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Pcb etching problem

Discussion in 'PCB Layout, Design and Manufacture' started by Navivanuva, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. Navivanuva

    Navivanuva

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    Mar 3, 2013
    Hi, i am new to pcb etching... I used the FeCl solution.. Ithe problem is after etching I try to test it with volt meter, there are currents everywhere on the board even on the part that wasnt marked with my permanent marker... Anybody can help me?:)
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Etch some more. There is probably still a very thin layer of copper on the board.
     
  3. Eche

    Eche

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    Mar 3, 2013
    I agree..depending on the type of material, try to light up the back of the board and check the light coming thru to check to see if u have completely etched it.
     
  4. Eche

    Eche

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    Mar 3, 2013
    I have a YouTube video of a new method of etching using a lemon.
     
  5. ElectronicsPani

    ElectronicsPani

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    Mar 3, 2013
    First thing is :
    I would say Using a marker for etching with FeCl is not much practicable because what I have seen is the permanent marker is also dissolved by the water and FeCl solution after sometimes when it is dipped in FeCl solution. So use more better ways like Laser Printing and Ironing or PhotoResistive methods.

    And as for your problem , I think the Copper in the plate is not etched completely so you are facing the problem. It normally takes 20-30 minutes when you dip the PCB in FeCl solution with gentle swipping of the solution.
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    It shouldn't take 20 to 30 minutes unless your FeCl3 is cold. But you do need to know what the board looks ike when it is fully etched.

    Any cloudiness or smudgy looking marks are residual copper.
     
  7. CocaCola

    CocaCola

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    Apr 7, 2012
    No doubt I have experienced better transfers with toners, but I have done A LOT of boards with a Sharpie (permanent marker) and never had any issues, it's not water soluble so it doesn't come off...

    As someone suggest holding the board up to a light is the easiest way to see if the etch is complete, it also shows how well your resist is working as you can see all the pin holes were the resist failed...
     
  8. Navivanuva

    Navivanuva

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    Mar 3, 2013
    Thanks for the replies guys.. I think permanent markers work fine, because I saw a lot of other people did the same thing... I etched the pcb for an hour or so, but the problem still persist.. How bout the ratio of the FeCl to water? Maybe thats the problem?
     
  9. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    An hour or so ?? eekkk

    Personally I have never diluted the FeCl. you should be able to etch boards in 10 - 20 mins approx. Warm the FeCl up a bit to get a quicker reaction .... also
    make sure the PCB is NOT tarnished before you try and etch it.... that is...
    shine the copper up with some steel wool first, then draw on your traces with the permanent marker ( YES they are OK), then etch the board in a warmed FeCl solution

    Dave
     
  10. CocaCola

    CocaCola

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    Apr 7, 2012
    Something is wrong if you are etching for an hour... I have never 'diluted' FeCl etchant, straight up out of the bottle or I have purchased the dry version that you add to a specified amount of water to get the etchant... BTW if you use the dry stuff only mix it in a heat resistant container, I mixed my first batch (many many years ago) in a used plastic bottle and the bottle deformed and melted due to the reaction heat... Since then I use glass jars..

    To warm it up float your etchant container in a bowel of boiling water, it will help drastically... And if you want to get fancy get a fish airpump and airstone and use that the agitate the mixture...
     
  11. ElectronicsPani

    ElectronicsPani

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    Mar 3, 2013
    @all CAn you please share what brand and type of Marker you use?
    Because I have tried making PCB's with permanent marker many times before and
    everytime the traces drawn by marker is also corroised by the FeCl solution.

    And I Recomend using Laser Printing and Iron Press Method over Marker method because it costs almost the same and
    requires almost same amount of efforts but with Laser Method the final PCB looks much more professional.
     
  12. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
  13. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    As Bob linked 'Sharpie' brand... One word of advice you have to pay attention to what you are doing, the marker itself has a solvent in it, so if you go over the same area you can do one of two things, make it darker or actually remove it, pay attention you want dark black lines...

    At the end of the day with the current price of batch PC boards unless you need the board that day you might as well get a professional board made, yeah it cost a little more but in the end it's hardly extreme when you factor in all the fuss of making your own that will never be of equal quality...
     
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