I’ve always stayed away from PCB fabrication and SMT components, but my realization now that I’m back into electronics is it’s many years past the point where you can avoid SMT I bought the Pulsar PCB (“Fab-In-A-Box”) kit and I’m very happy with how it performs.
Within 30 minutes I had my first PCB and it looks fantastic. Only “issues” I found were that 1) the green film transferred to areas without toner, a piece of scotch tape fixed this PERFECTLY per their instructions. 2) The “wipe with sponge” method of etching worked well, but took a lot longer than 45 seconds for me. No big deal.
It’s basically as easy as they make it look, very impressive a total newbie can build a PCB in 30 minutes for a couple bucks in materials! Not sure what I think about the 1/2oz copper or .032" PCB thickness, only time will tell if it proves to be an issue.