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Old Jan 03, 2007, 08:11 AM
Lee Griffiths
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PCB etching service

Hi all,

Anyone know of a PCB etching service for one-offs in or around
Manchester ? , or anywhere for that matter :O

Thanks

Lee
Old Jan 03, 2007, 08:11 AM
Andrew Mawson
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service


"Lee Griffiths" <l.s.griffiths@salford.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:gLadncmO1od1NgbYnZ2dnUVZ8v3inZ2d@bt.com...
> Hi all,
>
> Anyone know of a PCB etching service for one-offs in or around
> Manchester ? , or anywhere for that matter :O
>
> Thanks
>
> Lee


Lee,

I have used PCBpool with excellent results a few times:

http://www.pcbpool.com/ppuk/info.html

AWEM


Old Jan 03, 2007, 10:11 AM
Lee Griffiths
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

Andrew Mawson wrote:
> "Lee Griffiths" <l.s.griffiths@salford.ac.uk> wrote in message
> news:gLadncmO1od1NgbYnZ2dnUVZ8v3inZ2d@bt.com...
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Anyone know of a PCB etching service for one-offs in or around
>> Manchester ? , or anywhere for that matter :O
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Lee

>
> Lee,
>
> I have used PCBpool with excellent results a few times:
>
> http://www.pcbpool.com/ppuk/info.html
>
> AWEM
>
>


Thanks, hmm looks a bit pricey for what I'm doing. We used to have a
service at University which would etch say a 100x100 single side board
for about 5. I thought it would be the type of thing that Maplin would
do pretty much over the counter if you provided the artwork...

Lee
Old Jan 03, 2007, 12:11 PM
Tony Jeffree
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

On Wed, 03 Jan 2007 15:36:35 +0000, Lee Griffiths
<l.s.griffiths@salford.ac.uk> wrote:

>Thanks, hmm looks a bit pricey for what I'm doing. We used to have a
>service at University which would etch say a 100x100 single side board
>for about 5. I thought it would be the type of thing that Maplin would
>do pretty much over the counter if you provided the artwork...


If it is something relatively simple, you might try the "laser printer
transfer" technique - print the track layout onto inkjet glossy photo
paper but in a laser printer, then place the print face down on the
copper clad board and fuse the laser tonet onto the board with a
domestic iron. Soak afterwards in warm water and you can strip away
the paper leaving just the toner tracks. Getting the board clean and
degreased is essential though otherwise the toner doesn't stick
consistently.

The laser toner is a very effective resist, so you can then dip it in
your fave etchant (Ferric cloride for example) and 15 mins later you
have an etched board that you can drill with a Dremel etc. I've used
this technique for small boards that don't have particularly fine or
complex track patterns - works pretty well. The hole drilling is a
pain though.

Regards
Old Jan 03, 2007, 12:11 PM
Dave Plowman (News)
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

In article <XvudnV67CJwcUAbYnZ2dnUVZ8sHinZ2d@bt.com>,
Lee Griffiths <l.s.griffiths@salford.ac.uk> wrote:
> Thanks, hmm looks a bit pricey for what I'm doing. We used to have a
> service at University which would etch say a 100x100 single side board
> for about 5. I thought it would be the type of thing that Maplin would
> do pretty much over the counter if you provided the artwork...


Don't think Maplin offer any services these days.

But they (and others) sell all the bits to DIY it.

You first produce a real size transparency of the PCB - black for the
tracks. Then do a contact print onto coated PCB board using UV light. Next
develop the coating in a tray containing - surprisingly - developer. Then
etch using ferric chloride, etc.

There are other methods, but this is the traditional way.

However, the start up costs make it probably more economical to go to a
prototype place for a one off.

I make my own and adding an extra would not be a problem. But that would
be when I'm actually set up to run off some - and I don't know when that
will be next. For prototype use Veroboard is easier.

--
*When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty*

Dave Plowman dave@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
Old Jan 03, 2007, 02:12 PM
Boo
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

> Thanks, hmm looks a bit pricey for what I'm doing. We used to have a=20
> service at University which would etch say a 100x100 single side board =


> for about =A35. I thought it would be the type of thing that Maplin wo=

uld=20
> do pretty much over the counter if you provided the artwork...


AFAIK Maplins don't make PCBs though they ?used to? sell the stuff needed=
to=20
make them before they turned into a toy shop.

Olimex <http://www.olimex.com/pcb/index.html> can make a one off for $33 =
if=20
double sided pth is OK, otherwise they quote $26 for a single sided boar=
d.

Also worth looking at RAK <http://www.rak.co.uk/not/main.html>.

I've never used either of these suppliers but Olimex in particular does h=
ave=20
their adherents so are probably worth a punt.

