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How can I make something like this?

  1. Jan 22, 2004 #1
    go to http://www.impconcepts.com/airfuelmeterforsale.htm
    and scroll down to the printed circuit board picture. How does he make that board? It doesn't seem like ur typical pcb.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2004 #2
  4. Jan 22, 2004 #3

    chroot

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    It looks like a normal PCB to me also. It's not on FR4 (the normal green fiberglass), it's on some cheaper dielectric, but it's a normal PCB. There are many fabrication houses that can make PCBs.

    - Warren
     
  5. Jan 22, 2004 #4

    Njorl

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    If you look closely, the metallization looks home-made. It is uneven and ragged.

    Njorl
     
  6. Jan 23, 2004 #5

    Integral

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    You can get the materials to make such simple boards at Radio Shack. If I recall correctly the board is copper clad, the traces are drawn with a resist pen then execess copper is etched off in a special solution. They are pretty easy to make and not that expensive. They may have templates for pin patterns, and you would need a good drill for the through holes.

    It has been many years since I had anything to do with this type of board, I assume RS still sells the kits.

    Edit: Looks like they do.
    Circiut board kit
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2004
  7. Jan 23, 2004 #6

    chroot

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    It's not copper-clad, and it's not homemade (it has plated vias).

    - Warren
     
  8. Jan 26, 2004 #7
    The board above looks different because it isn't a finished board. It looks like normal FR4 to me, with no mask. Mask is that green (or red, or purple, or whatever) stuff that insulates the traces on the board from electrical shorts as well as form corrosion.

    It is silver probably because it was hot air leveled with solder. It would have started out copper, but then solder was added to anywher it would stick, and then it was leveled with hot air. Normally, when a board goes through this process, only exposed copper gets that silvered coating. If you look at a circuit board, you'll see that silvering on unused pads. (there is a different process that only puts solder on specific places, usually used for bga, you might see some bare copper on these boards).

    If you want to make your own, I would recommend http://pcb.sourceforge.net/ and http://www.olimex.com/pcb/index.html

    (or you could find someone who knows about pcb's to do the artwork for you)
     
  9. Jan 26, 2004 #8
    If I want a pcb that is 3x2 inch, what would be the best cost effective way to get it? should I make it at home or buy in bulk from a company?
     
  10. Jan 26, 2004 #9
    I would say olimex. I'd be best to have a few designs and send them all in (or get with friends) as they will panelized for free, and you pay for the whole panel.
     
  11. Jan 26, 2004 #10

    chroot

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    Do you want just one pcb? Or many? And how complicated is the pcb? Beyond a very simple pcb with two layers and fewer than a dozen components, I wouldn't even attempt to make one at home.

    I'm also an electrical engineer, so I already know all the CAD tools and industrial flow for getting a pcb made, so I would probably never consider building one at home in the first place, unless money was a serious concern.

    - Warren
     
  12. Jan 26, 2004 #11
    Once you discover you can get a 160mmx100mm double sided panel with mask and silk made for $26, *and* they panelize as many designs as will fit for free, making stuff at home gets to sounding very, very silly.
     
  13. Jan 26, 2004 #12
    how much would it cost to make 50 pcb that is 2x2 at home comparing to letting pros do it for you? Isn't cheaper if u let them do it cuz they have specialize machines and tools?
     
  14. Jan 26, 2004 #13

    chroot

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    The price is not set by size alone. The complexity of the board (number of drilled holes, for one) and the amount of testing desired are the biggest factors in how much a pcb costs to fabricate. Vendors also vary WIDELY in their prices for small volume runs. Some vendors simply do not want to deal with 10 or 50 or even 100 unit orders, and so charge an arm and a leg. Try going to a cheap pcb vendor, like www.4pcb.com, which does a lot of work with low-volume orders.

    If you send them a schematic and a bill of materials, they might even be willing to lay the pcb out for you (which means to use a computer program to convert your schematic into files describing the traces and holes on a pcb, which a machine then uses to actually make the board) -- or at least they can suggest someone to do it for you.

    - Warren
     
  15. Jan 26, 2004 #14
    any cost effective ways to connect components together without resorting to pcb? I'm gonna start my own small business.
     
  16. Jan 26, 2004 #15

    chroot

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    PCB's are pretty cheap!

    You can use protoboards (white plastic boards with spring-loaded holes into which wires and chip leads can be inserted) to prototype your design, but they are much more expensive than pcbs.

    You might also want to consider using copper-clad. You can also buy little blank breadboards from Radio Shack. These boards have little equally spaced holes all over them, interspersed with some plated lines. You can solder your parts to those lines to connect them, or just make little solder bridged between them. The disadvantage is the labor involved, and the fact that only DIP or through-hole components can be placed. In today's market, fewer and fewer products are being sold in these traditional packages.

    Truthfully, if your design has more than ten components, or will be sold to customers, you really should just have a pcb professionally made.

    - Warren
     
  17. Jan 28, 2004 #16
    "These boards have little equally spaced holes all over them, interspersed with some plated lines"

    I've been to radioshack but all they have is the board with cooper ring around each holes. Is this what ur talking about? I don't see any with plated lines. Do u know a site that sells them?
     
  18. Jan 28, 2004 #17

    chroot

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    It's probably the same stuff. It's been probably six or seven years since I've used them.

    Use your imagination.

    Also, I bet you're trying to implement your little adder/subtractor circuit on a homemade pcb, am I right?

    If this is a business opportunity that you're pursuing, it's rather dishonest to have other people do all the work without paying them.

    - Warren
     
  19. Jan 28, 2004 #18
    nah, it is totally unrelated. The adder question is school related.
     
  20. Jan 28, 2004 #19

    dlgoff

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    This should work just fine. The hole should be plated through for easy soldering. For connecting components and adding jumpers, use some wire-wrap wire (it has good teflon insulation which doesn't shrink like vinyl when soldering).
     
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