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Through hole plating

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Simon, Dec 15, 2008.

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  1. Simon

    Simon Guest

    Has anyone got any more details on the device pictured in http://tinyurl.com/5ept8e
    - the original site appears to be down, and the wayback machine is
    having trouble retrieving the site... It looks build-able, if only
    more details (the chemistry being used, the times, the temperatures of
    the baths, etc.)

    Looking at http://tinyurl.com/6r38ro it seems that powdered graphite
    is a reasonable first stage for preparing the board for copper-
    plating, and it's a happy side-effect that the drill rubs the graphite
    into the hole when it withdraws from the hole.

    Alternatively, anyone had any experience with the LPKF 'contac rs' or
    'miniContac rs' machines ? And how much were they ?

    Cheers,
    Simon
     
  2. TheM

    TheM Guest

    If contact rs is the through-hole plating method for their milled prototype
    boards I can say I tried those and they work pretty well. I'm not sure how
    stable they are over the years, but they claim they last long.

    BTW, LPKF HQ is a few km from my workshop and my SMD placing
    vendor works for them as well.

    Hope this helps,
    M
     
  3. TheM

    TheM Guest

    Just wanted to add that you need to watch current per via. Better combine several
    where you've got substantial currents, they can't handle as much as the normal via.

    M
     
  4. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    No.

    1) I assume you know that MULTI-posting is a BAD idea.

    2) IMO, that link
    <http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/05/
    homebrew_through_plating_machi.html>
    is hardly long enough to justify an obfuscated URL.
    ....yet you posted an OBFUSCATED link.
    Actually, archive.org *never* made a copy of it.
    [http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.basics/browse_thread/
    thread/7afa1d1aeca9dd00/07bf51f193b99431?lnk=gst&q=through
    +plating#07bf51f193b99431]

    3) If you'll trim the fat from your links,
    there is less need to obfuscate them. Examples:
    <http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.basics/browse_thread/
    thread/7afa1d1aeca9dd00/07bf51f193b99431?q=through+plating>
    <http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.basics/browse_thread/
    thread/7afa1d1aeca9dd00?q=through+plating>
    <http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.basics/browse_thread/
    thread/7afa1d1aeca9dd00>
    Sounds like a mess to me--with a whole bunch of leakage paths.
    Reminds me of the morons who ship back PCBs
    with the problems written on them in pencil.
    Sounds dumb to me. This seems MUCH smarter:
    <http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:Amm35rO8k0oJ:www.ece.gatech.edu/
    research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf+ECE4803+pdf
    +Sodium.potassium.tartrate+pdf+pdf+the.seed.layer
    +Ethylene.diamine.tetraacetic.acid+for.plated-through.holes>
    <(http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:Amm35rO8k0oJ:www.ece.gatech.edu/
    research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf)>

    If you *don't* need prototypes RIGHT THIS MINUTE
    (like you can wait a few days),
    look into the pricing of professionally-done PWBs.
    Since fab houses have been set up (several years now)
    in e.g. Bulgaria and China, the prices of PWBs have gone WAY down.
    Turnaround time too.
    Domestic fab houses have also had to get more competitive.

    As the pros get increasingly competitive,
    most of the DIY stuff has fallen by the wayside.

    If anyone knows of Markus Zingg's current PWB page,
    add a URL for that; archive.org is the best I can do now.
    (They only archive text, so no images from the 500'd server.)
    **Machine For Homebrew Plated-Thru Holes (Page1of7)**
    <http://web.archive.org/web/20070629073753/http://www.myhome.ch/mzingg/
    pcbstuff/tps/>

    Mike Harrison's page lists the only commercial pseudo-PTH system
    that had anything on the ball; that stuff is now kaput:
    <http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:iiE5D2h-
    NyYJ:www.electricstuff.co.uk/pcbs.html+Update.April.2007+PCBCART
    +highly.reccommend.them+out.of.production+Sodium.hydroxide
    +Mike.Harrison+*-*-welcome.comments+Copperset+PCB.Pool+*-can't-be-
    bothered-*-*-*+*-have-not-tried>
    (Start near the the bottom where it says "can't be bothered"
    then find the April 2007 update.)

