first pcb try

One last time before i give up :smiley:

Ok, copper fill then. Have that and the traces on the same side of the board.
Then you end up like this, where the white is the copper that is removed and the red is the copper that is left.
This is for a surface mount board. You probably want everything on the bottom layer for easier soldering of pins to pads.

I did ground fill instead. see image above it's that?

No, that has a top & bottom layer. You want the ground fill on the same layer as your traces.

i really cant understand this :x
i’ve tried to export etch_copper_bottom so you can see the bottom only, but i dont think that’s what you mean

master1_rev4_groundfill_etch_copper_bottom.pdf (30.2 KB)

That's exactly what I mean! That looks pretty good. Last thing I would recommend is making the 90 degree corners on traces into a couple of 45 degree corners. This is important in home etching because often the inside corner can be over-etched leaving the resulting corner trace on the thin side.

Some nice attempts. Tinning makes a massive difference to the solderbility.

A little while ago, I came across an article, but can't find it right now. It used a CD printer to print the etch resist and the silk screen layers directly onto the board, pretty nifty. I think they used a simple two-edged jig to ensure registration. They were using a non-FeCl etch too (which is a pain to recycle and stains everything around). Use good quality PCB drill bits and a drill post (dremel et al make them). If you allow the drill to self-centre, drilling is quite easy and can look good. Self centring requires the pad hole to be quite small). The technique is to visually align the drill/work, then as the drill nears the work, allow the work to move, and the hole in the pad will align with the drill, hold firmly and press through. Obviously works with smaller boards. Use of backing board leaves a good finish.

I have read this post with great interest. I'm new to the PCB layout and design. For those of you who are drilling your own boards. Where do I find a .08 bit in the USA. What size of bit or bits do I need? Where can I get them? I believe .08 is the correct bit size for most leads.

Thanks

@ CrossRoads thanks for the tip, i'm gonna do that :) One question, when printing with laser printer, should i print the normal bottom or the mirror one ? I'm confused :~

Try it both ways on paper, see which comes out the way you want.
The file you posted above is the traces as if looking “thru” the board. You want the one that is looking from the bottom of the board.

CrossRoads: For itead: http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping/im120418003.html Order PCBs, you'll get a Order # back. Send the Order # and your zip file to pcb@iteadstudio.com

Do board manufacturers through-hole-plate vias or do I have to solder a wire through them myself?

All board suppliers provide PTH.

Yes, itead takes care of the thru hole plating.

kajmaya: I have read this post with great interest. I'm new to the PCB layout and design. For those of you who are drilling your own boards. Where do I find a .08 bit in the USA. What size of bit or bits do I need? Where can I get them? I believe .08 is the correct bit size for most leads.

Thanks

0.08? Sounds very wrong in mm or in - perhaps you mean 0.8mm?

0.035" or 0.9mm is about right for a range of leads, thin leads and vias can be thinner than this. eBay has quite a lot of carbide PCB drills available, but some are ex-industry used drills from the look of things. For fibre glass carbide bits are the best.

I have made several PCBs at home and I've been making them for a long time. Everytime I make one, it is better than the one before, because I find ways to optimize the processes involved: what is the best paper for toner transfer, the adequate temperature and time for the transfer, and so on. I like doing them and I enjoy doing them.

All my boards are single-sided, and I take care in revising the routing made by DipTrace (more on that later). I don't trust its auto-router blindly. A good PCB starts in the PCB layout: I know of the limitations of my process and I take care in specifying trace widths and clearance I can handle (18mil). I avoid jumpers. I revise DipTraces autoroutes and end up changing or correcting at least 50% of them.

For drilling the boards I use a Dremel tool exactly like this: http://toolmonger.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/post-dremelworkstation.jpg I have drill bits in 0.6, 0.8, 1.0 and 1.2mm.

I know my homemade PCBs could look a lot better if I were using photographic transfer methods, a better etching process and so on, but I like to keep it simple and cheap, so I use toner transfer with glossy magazine paper, transfered with a cloth iron and etched with (warm and filtered) ferric chloride. This is very cheap and very fast. For me, designing the board as well as I can is what gives me high sucess rates.

