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Re: PCB's

7/9/2000 3:43 PM
Daniel R. Haney
Re: PCB's
Jens wrote:  
" ... sneak out to pick up cigarettes and a package full of gadgets at the postoffice only to dissappear and start making sounds of drilling, sawing, guitar-tuning, reappearing only for quick food-breaks until the effect is done"
You're describing an obsession, not a hobby.  
Welcome to the club.  
For myself, let me just say that having a highly configurable PCB autorouter is more fun than Doom, Descent, and Quake combined.  
7/8/2000 8:59 PM

"I was wondering about that too. I would like to learn to make pcb's"
Have you read the Guitar Effects FAQ at GEO?  
There are several methods of making boards outlined there. I wrote them up in the first edition of the FAQ back in '92.
7/9/2000 4:36 AM
Steve Daniels (Small Bear Electronics)

I prefer the "Absolutely Positive" Photo Resist method described on my site:  
I admire the perseverance of some of my fellow fanatics; getting accurate, fine lines with the sharpie method is tough, IMO. Good tool for correcting mistakes, though.  
At some point, learn to use a CAD program. Keen and others like Easy Trax, while I have standardized on WinBoard. They make it easy to get fine, accurate lines, and WinBoard comes with a large library of standard component outlines. You can create your board and your component layout drawing at the same time. I'm sure other programs have similar features. Good luck!
7/9/2000 6:05 AM
Ryan L. What's he building in there????
Great song, Tom's one of the best. I've taken to whistling that little tune. I've heard the prunes and custard Crowther pedal was used on some of Smokey Hormels parts. Love the guitar sounds that sound like Toms voice!
7/9/2000 4:31 PM
Photo postive method
"I prefer the "Absolutely Positive" Photo Resist method described on my site"
I've done a number of photopositive boards, but have only had success with getting high density artwork plots from a local graphics house. Both laser printer and ink jet transparencies seem to be too thin and let light seep to get reliable operation on the "Evermuse" materials. Works great with commercial transparencies, though - very fine lines, close together, and all that.  
So how do you reliably get inkjet prints that work with photopositive? I get faint bleed through lines even printing the pattern twice, and I'm well aware of what light bleed does to photoresist.  
I have yet to find anything to match the speed, accuracy, and goof-tolerance of Press-N-Peel printed out of any CAD program on a laser printer. Doing this right necessarily means limiting yourself to 25 to 30 mil lines and 70mil pads and larger to make it slam-dunk certain; but then I get complaints about the difficulty of soldering from beginners at about that resolution anyway.  
Beginners usually don't have the soldering and fabrication skills to cope with 12 or 15 mil lines that run between 100 mil spaced IC pads. Press-N-Peel is capable of putting a lot of stuff on a board with 100mil grid, 70mil pads, and 30 mil traces - I put a Small Stone clone in a 2" by 3" board that way, about 1/3 the size of the original.  
If you're very experienced, yes, the limitations of Press-N-Peel will be irritating. If you're a beginner, your skills don't exceed what PNP can do anyway, and it's very tolerant - make a mistake, just wipe it off with solvent and iron again. Have one dropout? Just sharpie it up. PNP is *very* good for one-time PCB's.
7/9/2000 5:48 PM
Steve Daniels (Small Bear Electronics)

Far be it from me to argue with your experience. I simply looked for a combination of hardware and materials that was workable for my purposes. My inkjet is an HP Officejet 600. The software gives me density settings for "Best", "Normal" and "EconoFast", and I have been using Best. I've been printing on to Avery 8663 adhesive label stock (2" x 4"). I did the Bear Face board this way (30 mil lines where possible, 20 where I was pushed for space).  
I may run into problems when doing larger boards or finer lines, but so far the method has held up.
7/9/2000 10:16 PM

"Both laser printer and ink jet transparencies seem to be too thin and let light seep to get reliable operation on the "Evermuse" materials."
Not so. I have had excellent results using a laser printing on transparency material with the Evermuse system. Accuracy and line definition is much better than the P-n-P, which is easy to goof unless pressure, heat and time are exactly right when you iron it on, not to mention that the pcb material must be absolutely sparkling clean.  
The P-n-P lines tend to spread with too much pressure or heat, and too little will keep it from sticking. I have often had good results with it, but once I tried the photo-resist method I will not be going back.  
To each his own, and good results can be had with both, but beginners should not be put off from trying photo methods. A good laser print onto quality transparency stock gives excellent results. I use a small piece of glass from a cheap picture frame to hold the transparency and pcb in close contact when exposing.  
BTW, the developer instructions say to discard the solution after 24 hours but actually it will keep much, much longer. Solution that has not been used on a board will keep for many months without degradation. I make a big bottle and pour out a minimal amount for one time use on a board then discard. That way only fresh solution is working on the board each time.  
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