    ....and here's an old thread on the subject:
    <http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.design/browse_frm/
    thread/4b432cc42b3647f5>
    (You'll notice a recurring theme: "Let the pros handle it".)
     
  5. legg

    legg Guest

    Your own posting is a good example of the need for shorter link text
    length. Every single one of them is corrupted by text wrapping in this
    news reader.

    You probably shouldn't count on >70 characters getting through.
    RL
     
  6. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Rob,
    When I submitted the post,
    there was no indication that everything wasn't peachy.
    Google Groups (where I posted it)
    has had several hours of high latency this afternoon.
    It appears what they were doing was "improving" things yet again.
    **Mangled links** seems to be what they added. 8-(

    One more try:
    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/05/homebrew_through_plating_machi.html
     
  7. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    [Re-posted (with unmangled links this time--I hope).]
    No.

    1) I assume you know that MULTI-posting is a BAD idea.

    2) IMO, that link
    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/05/homebrew_through_plating_machi.html
    is hardly long enough to justify an obfuscated URL.
    ....yet you posted an OBFUSCATED link.
    Actually, archive.org *never* made a copy of it.
    [http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.basics/browse_thread/
    thread/7afa1d1aeca9dd00/07bf51f193b99431?lnk=gst&q=through
    +plating#07bf51f193b99431]

    3) If you'll trim the fat from your links,
    there is less need to obfuscate them. Examples:
    http://groups.google.com/group/sci....1aeca9dd00/07bf51f193b99431?q=through+plating
    http://groups.google.com/group/sci....ead/thread/7afa1d1aeca9dd00?q=through+plating
    http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.basics/browse_thread/thread/7afa1d1aeca9dd00
    Sounds like a mess to me--with a whole bunch of leakage paths.
    Reminds me of the morons who ship back PCBs
    with the problems written on them in pencil.
    Sounds dumb to me. This seems MUCH smarter:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=cach...ine.tetraacetic.acid+for.plated-through.holes
    (http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:Amm35rO8k0oJ:www.ece.gatech.edu/
    research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf)

    If you *don't* need prototypes RIGHT THIS MINUTE
    (like you can wait a few days),
    look into the pricing of professionally-done PWBs.
    Since fab houses have been set up (several years now)
    in e.g. Bulgaria and China, the prices of PWBs have gone WAY down.
    Turnaround time too.
    Domestic fab houses have also had to get more competitive.

    As the pros get increasingly competitive,
    most of the DIY stuff has fallen by the wayside.

    If anyone knows of Markus Zingg's current PWB page,
    add a URL for that; archive.org is the best I can do now.
    (They only archive text, so no images from the 500'd server.)
    **Machine For Homebrew Plated-Thru Holes (Page1of7)**
    http://web.archive.org/web/20070629073753/http://www.myhome.ch/mzingg/pcbstuff/tps/

    Mike Harrison's page lists the only commercial pseudo-PTH system
    that had anything on the ball; that stuff is now kaput:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=cach...ol+*-can't-be-bothered-*-*-*+*-have-not-tried
    (Start near the the bottom where it says "can't be bothered"
    then find the April 2007 update.)

    ....and here's an old thread on the subject:
    http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.design/browse_frm/thread/4b432cc42b3647f5
    (You'll notice a recurring theme: "Let the pros handle it".)
     
  8. I use www.pcbcart.com in China for my personal project boards, not
    that expensive in the scheme of things.
    There are many others around at competitive prices too.
    I've got to agree. I don't know why anyone would bother making their
    own boards these days.
    If it's a simple board and you just have to have it in a few hours
    then fair enough. But don't bother with plating, soldering the feed-
    throughs yourself is good enough for a quick'n'dirty proto.

    Dave.
     
  9. Simon

    Simon Guest

    [snip the lecture as irrelevent]
    Mmmm. Just what I like to have happen - to be called a moron by proxy.
    That's *bound* to make me receptive to your post...

