Building My Own PCB for Xbee and 2 sensors

Hello All. I am a Newbie.

Just wanted to share a little with everyone. Our hobby depends on so many people all over the world. I think we have one of the coolest networking sites period. "Nuff said."

After piddling on so many different aspects of the hobby including coding, reading, hardware, reading, I found I "needed" to make my own single-sided PCB for my Xbee Remote Sensor project. Like so many others I have spent countless hours, and a few dollars working this out. But this would not work without those who share with us. Open source rocks. Thanks to all who help out. We need you.

As I have posted elsewhere, I seriously ruined a beautiful new 4D System 4D35-uLCD not too long ago. A very painful, expensive experience, and one I do not wish to repeat, Thank you very much!

So, after much perusal including Youtube vids, I have actually built my own AC to DC powered 2 Sensor Remote Xbee PCB for this project, with overcurrent and overvoltage protection-Yay!. I feel the board could be tweaked some still though. I also used the heaviest lines/tracing wires available in Fritzing.

Let me give you a brief synopsis of the board itself. It has a fairly small footprint, like 2.5" by 3.5", but large enough to contain the powered Xbee board, a barrel jack for incoming power connected through a replaceable fuse to the VCC of the board in general, a LM-35Z analog Temp sensor, an analog humidity sensor, a 4-pin female header for more flexability if I need it. The incoming ground is run through a Zener diode (cheap insurance learned through my uLCD disaster), plus the board is common grounded at three places for screw/bolt down if placed in a metal container, or otherwise grounded.

My board is totally designed by me to suit this very particular need. I used the free Fritzing software for the design. This was way easier than Altium or anything else I tried, software wise. I also used the free, open-source Inkscape software to put to raster/vector for the multiplication of the final exported image from Fritzing. Inkscape reads both pdf and svg formats, but it is relatively slow for its redraw rates, even running on an I7 cpu based system.

My final phase is to actually drill and solder my components to the PCBs. Maybe this weekend. Anyway I wanted to make the design available to anyone who may want to try this out.

Oh yes, the PCB was made with a single-sided board bought off EBAY, and using a laser printer with photocopy paper and hot iron transfer method, then placed into a very simple HCL (hydrochloric acid, which I bought at Home Depot as Muriatic acid) plus H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide 3%) in a 1:2 ratio solution. I used the smallest glass container I could find to mix the acid into the H2O2. My total volume was 1 1/2 cups fluid. It took approximately 8 minutes to etch the board. I did 2 at a time. Very simple. Then I cleaned to transfer material off the PCB with acetone.

Caveat- Don't leave the acid on your stainless steel sink when you wash the PCB after etching-it will definitely rust the sink. One more plus- Good thing is you can still use the remaining fluid multiple other times as long as you store it properly.

Will upload the image later.

Take care, houdinihar