Hth,

--=20
Boo
Old Jan 03, 2007, 02:12 PM
Dave Plowman (News)
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

In article <0eidnemazedRagbYnZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d@biscit.net>,
Boo <reply_to_group_not_me@spam_me_no_spam.net> wrote:
> AFAIK Maplins don't make PCBs though they ?used to? sell the stuff
> needed to make them before they turned into a toy shop.


They still appear to sell the bits needed.

> Olimex <http://www.olimex.com/pcb/index.html> can make a one off for $33
> if double sided pth is OK, otherwise they quote $26 for a single sided
> board.


I'm not sure using a US company would be cost effective?

--
*I started out with nothing... and I still have most of it.

Dave Plowman dave@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
Old Jan 03, 2007, 04:11 PM
Russell
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

Hi Lee

I've done this with glossy inket paper as Tony suggests and I've done it
with stuff marketed for the purpose (toner transfer paper).

In my experience you can waste time and money finding a brand of inkjet
paper that works well and peeling the toner transfer paper is orders of
magnitude easier.

You can get the toner transfer paper from Maplin too but last time I
went in I discovered they no longer stock PCB materials and they
wouldn't get it in for me explaining "web order only".

There is a list of boardhouses here.

http://www.cadsoft.de/Boardhouses/#United%20Kingdom

I have considered using some of the cheaper looking ones myself so I'd
be interested to hear how you get on.

Russell

Tony Jeffree wrote:

> On Wed, 03 Jan 2007 15:36:35 +0000, Lee Griffiths
> <l.s.griffiths@salford.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> >Thanks, hmm looks a bit pricey for what I'm doing. We used to have a
> >service at University which would etch say a 100x100 single side board
> >for about 5. I thought it would be the type of thing that Maplin would
> >do pretty much over the counter if you provided the artwork...

>
> If it is something relatively simple, you might try the "laser printer
> transfer" technique - print the track layout onto inkjet glossy photo
> paper but in a laser printer, then place the print face down on the
> copper clad board and fuse the laser tonet onto the board with a
> domestic iron. Soak afterwards in warm water and you can strip away
> the paper leaving just the toner tracks. Getting the board clean and
> degreased is essential though otherwise the toner doesn't stick
> consistently.
>
> The laser toner is a very effective resist, so you can then dip it in
> your fave etchant (Ferric cloride for example) and 15 mins later you
> have an etched board that you can drill with a Dremel etc. I've used
> this technique for small boards that don't have particularly fine or
> complex track patterns - works pretty well. The hole drilling is a
> pain though.
>
> Regards


Old Jan 03, 2007, 04:11 PM
Bob Minchin
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service


"Boo" <reply_to_group_not_me@spam_me_no_spam.net> wrote in message
news:0eidnemazedRagbYnZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d@biscit.net.. .
> Thanks, hmm looks a bit pricey for what I'm doing. We used to have a
> service at University which would etch say a 100x100 single side board
> for about 5. I thought it would be the type of thing that Maplin would
> do pretty much over the counter if you provided the artwork...


AFAIK Maplins don't make PCBs though they ?used to? sell the stuff needed to
make them before they turned into a toy shop.

Olimex <http://www.olimex.com/pcb/index.html> can make a one off for $33 if
double sided pth is OK, otherwise they quote $26 for a single sided board.

Also worth looking at RAK <http://www.rak.co.uk/not/main.html>.

I've never used either of these suppliers but Olimex in particular does have
their adherents so are probably worth a punt.

Hth,

--
Boo

The greatest difficulty I've found is getting a PCB manufacturer who can
work with artwork other than that generated by a PCB cad package.
RAK will take an emailed image file (perversely, we found jointly that an
image pasted into a word document was the best interface!!) and create a
board for you. I did not ask them to drill it as I wanted to keep the price
down. Again most suppliers need a drill file from a cad package before they
will drill for you.

I suspect that a 'kitchen sink' method as suggested by others will be the
most cost effective for you.

Regards

Bob


Old Jan 03, 2007, 04:11 PM
Boo
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

Dave Plowman (News) wrote:
> In article <0eidnemazedRagbYnZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d@biscit.net>,
> Boo <reply_to_group_not_me@spam_me_no_spam.net> wrote:
>> AFAIK Maplins don't make PCBs though they ?used to? sell the stuff
>> needed to make them before they turned into a toy shop.

>
> They still appear to sell the bits needed.
>
>> Olimex <http://www.olimex.com/pcb/index.html> can make a one off for $33
>> if double sided pth is OK, otherwise they quote $26 for a single sided
>> board.

>
> I'm not sure using a US company would be cost effective?
>


AFAIK Olimex are Bulgarian ? They quote airmail shipping to Europe as follows :
"Airmail parcel USD $6,00 (5-14 days)" other, much more expensive options are
available.

Dunno why their prices are in USD - presumably that's where they see their market.

