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First PCB, scared as fk.

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jobgg16

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Hey,
I'm trying to design my first professionally made PCB for a school project (Teeny tiny SMD components included), which our schools etching lab just can't do with the neccesairy accuracy. Once I get it, I can solder it by hand. I've sucessfully soldered 0204 resistors with my trusty Ayoue 937 allready.

So do you guys know any must see tutorials / amazing prototype PCB manufacture services, the latter preferably close to Germany?

Thanks so much in advance.

PCB size 4cm x 4cm + X cm x X cm (2 seperate boards)
2 Layer, 1oz copper should suffice.
 

Fe(II)man

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An easy way is to print out the PCB design onto a transparency and thereafter place the transparency over the copper pcb board and thereafter place a piece of cardboard(tin sheet) over the transparency and apply heat using an iron(clothes iron).

Maintain heat for as long as it takes for the ink to transfer from the transparency to the board.

Thereafter dip the board continuously into a dish of ferric chloride to wash away the unwanted copper. Your tracks should be clearly visible.

Ps. if the ink doesnt transfer completely from the transparency, use a permanent marker to draw the tracks onto the board.

Hope this works for you. its an easy method. and very effective.

btw link to help you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6KX6luq9UA&list=UUMLxZ0D7TP_wBP-JIi6Ccsw&index=2&feature=plcp
 

keith1200rs

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If you want a reasonably priced manufacturer of bare PCBs in Germany, PCB-Pool is based there, who I have used a lot. They also offer an assembly service which I haven't used. Multi-CB in Germany also have very good prices but I haven't tried them yet.

Keith
 

jobgg16

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My main problem is that i require quite some vias, interconnects, etc, and i'm not sure whether I can do that at home. I'll check out PCB pool. Any tips on how to get started transferring papberbased PCB layering to CAD software?
 

sky_123

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PCB manufacturers won't accept paper layout. You'll need to download a CAD package, draw the circuit and generate the PCB files from there. The files will contain all the information for the manufacturer to create the tracks, holes, vias and silkscreen, etc. There are some free packages, or some low-cost packages depending on how you wish to go. A free package is here. I've not tried it, but it is based on a commercial product and it's supposed to be easy to use, and has no restrictions apparently. For personal stuff I use Eagle, but that costs a bit (not much) and has a learning curve.
 

jobgg16

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I actually knew that they wouldn't accept my greasy, coffeine stained paper layouts. I think I'm going to try eagle in the trial version that supports 2 layers, since there's plenty of tutorials regarding that. Do you have any order of actions you use when transferring layouts, in case you actually do them on paper first?
 

sky_123

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Do you have any order of actions you use when transferring layouts
Normally people draw the schematic (circuit diagram) on the CAD system first, and then move to the layout. That is what you're planning to do, right?
in case you actually do them on paper first?
There is no need to do them on paper first, because it is easier to move components on the schematic (and later in the board layout) on the computer.
If you're trying Eagle, spend some time reading their PDF manual too, it helps a lot. I wouldn't say their UI is intuitive, but the product is good apart
from that.
 

FvM

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Although referring to schematic entry will be the powerful way in the long term, you can create a board without a schematic. Follow the description in the tutorial.

Eagle has no means to import drawings as overlay, so you need to trace the previous design manually. If exact dimensions are essential, place a transparent grid over it and copy the component placement (or use a similar method of your choice).
 

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