Thursday, March 8, 2012

Perfectly etched Wifi host board

I did a second take at doing a toner transfer. This time it came out flawlessly. I did a few things differently. I dont know if any or all of these thing contributed, but I really could not have hoped for a better result.

Here's what I changed:

  • Used a part of a glossy magazine that was mostly white space. The first printing was on top of a color image in the magazine.
  • Once the magazine was lying on the copper, I covered it with a small piece of laser printer paper, instead of ironing directly
  • Maxed the iron setting, and waited a good 10 minutes before starting to iron.
  • Used constant motion of the iron, and made sure that all parts of the iron visited all parts of the copper, so that whatever "sweet spot" that was yeilding good transfer was hitting all parts of the copper.
  • Ironed until I did 300% of what I thought was necessary, basically ironed the crap out of it.
  • Let it soak in water for 2 hours before even attempting to remove the magazine paper from the copper.

 I dremeled and etched the board this evening, and even let my kids watch from a distance.

Fresh etched board. It's not soldered yet.

One cautionary tale: Acetone will strip the finish from a wooden kitchen table in nanoseconds. I was obnoxiously cautious with the ferric chloride when etching, laying down protective covering on my table. But when I was 95% done, I carelessly let about a 1/2 teaspoon of acetone drip out of a paper towel:

Aye ca-rumba!

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I welcome you're thoughts. Keep it classy, think of the children.