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I found this out on youtube today, and thought I'd give it a try. The ingredients for the etching solution are White Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide (I used a 6% from the drug store) and Salt. It takes a while, but it gave GREAT RESULTS. Here's a pic of an arduino controlled (stand alone) main board for a pickup winder I'm building again (Just moved out of country).



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I found this out on youtube today, and thought I'd give it a try. The ingredients for the etching solution are White Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide (I used a 6% from the drug store) and Salt. It takes a while, but it gave GREAT RESULTS. Here's a pic of an arduino controlled (stand alone) main board for a pickup winder I'm building again (Just moved out of country).



Nice work, could you post the youtube vid?
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The link to the You Tube video is here ...

I found that if you have alot of copper, it takes a LONG TIME. But, if you have a circuit design with a ground plan, i.e., not much copper to etch, it will work pretty darned fast. You have to keep wiping the "residue" off the top, but if your scared of dealing with Ferric Chloride (STAIN), or Muriatic acid, then this is the way to go.

Cheers,
Will
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Very interesting!
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Thanks to the OP. Useful stuff

I am assuming those who are drawn to this will know the answer to my question which is .

Using Eagle free how can I make it leave as much copper on the board as possible?
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Draw a polygon, Name it Gnd.
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Draw a polygon, Name it Gnd.
10:30 into the EagleCAD tutorial by Jeremy Blum he steps through how to do this (his tutorial page is here).

Cheers ! Geoff
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The best thing about this is that it uses common substances found around the house, no need for a shopping trip or special order.

Thanks for the useful information ! 
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Draw a polygon, Name it Gnd.
10:30 into the EagleCAD tutorial by Jeremy Blum he steps through how to do this (his tutorial page is here).

Cheers ! Geoff

My Thanks Geoff
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I have found another method for "tinning" the circuit board after etching. Here are the steps:

1. Clean board thoroughly
2. Brush flux on the copper surface
3. Using a file and a "solder slug", file a small layer of solder dust onto the board
4. With your soldering iron on high setting, rake it across the board

This leaves a very thin layer of solder on the entire copper surface. this protects the board from oxidizing, and makes soldering the components easier. It also builds up thickness, which I'm sure enables the traces to handle higher currents?

Plus it's a heck of alot cheaper than tinning solution, or electroplating.

Cheers.
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I have found another method for "tinning" the circuit board after etching. Here are the steps:

1. Clean board thoroughly
2. Brush flux on the copper surface
3. Using a file and a "solder slug", file a small layer of solder dust onto the board
4. With your soldering iron on high setting, rake it across the board

This leaves a very thin layer of solder on the entire copper surface. this protects the board from oxidizing, and makes soldering the components easier. It also builds up thickness, which I'm sure enables the traces to handle higher currents?

Plus it's a heck of alot cheaper than tinning solution, or electroplating.

Cheers.

Or a layer of solder paste?
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Lakes,

Yes, solder paste works great, but this is a method for those who don't want to buy solder paste which is expensive and has a shelf life. I am just sharing some experiences for those who want to prototype on a dime. Tinnit works even better, but for the hobby builder, the price is a bit steep.

I've had boards made professionally, I've done the photo-resist method, I've even made massive circuits on Vero Board ... etc.

Here's my method with prices,

1. Cheap Samsung monotone Laser Printer - $30 (I have found Samsung gives the option of darker toner)
2. Circuit Boards from China - $12 for (10) 4" x 6" boards (be careful, alot of vendors send pitted cheap crap).
3. White Vinegar - $1
4. Hydrogen Peroxide - $3
5. Solder - Hell, I don't know, I have a crap load.

A note on the printer. I had both a Brother and a Samsung, and destroyed the Brother for parts. I found more parts than the printer was worth.

Cheers Mate,
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BHZ, MG, Brazil
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I don't have a problem etching my boards, and I never worried about tinning them afterwards.

My current problem is transfering the circuit to the blank board. None of the methods I use are flawless.

After the board is finished (drilled, soldered, etc), what I do is apply 2-3 coats of acrylic spray (such as Krylon, known in Brazil as Acrilex) in the copper side. The acrylic spary works as a varnish and gives a very nice-looking finish to the board while protecting the copper.

I am currently using ferric chloride, heated to about 75ºC before etching. I've been using the same solution of ferric chloride for about 2 years.
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AlxDroidDev,

I have a simple solution, and it does not involve buying the expensive Toner Transfer paper that is advertised. Here are the key steps:

1. You must have a good laser printer. Cheap ones can make the grade. I like my Samsung ML-2164 ($30 at Best Buy). If the printer has a setting for "darkness", buy it!
2. Use thick glossy magazine paper to print on. (IT WORKS BETTER than toner transfer paper).
3. Heat up the board with an iron before applying the printed toner (it will stick immediately)
4. iron HARD and everywhere with the tip for about 2 minutes.
5. Soak in water an peal off the paper
6. wash the remainder off with "Windex".
7. Tin the back as my instruction above.
8. Have fun, and if you have a failure, no money lost! (except for that centerfold playboy you used for printer paper).


Cheers Mate!
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Lakes,

Yes, solder paste works great, but this is a method for those who don't want to buy solder paste which is expensive and has a shelf life. I am just sharing some experiences for those who want to prototype on a dime. Tinnit works even better, but for the hobby builder, the price is a bit steep.

I've had boards made professionally, I've done the photo-resist method, I've even made massive circuits on Vero Board ... etc.

Here's my method with prices,

1. Cheap Samsung monotone Laser Printer - $30 (I have found Samsung gives the option of darker toner)
2. Circuit Boards from China - $12 for (10) 4" x 6" boards (be careful, alot of vendors send pitted cheap crap).
3. White Vinegar - $1
4. Hydrogen Peroxide - $3
5. Solder - Hell, I don't know, I have a crap load.

A note on the printer. I had both a Brother and a Samsung, and destroyed the Brother for parts. I found more parts than the printer was worth.

Cheers Mate,
Solder "Slugs" or pellets are not cheap either (£27 from amazon), I guess you could make your own by melting a load of solder into a small pot.
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