    FWIW, the guy was reporting 100% success rate in terms of electrical
    connection, and 90% success in terms of fully-coated vias. It may be
    "a mess", it may just be a non-mainstream way of doing it.
    Looks interesting, thanks.
    Indeed, but I'm coming from the other direction. I'm sick and tired of
    sending off a board for production, then waiting the week or so for it
    to come back. Case in point: I recently took a week off work, had sent
    off my board (to PCB-pool) and was all set to work on it over my
    vacation. Board came back and in 10 minutes I realised I'd mirror'ed
    one of the module pinouts. There's no easy way to patch 100 pins on a
    small circuit board, so I had to send it off again - even with the ($$
    $) quick turnaround, it still only got here on the Friday of my week's
    vacation. Sure - it's entirely my own fault for being careless, but I
    realised then that it wasn't the cost that was important to me, it was
    the turnaround time...
    That's not correct. The wayback machine takes a snapshot of the images
    too, it's just so overloaded that fetching them is hit-and-miss. If I
    manage to get them all, I'll put up an attributed mirror. This is of
    course the link I originally referred to ("the original site") which
    you were claiming was never cached by the archive...

    There's also the LPKF Contac-RS and MiniContac-RS (see http://tinyurl.com/6cemer
    if the "obfuscated" url doesn't scare you too much) but these are
    relatively expensive (for the home user, anyway). I've also found
    machines from t-tech (http://tinyurl.com/5mo5fo) and a simpler chinese
    plating system on Ebay (http://tinyurl.com/6duua6).
    As with most things in this life, it's a matter of cost and benefit -
    and since these are subjective and particular to any individual, it's
    a personal choice. I'm exploring possibilities, that's all...

    Simon
     
  10. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Having unconnected posts on the SAME subject
    scattered all over Usenet seems selfish to me.
    I'm sure many here will agree with me.

    BTW, if you're going to post from Google, this is worth reading:
    http://groups.google.com/group/sci....gle.blockquotes.them+long-links+get.butchered
    (Your blockquoting looks terrible after Google gets thru with it.)
    They call me Mr. Tact. :cool:
    I'll have to take your word for it.
    I remember graphite on boards as a PitA.
    I'm missing the *redeeming grace* part.
    Notice how the link got borked by Google. See 1st link in this post.
    Yeah.
    DJ and some of the other guys still DIY--but I think they all use
    the poke-a-tiny-wire-thru-and-solder-it-on-both-sides technique.
    Maybe we'll see some testament.
    I haven't seen evidence of that yet
    but looking at the source of the page, it seems possible.
    I'm willing to be convinced.
    Just to quibble, I said that the makezine page wasn't archived.
    Reference to Markus' page didn't appear till I posted it.
    I'm sure there are those whose software have problems displaying
    long links, and I'm sure *they* appreciate the abbreviated links.

    As the vast majority of long links come thru just fine for me,
    I'd just as soon not have to do extra pageloads
    (prescreening shortened links),
    so I even when posters *do* include an (additional) shortened link,
    *I* appreciate seeing the _original_ link.
    I'm sure many will agree with me.
    (For posterity as well: links to extinct short-URL services
    are testament to the folly of relying on those.)
    Gotcha. *Motivation* is a Good Thing(tm) to include in a query.
     
  11. Simon

    Simon Guest

    Become convinced. The URL is http://0x0000ff.com/tps/ If Markus ever
    resurfaces, or if anyone knows his current page, I'd appreciate the
    URL...


    Quoth I:
    Just to quibble right back, the device was *pictured* on the makezine
    site, but I referenced the *original site*, ie: the site that the
    makezine site referenced, ie: Markus' site.

    Simon.
     
  12. : Alternatively, anyone had any experience with the LPKF 'contac rs' or
    : 'miniContac rs' machines ? And how much were they ?

    No experience with the above, but be warned against their ProConduct
    system which uses conductive polymer paste. The vias produced are OK
    when fresh (even seem to work at 4K in liquid He) but they seem to easily
    break at the slightest mechanical stress. In particular the cards made
    of thinner (like 0.8mm) substrates become unreliable when they age. There
    are not many jobs more frustrating and time-consuming than hunting for
    a faulty via which occassionally conducts and occassionally dies away.

    Regards,
    Mikko
     
  13. TheM

    TheM Guest

    You usually just need prototype for a short period.
    I'd never used these for anything but prototype work.

    Still, good feedback. I used this solution, yes, its good to know
    it gets unstable with time.

    M
     
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