# Through hole plating

S

#### Simon

Jan 1, 1970
0
Has anyone got any more details on the device pictured in http://tinyurl.com/5ept8e
- the original site appears to be down, and the wayback machine is
having trouble retrieving the site... It looks build-able, if only
more details (the chemistry being used, the times, the temperatures of
the baths, etc.)

Looking at http://tinyurl.com/6r38ro it seems that powdered graphite
is a reasonable first stage for preparing the board for copper-
plating, and it's a happy side-effect that the drill rubs the graphite
into the hole when it withdraws from the hole.

Alternatively, anyone had any experience with the LPKF 'contac rs' or
'miniContac rs' machines ? And how much were they ?

Cheers,
Simon

T

#### TheM

Jan 1, 1970
0
Simon said:
Has anyone got any more details on the device pictured in http://tinyurl.com/5ept8e
- the original site appears to be down, and the wayback machine is
having trouble retrieving the site... It looks build-able, if only
more details (the chemistry being used, the times, the temperatures of
the baths, etc.)

Looking at http://tinyurl.com/6r38ro it seems that powdered graphite
is a reasonable first stage for preparing the board for copper-
plating, and it's a happy side-effect that the drill rubs the graphite
into the hole when it withdraws from the hole.

Alternatively, anyone had any experience with the LPKF 'contac rs' or
'miniContac rs' machines ? And how much were they ?

Cheers,
Simon

If contact rs is the through-hole plating method for their milled prototype
boards I can say I tried those and they work pretty well. I'm not sure how
stable they are over the years, but they claim they last long.

BTW, LPKF HQ is a few km from my workshop and my SMD placing
vendor works for them as well.

Hope this helps,
M

T

#### TheM

Jan 1, 1970
0
TheM said:
If contact rs is the through-hole plating method for their milled prototype
boards I can say I tried those and they work pretty well. I'm not sure how
stable they are over the years, but they claim they last long.

BTW, LPKF HQ is a few km from my workshop and my SMD placing
vendor works for them as well.

Hope this helps,
M

Just wanted to add that you need to watch current per via. Better combine several
where you've got substantial currents, they can't handle as much as the normal via.

M

J

#### JeffM

Jan 1, 1970
0
Simon said:
Has anyone got any more details on the device
pictured in http://tinyurl.com/5ept8e
No.

1) I assume you know that MULTI-posting is a BAD idea.

<http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/05/
homebrew_through_plating_machi.html>
is hardly long enough to justify an obfuscated URL.
- the original site appears to be down,
....yet you posted an OBFUSCATED link.
and the wayback machine is having trouble retrieving the site.
Actually, archive.org *never* made a copy of it.
+plating#07bf51f193b99431]

there is less need to obfuscate them. Examples:
it seems that powdered graphite is a reasonable first stage
for preparing the board for copper-plating,
Sounds like a mess to me--with a whole bunch of leakage paths.
Reminds me of the morons who ship back PCBs
with the problems written on them in pencil.
and it's a happy side-effect that the drill
rubs the graphite into the hole when it withdraws from the hole.
Sounds dumb to me. This seems MUCH smarter:
research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf+ECE4803+pdf
+Sodium.potassium.tartrate+pdf+pdf+the.seed.layer
+Ethylene.diamine.tetraacetic.acid+for.plated-through.holes>
research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf)>

If you *don't* need prototypes RIGHT THIS MINUTE
(like you can wait a few days),
look into the pricing of professionally-done PWBs.
Since fab houses have been set up (several years now)
in e.g. Bulgaria and China, the prices of PWBs have gone WAY down.
Turnaround time too.
Domestic fab houses have also had to get more competitive.

As the pros get increasingly competitive,
most of the DIY stuff has fallen by the wayside.