Here are a couple examples of PCBs I've made. Both are links to Facebook albums, but no facebook account is required:

1) Simduino (Simplified Arduino clone): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3248657275029.110252.1824874327&type=1&l=f89646a4f1

2) Arduino shield (with EEPROM + RTC + dig. temp. sensor): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3191611048909.108905.1824874327&type=1&l=a0e77a5b55

About DipTrace: I like it very much. I does everything I need (my needs are pretty basic and simple). Now that I've learned how to create custom components and patterns on it, there is very little I can't do with it.

Only TODAY I sent my first order to iTeadStudio, because the PCBs had to be double-sided and I needed10 of them.

In short, I find designing and making PCBs a great fun and I really enjoy making them.

I've one doubt, according to the schematics , will the 5 pin header (in the left) behaviour like this ?

because those 5 pins are to connect the CP2102 usb to serial with dtr line, so i can upload sketches without needing to press reset. Will my schematics behaviour like the second one ?

Hi, I have some questions.

I will try to build a breakout board for micro sd card (I know they exists but I want to build one myself, not ordering).
My plan is to attach a sd socket, tiny transistors and then in the end drill some holes so you could use jumper wires to attach the whole circuit board to your existing project. I will try to stick with surface soldering so the board could be very small and I don’t have to drill so much holes.

I was wondering if it’s possible to make a pcb that have that small lines? Don’t know what the “lines” are called but will the iron chloride remove those or will they stay?

Tldr; How small and precious could you be when using the iron chloride method?

swescrew: Hi, I have some questions.

I will try to build a breakout board for micro sd card (I know they exists but I want to build one myself, not ordering). My plan is to attach a sd socket, tiny transistors and then in the end drill some holes so you could use jumper wires to attach the whole circuit board to your existing project. I will try to stick with surface soldering so the board could be very small and I don't have to drill so much holes.

I was wondering if it's possible to make a pcb that have that small lines? Don't know what the "lines" are called but will the iron chloride remove those or will they stay?

Tldr; How small and precious could you be when using the iron chloride method?

Those lines are called traces.

they can be very, VERY thin, but that are rules to how thin they should be. For digital signals (low voltage, very low current) width isn't much of a factor, but for power signals it is.

Take a look at this "Trace Width Calculator": http://circuitcalculator.com/wordpress/?p=25/

About ferric chloride: it can give very precise results. From my experience, what determines how precise and how thin your traces can be, isn't the etching method, but the trasnfer method. Some transfer methods issue much more precise results than others. I've had good experience with toner transfer, with traces as thin as 8mil, although 99% of the time I keep them wider than 15mil just for safety.

AlxDroidDev: About ferric chloride: it can give very precise results. From my experience, what determines how precise and how thin your traces can be, isn't the etching method, but the trasnfer method. Some transfer methods issue much more precise results than others. I've had good experience with toner transfer, with traces as thin as 8mil, although 99% of the time I keep them wider than 15mil just for safety.

Thank you so much sir for your answer :)

What do you mean with the "transfer method" and what is a "toner transfer" ? Thank you again for your informative reply, best regards!

Edit: Never mind I searched for it on google. But what other transfer methods are their?

swescrew:
Edit: Never mind I searched for it on google. But what other transfer methods are their?

Ok! So by now you know that a transfer method is how you go from the PCB’s CAD (computer aided design), from whatever software package you are using, to have it printed on a blank copper board, ready to be etched by whatever method.

Toner transfer is one amog several transfer methods. I like it because I have a good laser printer and it is one of the cheapest of them all. I usually use glossy magazine paper (I prefer to use some of my wife’s magazines because they have very thick and glossy paper, which is better for this purpose). I’ve also resorted to transparencies. Whatever paper/media you use, the method is still: print with a laser printer, using the darkest settings, and then use a very hot clothing iron to transfer the printed image to a black copper board.

Another method is direct printing. Some people have adapted ink jet printers to print the PCB directly to a blank copper board. This is fast and issues excellent results.

Although there are several other methods, the best method - quality-wise - however, is photo-transfer. It takes the longest and is the most expensive, but it also gives you industrial-quality results, or even better. You can have extremely low tolerances with this method.

There are other methods, like special papers, which are simply a variation of the toner transfer methods, but which are more expensive.