Author Topic: PCB etching fluid?  (Read 4873 times)

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Offline BANETopic starter

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PCB etching fluid?
« on: May 07, 2009, 06:08:54 AM »
Hello,

I trying to make my first PCB from scratch.  I bought a piece of double sided copper clad board from radio shack and already have a circuit designed up.  The part that I need is where to get some Ferric Chloride Copper Etchant.  I found some online for $12.99 but shipping is like $16.  Do you guys know of an common store like Lowes or Home depot that would carry this product? 

Thanks,

Bane

Offline Soeren

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009, 09:31:11 AM »
Hi,

You should be able to get it at a pharmacy or similar shop.

Perhaps a paint store might have it too.
Regards,
Søren

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Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 09:38:33 AM »
Many stores have problems with liquid staff.....
You can get the... powder thingy at electronics stores....
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Offline SmAsH

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 03:00:21 PM »
go down to stores and see if they have something called "ammonium persulphate", it is an etchant that is much cleaner that ferric chloride and cheaper. it comes in crystal for so you tip it into boiling water to make etchant which means more etchant!
one 800g bottle makes 4L of etchant and costs me $10au. i got mine at the equivalent of radioshack over here...
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Offline BANETopic starter

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 03:10:00 PM »
what about
http://www.walgreens.com/beauty/product.jsp?CATID=306900&navAction=jump&navCount=0&id=prod10651

Nail stuff seems to have ferric chloride in it and a lot of other junk

think it will work?

Offline BANETopic starter

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009, 03:12:22 PM »
Man, i was just at radio shack the other day.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102868

Has any one had good luck with this?

Offline SmAsH

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009, 03:13:09 PM »
i really doubt that would work well...
rather get something like this http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102868 well, only if you have to... ammonium persulphate is reusable too ;D
don't try to skimp out on this stuff, it will result in crappy pcbs badly etched!

EDIT: damn, beat me too it ;D that stuff will be fine for your thing...
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Offline BANETopic starter

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 03:29:44 PM »
I know, I'm fast like that :D.  Do you know how to get that cool green coating on a PCB?

Offline SmAsH

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 03:33:27 PM »
i thought it was the color of the pcb, but it may be the solder mask...
i haven't really actually looked into that one :o
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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009, 03:36:13 PM »
the board is the plain yellow-like with double copper siding.  Once complete it will look some-what plain.  Is it better to buy a green board?  But then all the rails would be exposed still :P.

Offline SmAsH

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2009, 03:37:49 PM »
if i knew you could buy green boards i would've already ;D
i guess ill ask someone today...
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Offline BANETopic starter

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2009, 04:03:28 PM »
Another question,  I have a Dell 1110 laser printer.  I tried to print one out but the toner just flaked off.  I was using dell photo paper.  Will this work?

bane

Offline SmAsH

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2009, 04:05:49 PM »
is it laser printer paper? i don't have a laser printer... i tried using photo paper but it did not transfer well... it was way to thick... try to get thin gloss paper...
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Offline BANETopic starter

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2009, 04:45:18 PM »
I had some other paper that seems to work well.

here is a test piece.  I'll pick up some etchant and finish it tomorrow.

Offline Soeren

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2009, 05:10:55 PM »
Hi,

Man, i was just at radio shack the other day.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102868

Has any one had good luck with this?

It's plain old Ferric Chloride.
If you read the part of its Materials Safety Data Sheet saying: "Ferric Chloride - Drinking Water Grade" don't get any wrong ideas ;D

Ferric Chloride is working at room temperature, so is probably the best etchant for the occasional one or two PCB's.
Just don't get it on your clothes, it will never come off and wear rubber gloves, 'cause it sticks just as well to skin.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline SmAsH

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2009, 01:41:04 AM »
by "sticks", do you mean burns?
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Offline Soeren

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2009, 04:22:54 AM »
Hi,

No, it doesn't burn and isn't really too bad to your hands, medical speaking...But the brown coloring it does needs to be worn off (lots of hand lotion will help get it off a little faster, but it will take days, perhaps a week or more to get all traces off, unless you use scouring powder, but that is hard on your skin).
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline BANETopic starter

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Re: PCB etching fluid?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 05:39:26 AM »
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.  I don't think my date would like me coming to prom with different color hands :D

 


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