If anyone knows of Markus Zingg's current PWB page,
add a URL for that; archive.org is the best I can do now.
(They only archive text, so no images from the 500'd server.)
**Machine For Homebrew Plated-Thru Holes (Page1of7)**
<http://web.archive.org/web/20070629073753/http://www.myhome.ch/mzingg/
pcbstuff/tps/>

Mike Harrison's page lists the only commercial pseudo-PTH system
that had anything on the ball; that stuff is now kaput:
NyYJ:www.electricstuff.co.uk/pcbs.html+Update.April.2007+PCBCART
+highly.reccommend.them+out.of.production+Sodium.hydroxide
bothered-*-*-*+*-have-not-tried>
(Start near the the bottom where it says "can't be bothered"
then find the April 2007 update.)

....and here's an old thread on the subject:
(You'll notice a recurring theme: "Let the pros handle it".)

L

#### legg

Jan 1, 1970
0
No.

1) I assume you know that MULTI-posting is a BAD idea.

<http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/05/
homebrew_through_plating_machi.html>
is hardly long enough to justify an obfuscated URL.
Your own posting is a good example of the need for shorter link text
length. Every single one of them is corrupted by text wrapping in this

You probably shouldn't count on >70 characters getting through.
there is less need to obfuscate them. Examples:
Sounds dumb to me. This seems MUCH smarter:
research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf+ECE4803+pdf
+Sodium.potassium.tartrate+pdf+pdf+the.seed.layer
+Ethylene.diamine.tetraacetic.acid+for.plated-through.holes>
research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf)>
RL

J

#### JeffM

Jan 1, 1970
0
Simon said:
JeffM said:
<http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/05/
homebrew_through_plating_machi.html>
is hardly long enough to justify an obfuscated URL.
legg said:
Your own posting is a good example
of the need for shorter link text length.
Every single one of them is corrupted by text wrapping

You probably shouldn't count on >70 characters getting through.

Rob,
When I submitted the post,
there was no indication that everything wasn't peachy.
Google Groups (where I posted it)
has had several hours of high latency this afternoon.
It appears what they were doing was "improving" things yet again.

One more try:
http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/05/homebrew_through_plating_machi.html

J

#### JeffM

Jan 1, 1970
0
Simon said:
Has anyone got any more details on the device
pictured in http://tinyurl.com/5ept8e
[Re-posted (with unmangled links this time--I hope).]
No.

1) I assume you know that MULTI-posting is a BAD idea.

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/05/homebrew_through_plating_machi.html
is hardly long enough to justify an obfuscated URL.
- the original site appears to be down,
....yet you posted an OBFUSCATED link.
and the wayback machine is having trouble retrieving the site.
Actually, archive.org *never* made a copy of it.
+plating#07bf51f193b99431]

there is less need to obfuscate them. Examples:
it seems that powdered graphite is a reasonable first stage
for preparing the board for copper-plating,
Sounds like a mess to me--with a whole bunch of leakage paths.
Reminds me of the morons who ship back PCBs
with the problems written on them in pencil.
and it's a happy side-effect that the drill
rubs the graphite into the hole when it withdraws from the hole.
Sounds dumb to me. This seems MUCH smarter:
research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf)

If you *don't* need prototypes RIGHT THIS MINUTE
(like you can wait a few days),
look into the pricing of professionally-done PWBs.
Since fab houses have been set up (several years now)
in e.g. Bulgaria and China, the prices of PWBs have gone WAY down.
Turnaround time too.
Domestic fab houses have also had to get more competitive.

As the pros get increasingly competitive,
most of the DIY stuff has fallen by the wayside.

If anyone knows of Markus Zingg's current PWB page,
add a URL for that; archive.org is the best I can do now.
(They only archive text, so no images from the 500'd server.)
**Machine For Homebrew Plated-Thru Holes (Page1of7)**
http://web.archive.org/web/20070629073753/http://www.myhome.ch/mzingg/pcbstuff/tps/

Mike Harrison's page lists the only commercial pseudo-PTH system
that had anything on the ball; that stuff is now kaput:
(Start near the the bottom where it says "can't be bothered"
then find the April 2007 update.)

....and here's an old thread on the subject:
(You'll notice a recurring theme: "Let the pros handle it".)

D

#### David L. Jones

Jan 1, 1970
0
If you *don't* need prototypes RIGHT THIS MINUTE
(like you can wait a few days),
look into the pricing of professionally-done PWBs.