Cheers,

--
Boo
Old Jan 03, 2007, 06:11 PM
Boo
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

> The greatest difficulty I've found is getting a PCB manufacturer who can
> work with artwork other than that generated by a PCB cad package.


W.o.e would anyone want that ?

> RAK will take an emailed image file (perversely, we found jointly that an
> image pasted into a word document was the best interface!!) and create a
> board for you. I did not ask them to drill it as I wanted to keep the price
> down. Again most suppliers need a drill file from a cad package before they
> will drill for you.


What were RAK like in quality terms (and to deal with), as a matter of interest ?

> I suspect that a 'kitchen sink' method as suggested by others will be the
> most cost effective for you.


Possibly true, but only if your time is free. Personally I'd rather pay for the
quality of a manufactured pth tinned silk-screened board rather than the
dubious quality I'd be able to produce at home, especially if doing the lining
by hand rather than by CAD.


--
Boo
Old Jan 03, 2007, 06:11 PM
Bob Minchin
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service


"Boo" <reply_to_group_not_me@spam_me_no_spam.net> wrote in message
news:boednawqM_xBtAHYnZ2dnUVZ_uyknZ2d@biscit.net.. .
> > The greatest difficulty I've found is getting a PCB manufacturer who can
> > work with artwork other than that generated by a PCB cad package.

>
> W.o.e would anyone want that ?
>
> > RAK will take an emailed image file (perversely, we found jointly that

an
> > image pasted into a word document was the best interface!!) and create a
> > board for you. I did not ask them to drill it as I wanted to keep the

price
> > down. Again most suppliers need a drill file from a cad package before

they
> > will drill for you.

>
> What were RAK like in quality terms (and to deal with), as a matter of

interest ?
>
> > I suspect that a 'kitchen sink' method as suggested by others will be

the
> > most cost effective for you.

>
> Possibly true, but only if your time is free. Personally I'd rather pay

for the
> quality of a manufactured pth tinned silk-screened board rather than the
> dubious quality I'd be able to produce at home, especially if doing the

lining
> by hand rather than by CAD.
>
>
> --
> Boo


There is a big learning step and overhead with converting designers used to
old methods to a PCB CAD package.
I learned on black tape and mylar sheet and have migrated to 'electronic'
black tape using macdraw or Visio nowadays and it is still quicker for me to
work this way for small jobs.

Even professionally, it will cost me many man hours to convert my older
staff to CAD. It is cheaper to let them use the methods they are used to.
Bright young graduates in contrast have often used a cad package at Uni and
use it with ease.

Until a couple of months ago I had a PCB services lab on site at work and
could get ds pth boards made in about 3 hours. but now thanks to huge
expenditure needs to satisfy waste control requirements, we had to close it
down and make the staff redundant.

This is why I went to RAK and they were very good to deal with.


The OP was talking of etching charges of around 5 - which led me to my
comments on 'kitchen sink' methods.

Bob


Old Jan 03, 2007, 06:11 PM
Tony Jeffree
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

On Wed, 03 Jan 2007 20:22:09 GMT, Russell <russell@123456.com> wrote:

>I've done this with glossy inket paper as Tony suggests and I've done it
>with stuff marketed for the purpose (toner transfer paper).
>
>In my experience you can waste time and money finding a brand of inkjet
>paper that works well and peeling the toner transfer paper is orders of
>magnitude easier.


I looked at the Maplin transfer paper when I started messing with this
technique and decided that at 15 for a pack of 5 sheets it was a tad
on the expensive side. Happily, I struck paydirt first time with the
cheapo "PC-Line" Classic Glossy Photo Paper, which worked well for me
as a transfer paper and also does double duty for its original
intended purpose. Comes in 50 sheet packs for about the same price
IIRC.

Granted, you have to work slightly harder to remove the paper backing
after ironing on, but we're talking a mater of minutes difference in
my experience.

Regards,
Tony
Old Jan 04, 2007, 04:11 AM
Mike Edwards
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service

You could try KCS Electronics in Crewe:

http://www.kcscrewe.demon.co.uk/

I don't know whether it's a service they normally offer, but it's a business
they are in and might be able to either do it, or point you in the right
direction.

Mike.

"Lee Griffiths" <l.s.griffiths@salford.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:gLadncmO1od1NgbYnZ2dnUVZ8v3inZ2d@bt.com...
> Hi all,
>
> Anyone know of a PCB etching service for one-offs in or around Manchester
> ? , or anywhere for that matter :O
>
> Thanks
>
> Lee



Old Jan 04, 2007, 06:11 AM
Boo
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: PCB etching service


> Until a couple of months ago I had a PCB services lab on site at work and
> could get ds pth boards made in about 3 hours.


Nice !

> but now thanks to huge
> expenditure needs to satisfy waste control requirements, we had to close it
> down and make the staff redundant.
>
> This is why I went to RAK and they were very good to deal with.


Good to know.

Cheers,

--
Boo
 


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