Many people have already built a 'PCB' (printed circuit board
). However, many still do not have the proper knowledge or skills to do so. Here, methods and techniques on building a 'PCB' will be covered.
You need to be patient. That is the key. Are you ready?
Buy a copper board. What is copper you ask? Copper works to conduct electricity. Think of it as a big piece of wires. You do know that wires conduct electricity, do not you? These boards come in 'A4' paper size or its variant. Then, you need to cut them according to your desired 'PCB' size. They can be costly, these copper boards.
Next, decide on your 'PCB' technique. There are two widely used methods. The tone transfer, and the photo resist. But, I will discuss the toner transfer technique, since it is the most popular and cost effective.
Buy a gloss paper. Or cut out a magazine page (does not matter if the page contains images or text on them, it still can be used). Print your circuit design (black colour) using the laser printer. That is where it gets its name. Toner is the 'ink' for laser printer.
Then cut out the designed area of the gloss paper or magazine page, to match with the copper board (also cut to the same size). Apply heat by using a hot iron. Set the maximum temperature. Most people use the cotton setting though. Iron for at least 10 minutes. Yes, it is that long. After you are done, let it dry.
Next, rinse off the gloss paper (stuck onto the copper board) with water. Do this by soaking it in water. You can tear out or pluck the stuck paper on the board. No harm will be done to the newly transferred toner. Touch it. Let it dry.
Now soak it in an etching solution. Most people will use the 'Ferric Chloride', available in any electronic or hardware stores. Soak for at least 10 minutes again. A word of caution here; do not touch the etching solution with your hands! They will easily corrode your skin. Use a glove or newspaper. The rule is not to come into direct contact with your skin, this solution. Soak and shake or agitate until you can see through the board. That is because the solution eats away (etches) the copper. You will see that the black tracks (toner) protects the copper underneath. Rinse with water rigorously.
Finally, apply thinner on piece of toilet paper or old cloth and wipe off the toner. Yes, thinner 'etches' the toner. There you have it, you have a newly made 'DIY' printed circuit board. Be proud of it.
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