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Home PCB fabrication


#1

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 :slight_smile: 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.


#2

pictures?


#3

Pictures please! ;D


#4

I’m more interested to know about supply of SMT objects. For me, in Australia, I can go down to Jaycar and get a hand full of resistors and capacitors etc, even DIP chips, but where the heck am i going to get the SMT equivalents? Certainly it’ll be likely I can’t just duck down on a Saturday afternoon when I figure out I am missing something - unlike the Jaycar scenario today.


#5

PCB’s do not mean just SMT, you can continue to use thru-hole. There are few good electronics shops outside the metro areas in the US, here we have RadioShack and a couple smaller suppliers, but outside basic assortments you have to order what you need.

I was going to work on a tutorial, but I bought a new laser printer and it the toner it spits out doesn’t stick to the PCB’s… will have an update soon if I find a printer that works!


#6

Only trouble with homebrew PTH boards is that you need to make the holes.


#7

Brett, order from Farnell - free overnight shipping. Or just give me your address and $10 and i’ll send you a bag of SMT stuff to play with.


#8

consider that a $10 discount in the Panda/USBizi order ! :smiley:

Farnell seems like such overkill. I have a HEAP of thru-hole stuff in my hands (probably in the order of thousands of resistors of varying values) and to be even close to “equivalent” stock might be “restrictive” I reckon a smattering of values would be fine, but then there’s sizes to think about etc. Ah all seems too hard :slight_smile:

I’ve been thinking one of the projects I’d like to do is build a thru-hole Domino with more IOs. I just haven’t got time to expand out the board in Eagle and then update all the parts to thru-hole; but I reckon that would be another great hobbyist platform - then again, now there’s Panda… And then again, if I can eventually progress to SMT then the usefulnes of thru-hole Domino boards is pretty low I guess…