PCB Fabrication

A project log for Smart Battery, Smarter Power Pack

Fast Charging. Charge your portable devices. Use it as a UPS for your BeagleBone/Pi/Home WiFi Network. Or an emergency laptop power source.

Kumar, AbhishekKumar, Abhishek 09/05/2015 at 20:300 Comments

Since I was short on time, I decided to fab my own PCBs for this instead of sending it off which would have tied my hands for at least a week, so in two days I figured out how to use toner transfer to make my own PCBs. I was very apprehensive of the whole process but it turned out with better than expected results with a little bit of effort. Maybe it was the quality of the glossy photo paper that helped? I don't know. But I will document my toner transfer steps soon.

The first time I tried toner transfer, I etched my board with the FeCl3 "Sponge etch" method (use a sponge to rub FeCl3 all over the board). This worked against me as rubbing somehow reduced the quality of the etch and the traces came out when I took my solder iron to tin all the traces before soldering. I did another run the next day in which I just rocked the board a bit and left it in the solution. The boards turned out much better.

Here's how the etched boards looked after a bit of scrubbing: