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Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by mario, May 10, 2004.

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  1. mario

    mario Guest

    OK people, just to let you know...

    .... I'm a Aerospace Engineering student and, as you may imagine, not really
    at home with home made electronics. But currently I'm working on this
    project and I *need* to learn how to make PCBs. Basically I'm making Luxeon
    LED inspection flashlight and PCB is the best (if not only) solution for
    placing LEDs. I need help with this. I found loads of materials on-line but
    what I really need is an advice from someone who knows what is the best way,
    best parts, bets brands... whatever which can help me finish this project
    swiftly & with style. I'm short on time.

    Of course, I could ask someone from nearby Electronics Faculty to make them
    for me but - I actually want to learn.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Roy Battell

    Roy Battell Guest

    If you want results quickly for a one (or few) off on such an
    apparently simple circuit look for Stripboard (aka Veroboard)
    which is pre-drilled laminate with copper strips you can cut
    and links as required. Perfectly reliable results are possible
    Making home-brew PCBS is really rather tricky and will require
    some trial and error you may not have time for.
    Roy Battell.
    To use this address remove the digits included to remove Spam ...
    URL: (Vutrax CAD system, FREE up to 256 pins)
    SAN 206 in the support section describes how to use it for
    Stripboard for more complex designs
  3. Remember that a Luxeon (Lumileds) needs cooling thorigh the PCB!

    I have made Luxeon boards before. And what's more: some electronics
    and software I developed are used in machines placing and soldering
    those leds!


    Pieter Hoeben
  4. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    For simple one-off or prototype boards, you may want to
    consider hand-drawn methods. Complete details with
    hints and tips at

    Hope this helps!

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  5. The 'Stars' need to be mounted on a heat sink or their life will be short
  6. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Just some unsolicited advice: if you try to "learn how to make PCBs" AND
    this project swiftly & with style" simultaneously, you'll end up doing
    Allocate some time & materials for training, and buy a flashlight.

    Good Luck!
  7. Joey

    Joey Guest

    If you want to make a custom board fairly easily, radio shack has a
    kit with a copper plated board, a bottle of mild etching fluid and a
    acid resistant marker. You just draw the printed circuit on the board
    and soak it in the fluid for about a half an hour and all of the
    copper plating that wasn't drawn on dissappears from the plate. Finish
    by drilling holes for your components with a dremel and small drill
  8. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    Sometimes if you just want a simple copper only PCB it's cheap to get it
    made for you...

    ....although most will also do solder resist and silk screening if you pay
    more. Some places do a good deal on a fixed board size (eg Eurocard) if you
    want a few smaller boards it can pay to replicate the artwork until you
    reach that size (like a sheet of postage stamps). Then cut them up yourself
    when they come back.

  9. mario

    mario Guest

    Thanks for the advices, I appreciate it.

    The drawing for three LEDs on small pcb, including the 'maximum
    metallization' principle recommended by Lumileds, is fairly easy to make and
    accomplish. I read the info you sent me and contacted local distributors
    including RS and Conrad (pity there's no Radio Shack here... slightly
    disappointed by Conrad though) and I'm sure I could do it after some trail
    and error. I am after all (theoretically) capable of designing fifth
    generation strike fighter... OK, that was a bad joke.

    Anywayz, the new problem arose after I checked Luxeon Emitter thermal
    considerations PDF... darn thing has to be made on MCPCB. Yes, *thee* Metal
    Core PCB. As some of you who have experience with Luxeon LEDs noticed, they
    have to be cooled through cathode, and they have to be on MCPCB. What about
    that? Where do I get MCPCB? Another thing is how do I make drawings on it
    since using ferric chloride etchant is out of question? That thing would
    completely destroy aluminum layer on the back of the board. Any ideas?

    OK... I know, I thought about it and asked my self is it worth the trouble.
    The answer is probably one big fat NO. But the thing is that actually
    designing the darn lamp would be a success for me. I don't want to bother
    you with the details but this project has commercial dimension and I am the
    only one in the competition who started with LEDs. If I do it, I might even
    earn some money, plus showing the guys who's the daddy. That's why I'm going
    to push this thing until I run out of options.

    Again, thank you guys, you helped me a lot. If you have any thoughts on
    MCPCB I appreciate it.


  10. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    Well if you could design a regular 4 layer PCB and use the inner layers as
    the heatsink. If you can't afford professional processing costs perhaps you
    could make your own multi layer board by gluing two double sided boards
    together after etching (ok there is more to it than that but you get the
    general idea).
  11. N. Thornton

    N. Thornton Guest

    If you want heatsinking how about using ordinary DS PCB and putting
    solder onto the thin copper?

    Regards, NT
  12. Dan Fraser

    Dan Fraser Guest

    Anyone out there in the LA area? I have several 3' x 4' sheets of 1/32"
    thick single sided epoxy coppperclad with 2 oz copper I would sell cheap.

  13. --------------------
    How much do you want for it? 3 feet by 4 feet??

    I'm in Santa Cruz.
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