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Tips on etching PCB?

  1. Sep 30, 2013 #1
    Hi guys,

    I've just started doing a bit of research in preparation for trying to print and make some DIY circuits. I was just wondering if there are techniques that are favored over others. Also I don't have a massive budget, so price is quite an important factor to me. From what I can find, acid etching seems to be a fairly simple and cheap solution. Any guidance in the right direction would be greatly appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    One big tip is to be sure to look into how you can dispose of the leftovers after etching. You generally can't just dump the stuff down the drain -- instead you need to find a place that recycles it.

    As an alternative, there are cheap places that will make your PCB for you, and they are used a lot by DIY folks like you. You also get plated-through holes on PCBs from fab houses -- that's not something that you will be doing in your kitchen :smile:
  4. Sep 30, 2013 #3
    I once made a UV exposure box for double-layered 100mm x 160mm boards from a bunch of cheap UV LEDS and transistors I bought on ebay, a microcontroller, a LCD display, and some other bells and whistles. After calibration it worked perfectly and I have never used it since.

    Edit: I used sodium persulfate from Bungard for the etching part. Nothing to it really, just follow the instructions on the bag (mix it with water, don't drink it, etc).
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  5. Oct 1, 2013 #4
    Cheers for the advice guys. Any tips of transferring the layout to the board? The laser printer transfer method seems to be the most popular that I can see. Do you think this is the best/most efficient way to print design on to the board?
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