“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett (Westward Ho)
I’ve spent a long time trying to etch my own boards only to end up with a pile of mush on my copper clad. My main issue is getting the board hot enough to melt the resist off the transfer paper and onto the copper. Recently I’ve tried it all paper, photo paper, magazine paper, and the list goes on. I’ve tried preheating my board, using the iron for a longer period of time (Which just happened to transfer the ink onto the copper but melted it too much and ended up with an usable trace).
I wanted something simple and easy to try so a few weeks back I saw a hackaday post about LiPo battery chargers that plugged into the USB port. In the comments I found this version which I liked because it had the USb port built in. So I set to work. I tried preheating again with my hot air gun and got the board scorching hot. Laid my piece of transparency down and started ironing. A few minutes of that and I blasted it again with the heat gun until the plastic peeled away and left the ink on the board. FINALLY! After so long I did it. The actual etching its self was trivial, and I got my first real attempt at soldering SMD parts. However until the resistors (That I’ve been waiting on for two months) get here I can’t do much more with this board.