First selfmade PCB

Nikolaus Gradwohl2020-03-05T06:00:22+00:00

I created my very first self made PCB!

I designed a custom board for my zynthian i2c-ioexpander to connect the rotary encoders to it. I designed the board in Kicad, which is a tool I'm absolutely not familiar with and I have the feeling that it will take me some time to understand at least a little bit of what I'm actually doning.

Then I transferred the exported board design to a copper layer and etched it using Fe-III-Chloride. What surprised me during the process was, that the hardest part in the whole process was transferring the designs to the board.

For my first try I used glossy photo paper I had laying around - which wasn't really suited for the task, because I learned that it is apparently coated with a plastic layer. My Iron didn't like that, and my attempts to clean it resulted in a burnt finger :-/

my next few tries failed because when cutting the board into the right size some copper pieces bend upwards and stopped the paper I printed the designs on to lay flat on the copper

then I destroyed one or two tries by being to impatient and using to cold water to dissolve the paper

but on try number 6 I finally managed to get a decent toner transfer and etched the board. Which worked way better than I expected - after a few minutes etching and rubbing it with a sponge the board looked pretty nice.

first pcb

Now I need to drill 54 holes without messing up, solder the pin headers and a chip-socket without making mistakes and if I made no errors in my initial kicad-designs everything should work

lets see how this turns out - what could possibly go wrong? :-)

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