AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:17 pm

the reason for this topic is that i dont have the tools to make/etch a custom pcb,
which i will need for my project(s), on my own.
apart from me, i bet there are more users with the same problem.

so i would like to ask all the forum members who have those tools, if they will be so nice to offer a pcb etching service. with limitations like single side boards and so on.
i dont want to sponge you guys so it is obvious that you will get paid for the materials, p&p, time and the labor of course.

i hope to get a list here which looks somehow like this:

i offer etching for single sided boards with minimum dimensions XY and maximum dimensions of XY.
pcb material can be .............
layout precision is trough hole/smd minimum circuit line distance is Xmm and Xmm thickness.
pricing ranges from size XY for $X to size XY for $X
if trough hole, i also offer drilling for $X (or not)
accepted layout filetype(s) is/are: eagle/bmp.. whatever
location is england/usa/autralia/india etc...
pm me for more details.

would be great if we could get something like that working.
and i think that would help a lot to build some custom extension boards for the raspi.

cheers

ShiftPlusOne
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:53 pm

I know it's not what you're asking... but it might be what you're after.
http://batchpcb.com/index.php/Products
http://www.custompcb.com/
http://www.futurlec.com.au/PCB.....ervice.jsp

http://www.ladyada.net/library.....urers.html

You can't go wrong with DIY though.
Get some glossy photo paper. Print using toner at the highest settings (library printers might be best for this, but my cheap one works just fine). Clean the PCB with acetone and fine steel wool until it's shiny then rinse and dry. Use an iron and a rolling pin to transfer the toner onto the board. Put the PCB with the paper still on it into some water to make sure that the toner doesn't stick to the paper when you peel it off. Mix hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide (don't do this indoors and make sure you have eye protection and gloves) then put the board into the solution and let it etch. Then wash the board and scrub off the toner, revealing the tracks. And that's the cheapest, simplest method I've found... and it works. There are plenty of toner transfer and HCl etching tutorials out there.

AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:23 pm

i know those online services but they are quite expensive.
this is why i ask here cos i think that would be a cheaper and quicker solution.
especially if you find someone near you. which results in less p&p prices. often a normal letter envelope suffice for a small pcb.
if you use the cheap batch online services you have sometimes to wait awfull long to get you´re board. until then you cant do nothing on you´re project which can be realy annoying.

ShiftPlusOne
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:04 pm

That's an interesting way of doing it. I hope it takes off.

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liz
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:22 pm

ShiftPlusOne's solution is exactly what we used to do on our kitchen table at home when making PCBs for motor controllers (for fun, because that's the way we roll in the Upton household. We're a laugh a minute, us). It's very cheap, it works well and the sense of achievement is phenomenal. Just be careful around the sodium hydroxide, which has a nasty habit of trying to change the fats in your fingers into soap.

Of course, you're a bit stuffed if you're trying to emulate the Raspi PCB because it's multi-layered. For a single layer, though, it's a really fun project to try at home.
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AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:00 pm

but where can i get that stuff in england?
i know where i can get it in germany but i dont think they let me into the airplane with that stuff XD

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ukscone
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:02 pm

Quote from AmyS3 on August 14, 2011, 00:00
but where can i get that stuff in england?
i know where i can get it in germany but i dont think they let me into the airplane with that XD

well they might but you'd probably get a free trip to gitmo too.

do they still have radioshacks in the uk? they sell etching liquid in the stores here and also "special" trace marking pens which are really just sharpies (black felt tips) which work really well if the traces aren't too thin and you have a steady hand or a steady handed slave^h^h^h^h^hkid available

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liz
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:07 pm

If you're in the UK, you can get NaOH from any hardware store like Maplin. You'll need the boards (Maplin, Farnell) and copper chloride or similar, which you can also get from Maplin etc. (unless the EU has banned it since I last dabbled).

http://www.maplin.co.uk/compon.....-equipment < Maplin's pcb etching collection.

Mega Electronics are near Cambridge (I think you are too?) - I've not used them, but they look to have a really completist approach to PCB etching supplies! http://www.megauk.com/

Speaking of EU bans, does anyone in the UK have a decent source for proper lead-based solder?

[Edit to add url]
[Edit again to add Mega Electronics info]
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Michael
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:15 pm

I hear you can find supplies on ebay easilly. Personally, I stocked up before the ban.

