make a PCB yourself

Making  a printed circuit board (PCB).

  • First cut the copper clad board to size required.
  • Sand the surface of the board to remove the layer of copper oxide that is formed due to the reaction of the copper with the oxygen in the air.
  • Once the copper surface is shiny and clean avoid touching the surface of the copper.
  • Eaglecad or ORCad may be used to design the schematic and the pcb design .
  • Take a mirror image of the pcb design while using the CAM processor to generate the Gerber files .
  • The gerber files maybe viewed online at http://www.circuitpeople.com or the .eps file maybe viewed offline using the .eps viewer  take a lazer printout of the pcb layout using. this printout will be the mirror image of the actual pcb layout .
  • Since during the transfer process the mirror image of the actual image will be transferred.
  • Now cutout the actual PCB layout on the transperency. this will be the toner transfer
  • .
  • Lightly wipe the toner layer of the toner transfer with a peice of cloth and the surface of the cleaned copper clad. This will ensure that there is no dust or grime between the toner surface and the copper.
  • Place the transfer on top of the cleaned copper clad board.
  • Secure the layout in place with the help of a peice of tape or some glue.
  • Using a hot clothes iron heat the toner transfer so that the toner layer from the tranfer is transferred onto the copper.(set the iron to the highest temperature possible…usually the cotton settings)
  • Iron the transperency gently.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on the clothes iron else the toner will smudge. too little pressure and the toner wont be transferred at all.
  • Once you think the toner is stuck to the copper turn off the iron. let it cool down to the ambient temperature.
  • Peel off the transperency if you got it right then you will see that almost all the toner has been transferred to the copper surface.
  • The toner layer will form the etch resist.
  • Now the copper clad can be put into the etching tank. ferric chloride maybe used as the etchant. although muriatic acid maybe used too.
  • Gently ‘move’ the copper clad board through the FeCl3 solution.
  • Once all the unwanted copper has been removed clean the PCB under running water.
  • Remove the layer of the toner with some sand paper or a solvent such as acetone.
  • If the PCB is meant for surface mount components then the PCB might require drilling.
  • After the drilling is over. tin the copper surface to protect and increase the conductivity of the copper tracks.

References:

http://www.riccibitti.com/pcb/pcb.htm

http://www.qsl.net/vk5cu/

http://www.fullnet.com/~tomg/gooteepc.htm

http://www.youritronics.com/diy-printed-circuit-board-using-photo-etching-method/

http://hackaday.com/2008/07/28/how-to-etch-a-single-sided-pcb/

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