBs the first time you
- PREPARING THE COPPER CLAD BOARD
- Clean the copper with the powder your wife use to clean her
copper and stainless pots and pans (LAGOSTINA
Stainless & Copper cleaner) from SEARS. Use warm water and a
scrubbing pad (Scotch Bright). Rub vigorously to prepare the PCB in
order to have the toner stick to it better.
- Dry it with an old clean rag. Do not use a paper towel, it
contains silicone and leaves a residue.
- Finish by wiping with Acetone or Alcohol to remove any trace of
- USING A LASER PRINTER, PRINT ON WATER
- This paper is available from PULSAR as TTS paper (toner transfer System)
from DigiKey or from VE2JX in
- There are 3 precautions when using this type of paper:
- Print only on the shiny side. Set the printer to its highest
- Handle this paper by the edges with dry hands.
- Never send a page through the printer if it got wet.
- FUSING THE PCB IMAGE ON THE
- The FUSING Technique: (hot); The
objective is to make
the toner image stick to the PCB without using any glue or additive to
it stick. With the application of heat for a period
of time with
pressure, the toner will become tacky and stick very well to whatever
is touching; a process called “fusing”. This toner will be the resist.
- PLACE the paper on the bare PCB board, toner on the copper.
- PASS them between the rollers of the hot laminating machine
from PULSAR or a GBC
95P or H-200 laminating machine modified to reduce its
- DIP the board with the paper stuck to it in water, the
paper will be released in about 1 minute, run some water over the board
to wash off any residual glue(release agent).
- Pass the PCB in the laminating machine again, this time
using Green TRF Film from PULSAR or DigiKey, this will
harden and seal the surface of the toner.
- Using a magnifier, touch up any defect in the resist with a
Staedtler 313-2 or
318-2 red disposable permanent marker.
- PREPARING THE BOARD FOR
- ETCH the board. I prefer
using AMMONIUM PERSULPHATE from MG Chemicals, it is much cleaner than
- REMOVE the toner with #320
wet sanding paper. Sand with a wood block under running water.
- SPRAY the finished
board with TESTOR # 1256 Transparent Green enamel
from a hobby shop or PULSAR. Insert components and solder. The
of this translucent enamel spray is that when it is subjected to heat,
vaporizes around the soldering pad, allowing the solder make a good
.When finished, your "solder mask" will be right up to the solder
giving you a very professional look, plus you get real circuit
protection. The translucent green color shows the conventional two tone
- DRILL THE PCB
- A Dremel
MotoTool and a #68 carbide drill will drill the holes nicely,
#64 and #60 or 61 are also handy to have.
Hold the PCB firmly when you are drilling, if not your carbide drill
break. Do not use a high speed steel drill bit, it will wear out before
you are finished drilling your first PCB.
- DigiKey has the carbide drills,
but the better place to buy them is at a large Hamfest where they are
sold for less than $1.00 US each.
- SOLDER YOUR COMPONENTS AND TEST YOUR CIRCUIT
- Use 63/37 small diameter solder.
This solder is either liquid or solid, there is no in between pasty
- GO BACK TO THE FIRST STEP IF YOUR CIRCUIT
DOES NOT WORK ;-)
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