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liz
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:19 pm

We did too, but we're running low. We turned a spare bedroom into a lab a few years ago - you could probably build a whole new house out of the bits of breadboard lying around in pieces here. There's a 3-year-old proto-prototype of RP kicking around among it all too - I should dig it out and auction it off sometime!
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AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:20 pm

somehow i hate the fact that i dont know where i can get those essential stuff in my neigbourhood..
maybe i should go out a bit more instead of sitting most of the time in front of the computer/workbench.
the local library is only 3minutest away by foot where i can print the pcb layouts. but i still lack the chemicals. can i get them at homebase?
back in berlin i would just go to "conrad elektronik", or to the pharmacy if i had more money to spend.
but the uk is very different in they´re shop/store system...
hey liz where can i get the chemicals in newmarket or cambridge?

well but this is not the info what i originally wanted to appear in this thread.. anyway.. help..?

edit: my post was to slow. the info is already there XD
thx liz that helps a lot!!

AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:23 pm

regarding the lead based solder, i buy that in germany.. no problem to get it here on the plane so far...

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liz
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Linton, where Mega are, is very close to Cambridge - if you don't drive, you can make it with one change (in Cambridge) on the bus from Newmarket. It looks like they deliver, too. Newmarket is basically useless for anything that's not got something to do with a horse. I don't think you'll have any luck at Homebase, and there aren't really any electronics stores in Newmarket.

British pharmacies are very good at looking down their noses at you and refusing to sell you stuff if it's a bit out of the ordinary. I had a hell of a time trying to get citric acid for elderflower cordial this year; apparently heroin addicts use it to cut the drug. I do not in any way resemble a heroin addict.

I know exactly what you mean about how frustrating it is moving countries and not knowing where to source stuff like this. I lived in Paris over the very hot summer of 2003, and had a total nightmare trying to buy an electric fan. It's the sort of thing that's obvious when you've been living somewhere for ages, but it's not knowledge that's necessarily acquired very easily!
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ukscone
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:28 pm

Quote from liz on August 14, 2011, 00:19
There's a 3-year-old proto-prototype of RP kicking around among it all too - I should dig it out and auction it off sometime!

have it bronzed for posterity like the mothers do with their kids booties.

AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:36 pm

so true..!
did i ever mention that the uk is a bit crazy? no offense!! i think it just looks like that when you where raised in a country where you could buy almost everything whithout having to explain for what you want to use it.. and the shops are a bit more sorted and specialized regarding the type of the shop..
you can even go to the pharmacy (where they sell only medicine and related drugs/components/chemicals) and buy pure caffeine without having to answer stupid questions.. just say "i want that" pay and go ;-)

edit: i need to type faster...

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ukscone
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:39 pm

Quote from AmyS3 on August 14, 2011, 00:36
so true..!
and buy pure caffeine without having to answer stupid questions.. just say "i want that" pay and go ;-)

edit: i need to type faster...

you need to take more caffine pills or maybe a few more gallons of red bull

AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:46 pm

i just killed my last can of red rooster...

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ukscone
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:52 pm

Quote from AmyS3 on August 14, 2011, 00:46
i just killed my last can of red rooster...

i need to clean my glasses -- i read that as

i just killed my last cat and red rooster

and was thinking "oh no another serial killer on this forum"

AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:15 am

well you read it right.. i just edited it afterwards to what you can read now ^^
i cant reveal myself here, or i will never get a raspi...

btw. who is the other one? o0

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ukscone
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:45 am

Quote from AmyS3 on August 14, 2011, 01:15

btw. who is the other one? o0

that would be telling.

that's the next game we are going to play on here.

"where's the serial killer?"

AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:14 pm

sounds tempting ^^

i bet its you... brutal usage of a scone ... stuffed to death XD

Blars
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:14 pm

I've used dorkbotpdx for some small boards -- high quality and relitivly cheap. The two-week latancy is a bit of a pain. http://dorkbotpdx.org/wiki/pcb_order

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Gert van Loo
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:04 pm

I have used these guys: http://www.multi-circuit-board.....index.html
I have no recent price comparison but I found the quality much better then some of the others I have used. In the end you want to be sure your board works.

reggie
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:51 pm

With regard to etching fluids, you can get ferric chloride crystals very cheaply from ebay, but make sure you use gloves when you use it unless you like yellow fingers. You can also buy ammonium persulfate crystals from ebay too.

You should also be able to order single and double sided FR4 board from ebay, I found a seller that will cut to size too.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Copp.....61cb0e8da0

As has been mentioned, a cheap laser printer should be good enough to do toner transfer, you just need to get some reasonable paper, you can get 'press N peel' or 'fab-in-a-box' do some really good looking products too. You can also use the waxy backing paper from pinter labels or you can use glossy magazines, not the front cover as that is the wrong kind of glossy but the pages inside should be fine, in general, people choose the stuff that comes through in junk mail.

AmyS3
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Re: PCB Etching Services

Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:54 pm

thx gus for all the infos!
this s realy helpfull.
not only for me but for everyone else who needs that kind of information.

i realy apreciate that!

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