PCB Transfer Help

Frequently asked question on the subject of designing, creating, producing printed boards, veroboards or perfboads and on point-to-point construction techniques.

Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby DrNomis » 14 Nov 2010, 23:49

MullisMan wrote:I threw that board in the freezer after I was done ironing it, so I think it's probably just the paper. It's HP photo paper from Staples and it said Inkjet on the package. I figured what the heck, it should still work and threw it into the laser printer, so maybe that's my problem too. Can anybody shed some light on whether the paper has to be specifically for laser printers? I'm going to try some press n' peel, and maybe get some different paper. When you guys say use magazine paper, what do you mean? You rip a page out of a magazine and print it on that? There's usually words and ink already printed on that so I don't see how that works.

I have etchant from Radioshack, pretty sure it's the ferric stuff, it's dark and smells pretty horrible. If I get transparency paper, does that take less time to iron?




I'd imagine that it wouldn't make much of a difference to the ironing time if you use transparency paper,I do know that I got good results with the blue press-and-peel film,but you need to use a laser printer to print the artwork onto the film,a bubble jet printer will not work since the ink is totally different....... :)

This coming tuesday,I'm going to buy a couple of packets of blue press-and-peel film so that I can etch a ForumVibe board,so I can do some reworking of my Univibe,looking forward to it muchly.... :)
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby MullisMan » 14 Nov 2010, 23:53

Ok cool. So I can just use something that already has something printed on it....that will be a lot cheaper. Has anybody had problems with the paper getting jammed since you're taping a piece of paper onto another piece? I'm definitely going to try that method tomorrow. Does anybody know where I can get etchant besides Radioshack? I'm in NC and there aren't any electronics stores around me, I saw where I could mix HCl and Hyrdrogen Peroxide from Modmans tutorial, but where can I get these chemicals?
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby rocklander » 14 Nov 2010, 23:57

MullisMan wrote:Ok cool. So I can just use something that already has something printed on it....that will be a lot cheaper. Has anybody had problems with the paper getting jammed since you're taping a piece of paper onto another piece? I'm definitely going to try that method tomorrow. Does anybody know where I can get etchant besides Radioshack? I'm in NC and there aren't any electronics stores around me, I saw where I could mix HCl and Hyrdrogen Peroxide from Modmans tutorial, but where can I get these chemicals?

can't help on the chemicals, I'm lucky enough to work at a place that has access to the ferric chloride and they lemme have some old stuff...
never had the paper jam, but I think it's important to use the scotch (magic?) style tape? I think normal 'gum' based sellotape may not handle the heat in the printer so well which could lead to fuser (or other internal mechanics) degradation. ymmv and all that.
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby DrNomis » 15 Nov 2010, 00:12

MullisMan wrote:Ok cool. So I can just use something that already has something printed on it....that will be a lot cheaper. Has anybody had problems with the paper getting jammed since you're taping a piece of paper onto another piece? I'm definitely going to try that method tomorrow. Does anybody know where I can get etchant besides Radioshack? I'm in NC and there aren't any electronics stores around me, I saw where I could mix HCl and Hyrdrogen Peroxide from Modmans tutorial, but where can I get these chemicals?




HCL is a bit of a dangerous substance to work with,basically it's hydrochloric acid,and a strong one at that,I use Amonium Persulphate,it comes in a dry-crystaline powdery form,you just add it to water,and there's your etchant,I've used it to successfuly etch a PCB for the GGG Tube Driver.... :)
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby MullisMan » 15 Nov 2010, 00:14

That sounds like my cup of tea Nomis, where can I get this stuff?
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby DrNomis » 15 Nov 2010, 00:21

MullisMan wrote:That sounds like my cup of tea Nomis, where can I get this stuff?




