Tag Archives: pcb

Making my own PCBs

I’ve always wanted to make my own PCB, so today is a special day for me.

This is for the MintyBoost XL, which is totally awesome. Now I just have to etch it, drill it, and solder all these little components onto it…

I used the instructions found here to create this little gem. They are very good, but I modified the method slightly. Instead of taping crap down, you just heat up the board like he says, carefully stick the paper to it toner side down, and start ironing for a few minutes, pushing hard and using the tip of the iron to go over every everything nice and hard. Also, cleaning is key – I used some 220 grit sandpaper and then acetone with a paper towel, and it turned out great.

The schematic is available here. All credit really goes to Robert Hunt though – it’s his design. Also, here’s my slightly modified parts list I ordered from Digikey for this project:

1 811-2042-ND INDUCTOR RADIAL 22UH 2A
1 LT1303CN8-5#PBF-ND IC DC/DC CONV STEP-UP 5V 8-DIP
1 3M5473-ND SOCKET IC OPEN FRAME 8POS .3"
2 CF14JT100KCT-ND RES 100K OHM 1/4W 5% CARBON FILM
1 1N5817DICT-ND DIODE SCHOTTKY 20V 1A DO-41
2 BC22AAW-ND HOLDER BATT 2-AA CELLS WIRE LDS
2 490-5401-ND CAP CER 0.1UF 50V Y5V RAD
2 P5112-ND CAP 220UF 6.3V ALUM LYTIC RADIAL
1 UE27AC54100-ND CONN RCPT USB TYPE A R/A GOLD

Total parts cost: $11.87.

Not too bad for a little DIY and fun. Board cost a few pennies.

UPDATE

I got tired of waiting for my FeCl in the mail, so I used some awesome instructions to take Muriatic Acid (also known as Hydrochloric Acid) from Lowes and Hyrdrogen Peroxide and mix ’em together with the PCB to etch it, and also yield a byproduct of Cupric Chloride, which is also a reusable etchant itself! And it did a fantastic job:

I made sure to find plastic containers that don’t react or melt when exposed to the acid – my tray was from Walmart and is PVC and my container for the leftover acid was an HDPE milk jug. So far, so good!