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Laser print a PCB board
8 March 2010 22:48

In the past i have made some electronic stuff for some minor projects but most of then ended with the lack of a easy and good way to make the PCB boards and i mostly used the prototype PCB board and then just connected a lot of wires, but at the end of each project it was not very good and it always look bad.

But some years ago i then had seen the blog posts and information around the Internet about how to print your own PCB design with a laser printer and making a PCB board out of them, but i never got around to try out this thing.
So some months ago when i read some pages about it again and was needing some PCB boards for a electronic meter project that i am working on, I was thinking that i will try to make some boards and I download the freeEagle PCB software and made the design and printed it on some Ink paper in the Laser printer and then put it on the copper board.
How the process of Laser printing the design and making the board is not some thing i will write about in this blog post as there is so many others guys on the Internet there has made some very good guides for that, so i will instead link to some of them at the end of this blog post and you can then read it from the good guides.

So i had then made the first PCB boards and was very happy with them and i then showed them to my good friend Kenneth Pallund and hi say "Tooms they look good but the items on the board most be horizontal or vertical and not all over the board as you fit.", hi is my electronic hero so as in the school, I then had to go home and do the homework again. :-)  so I then made another try where i placed each electronic item on the right way and used more time to make a better copper routing on the board and i most say hi was right and this time around it was much better and i guess over time i will learn to make it better and better.

Here is photo of some pcb boards from try number two and i am surprised how good and easy it was to make them and i even made a SMD adaptor board on the low left and on the lower right is a Fluke interface board for my Fluke Scope 123 but it was not working planed and i have not jet found the error on it.
The top PCB is a serial monitor board that i have made to monitor some RS232 serial traffic and meter it, but more on that later in this post.
Photo of my PCB boards
The ruler size in centimeters

I have also made some double side PCB boards and they are also very good, it is not that hard to make it on the both sides, it just take more time to do and the hard part is to align the two sides, so I just made some extra 1mm hols outside the design and used them to aling the print on both sides and when finish it was spot on.
With two side boards you can make some very advanced designs and make some boards smaller then if they only was single side PCB.

As i small start project for the PCB design and some thing I was needing, I have made a small RS232 monitor board.
The RS232 serial monitor board that i have made is with some very easy to see LED's and some hooks to better connection my scope and/or logic analyzer when trying to understand some serial traffic.
The upper green LED row is when the signal i high and the orange LED row is when the signal is low.
There is a hook for each of the 8 signal lines and below them there is 8 GND hooks and there is a 9 pin female sub-d on the right side and 9 pin sub-d male connector on the left side
Photo of my serial monitor board

Here is a Video demo of the serial monitor board in use when my PC talking to a electric power meter there has a serial port but that is another blog post when i am ready with the software and that project.

I have made a small number of serial monitor boards so if you need one i can maybe sell some of them.

Here is some links to some informations about making PCB boards with laser printer.

Experimenting PCB board creation using a laser printer

HOWTO: An Illustrated Guide

Printed Circuit Boards for the Masses

How to make PCBs at home in 1 hour & WITHOUT special materials

Making PCB With Laser Printer

How-To: Etch a single sided PCB

Youtube.com - Laser print PCB

This is just some links i found via google, so try goolge on it and you will find many pages with alot of informations.

Tooms @ 8 March 2010 22:48 | Direct link

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