Thursday, October 17, 2013

Making PCBs (Part one of ???)

I've always wanted to make a PCB for something electronic.  It makes me feel like a "real" nerd.

So I'm finally going to do it.

I found this article through Hack-A-Day that said (among other things) that you can use
Testors Transparent Candy Emerald Green Spray Enamel as a solder mask that also protects the PCB traces from corroding over time.

Nurdrage's Videos on PCB Etchants was very useful in selecting an etchant.  At 3:33 he specifically talks about Copper Sulfate and Hydrochloric Acid.  I have both of these in my chemistry lab, so that's the path I chose.

The next required piece is a copper plated board.  Hello Radio shack.  

2-sided copper clad PC Board

Now I have to decide what to build.

I found this page that has a dead simple LED flasher.

 2 caps, 2 npn transistors, 2 leds,4 resistors.  It's perfect.

I'm an electronics noob.  So first I built this in the Java Circuit simulator from

It works!

Now I'm building the PCB layout in Fritzing, a Breadboarding/layout tool.  Thats the topic for the next post in this series.

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