You should be able to buy some Amonium Persulphate from one of your local Electronics parts stores,where you normally buy your parts from,I bought my jar of Amonium Persulphate from Dick Smith Electronics,but they have since gotten out of selling parts,you could give Jaycar Electronics a try,you should be able to do an online order,shouldn't cost that much,I think I paid about $9.50 for my 500gm jar.... :)
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby DrNomis » 15 Nov 2010, 00:42

Here's a couple of pics of my jar of Amonium Persulphate etchant.... :)
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby MullisMan » 15 Nov 2010, 00:49

Awesome, I think I found some near me, but it's computer repair shop that's pretty sketch, I've tried to buy components there and their stock is pitiful. Mouser doesn't seem to carry any Ammonium Persulphate. I really wish I did have a local electronics parts store around me but there's nothing at all besides that computer repair shop and they have next to nothing.
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby jstbrowsin » 15 Nov 2010, 03:43

I'm with Rocklander on the magazine paper and should be . . . if only for the reason that I converted him!!!
Before this RL was a advent user of PnP. Until I showed him a couple of etchings I did on Mag paper and he hasn't looked back since eh bud. 8)

For example: ADA Flanger PCB, iron, magazine paper and a bunch of ferric chloride . . . job done. [smilie=a_happyme.gif]
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby rocklander » 15 Nov 2010, 03:44

heh, yeah bro.. you sold me on it.. cos you know how I hate spending money ;-)
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby DrNomis » 15 Nov 2010, 03:56

It really doesn't matter what you use to transfer PCB artwork onto un-etched PCB material,the end result is the same,the Blue Press-And-Peel film/Ammonium Persulphate method is just what happens to work for me.... :)


Incidentaly,I'm online at work,my home internet credit has run out and I'll have to buy some more tomorrow,so if people try PMing me and get no response,I'm not ignoring you,just unable to reply when I'm at home.... :)
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby jstbrowsin » 15 Nov 2010, 04:04

haha, yeah RockLander you tight bastard [smilie=drink.gif]

but thats only cause you don't charge for your builds you hippie :roll:
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby minnow » 15 Nov 2010, 08:06

I'm using the UV type boards.
Just print the layout onto transparency plastic, lay it on the board and expose to light.
Next use developer to 'reveal' the trace and be rid of exposed (non-trace) areas.
Next etch as usual.
It's very very mess free and almost always produce a crisp etch.
I say "almost", cos most of the time - it is because of ME that I get a sad looking etch, not the technique itself.
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby MullisMan » 15 Nov 2010, 08:27

In the spirit of DIY, i'm going to try all the methods that have been suggested. I have easy access to magazine paper so that will be the first, and I'll place an order for some PNP. Nomis, thanks for all the help, and Rocklander you too. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty.
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby rhandy gaye » 15 Nov 2010, 11:34

i haven't really followed this thread but, i swear by inkjet photo paper through a laser printer.

when you've ironed the transfer put it in warm to hot water with orange (citrus) dish washing liguid and orange gum remover.

any sticky glues or chemicals that act like glues in the photo paper after ironing won't stick to the copper and it peels off easily. all the traces end up really strong and well defined.

i've had awesome results and end up with really great looking pcb's.
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby Barcode » 15 Nov 2010, 17:00

I've been using Kodak glossy photo paper with my laser printer for months now. I will never go back to PnP. I have found that if I let the board cool to room temperature without wetting, soaking, etc. 99% of the paper peels off like a sticker. Then it's just a bit of cleanup.

Also, as a tip, I have found that the rounded end of a toothbrush rubbed across the paper will easily remove the remainder without damaging the toner.
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby MullisMan » 15 Nov 2010, 23:22

Ok, think I've found my method. I used some magazine paper and etched 3 PCB's already. I think I may have ironed them a little too much though because the pads kind of ran together. I scratched off the toner from the areas that weren't supposed to be connected though so I think I'll be ok. Otherwise, the process was a snap! Here's a photo:
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby DrNomis » 16 Nov 2010, 01:08

MullisMan wrote:In the spirit of DIY, i'm going to try all the methods that have been suggested. I have easy access to magazine paper so that will be the first, and I'll place an order for some PNP. Nomis, thanks for all the help, and Rocklander you too. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty.




No probs,I am always happy to help out my fellow freestompboxers whenever they need my help,I do not ever want to be thought of as one of those "snobby unaproachable types",I am just a human being trying to make the world a better place for my fellow human beings.... :)
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby DrNomis » 16 Nov 2010, 10:04

i just bought this today,thought I would post a pic of it so you can see what it looks like,it is a packet of Blue Press And Peel films.... :)
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Re: PCB Transfer Help

Postby MullisMan » 17 Nov 2010, 23:29

Cool. I might eventually try that PNP, but the magazine paper is working like a charm right now. I'm just kinda hesitant about drilling now. Any tips or secrets that anybody has?
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