Toner Trasfer: Double the sides, double the fun

Next test of my new PCB toner transfer technique. After getting the hardware ready and getting first awesome results I decided to make an ultimate test. I wondered if I can make toner stick to something that it didn’t want to before. I had a small sheet of copper clad board that is (no joking) older than me.I really don’t know the exact year when it was fabricated, but if I would have to make a wild guess – that would be 1980s at the very least. I got it from my grandfather ages ago.

That looked like a good test subject. Mostly because no matter how hard I tried – I could never make the toner stick to it a few years ago. So it was lying in a corner as the years passed by for a very long time, waiting for the time to come.  Even more difficulties – the board will be double sided.

IMG_20140118_153807Before doing any lamination I threw the piece into the etchant for about 30 seconds. This cleared the copper clad board a little. Next I washed it, dried and got heated up the lamination machine. The latter didn’t really like the thickness (~1.5 mm) and it occasionally stalled the motor so I had to push the board a little bit so that it would get through. But despite the results looked promising and I got both layers aligned and ready from the very first attempt (WIN!). Etching took a while. It does look like the copper was quite thick.


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Now, with that in my hands I cleared the toner with some acetone. Looks like a little bit overly etched in places. Must be due to the copper thickness – the thicker the copper – the more artifacts we have on the sides.IMG_20140118_171421 IMG_20140118_171425

Now I applied the solder mask. Made with the same toner as well, the very same process. IMG_20140118_173513 IMG_20140118_173521

And populated most of the board. Turned out I ran out of mechanical relays that should be to the right. Besides that everything worked like a charm and looked really sexy. IMG_20140118_202247 IMG_20140118_202253 IMG_20140118_202300

Later, with some added relays that looked even better:


Now, I should only give it a nice wash in C2H5OH and that’s it!
And yeah, I screwed up with text on the solder mask layer. Will do it right next time.

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