I use www.pcbcart.com in China for my personal project boards, not
that expensive in the scheme of things.
There are many others around at competitive prices too.
Since fab houses have been set up (several years now)
in e.g. Bulgaria and China, the prices of PWBs have gone WAY down.
Turnaround time too.
Domestic fab houses have also had to get more competitive.

As the pros get increasingly competitive,
most of the DIY stuff has fallen by the wayside.

I've got to agree. I don't know why anyone would bother making their
own boards these days.
If it's a simple board and you just have to have it in a few hours
then fair enough. But don't bother with plating, soldering the feed-
throughs yourself is good enough for a quick'n'dirty proto.

Dave.

S

#### Simon

Jan 1, 1970
0
[snip the lecture as irrelevent]
Sounds like a mess to me--with a whole bunch of leakage paths.
Reminds me of the morons who ship back PCBs
with the problems written on them in pencil.

Mmmm. Just what I like to have happen - to be called a moron by proxy.
That's *bound* to make me receptive to your post...

FWIW, the guy was reporting 100% success rate in terms of electrical
connection, and 90% success in terms of fully-coated vias. It may be
"a mess", it may just be a non-mainstream way of doing it.

Looks interesting, thanks.
If you *don't* need prototypes RIGHT THIS MINUTE
(like you can wait a few days),
look into the pricing of professionally-done PWBs.
Since fab houses have been set up (several years now)
in e.g. Bulgaria and China, the prices of PWBs have gone WAY down.
Turnaround time too.
Domestic fab houses have also had to get more competitive.

As the pros get increasingly competitive,
most of the DIY stuff has fallen by the wayside.

Indeed, but I'm coming from the other direction. I'm sick and tired of
sending off a board for production, then waiting the week or so for it
to come back. Case in point: I recently took a week off work, had sent
off my board (to PCB-pool) and was all set to work on it over my
vacation. Board came back and in 10 minutes I realised I'd mirror'ed
one of the module pinouts. There's no easy way to patch 100 pins on a
small circuit board, so I had to send it off again - even with the ($$) quick turnaround, it still only got here on the Friday of my week's vacation. Sure - it's entirely my own fault for being careless, but I realised then that it wasn't the cost that was important to me, it was the turnaround time... If anyone knows of Markus Zingg's current PWB page, add a URL for that; archive.org is the best I can do now. (They only archive text, so no images from the 500'd server.) **Machine For Homebrew Plated-Thru Holes (Page1of7)**http://web.archive.org/web/20070629073753/http://www.myhome.ch/mzingg... That's not correct. The wayback machine takes a snapshot of the images too, it's just so overloaded that fetching them is hit-and-miss. If I manage to get them all, I'll put up an attributed mirror. This is of course the link I originally referred to ("the original site") which you were claiming was never cached by the archive... There's also the LPKF Contac-RS and MiniContac-RS (see http://tinyurl.com/6cemer if the "obfuscated" url doesn't scare you too much) but these are relatively expensive (for the home user, anyway). I've also found machines from t-tech (http://tinyurl.com/5mo5fo) and a simpler chinese plating system on Ebay (http://tinyurl.com/6duua6). ...and here's an old thread on the subject:http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.design/browse_frm/thre... (You'll notice a recurring theme: "Let the pros handle it".) As with most things in this life, it's a matter of cost and benefit - and since these are subjective and particular to any individual, it's a personal choice. I'm exploring possibilities, that's all... Simon J #### JeffM Jan 1, 1970 0 Simon said: [snip the lecture as irrelevent] Having unconnected posts on the SAME subject scattered all over Usenet seems selfish to me. I'm sure many here will agree with me. BTW, if you're going to post from Google, this is worth reading: http://groups.google.com/group/sci....gle.blockquotes.them+long-links+get.butchered (Your blockquoting looks terrible after Google gets thru with it.) Simon said: [...]powdered graphite[...] JeffM said: Reminds me of the morons who ship back PCBs with the problems written on them in pencil. Mmmm. Just what I like to have happen - to be called a moron by proxy. They call me Mr. Tact. FWIW, the guy was reporting 100% success rate in terms of electrical connection, and 90% success in terms of fully-coated vias. I'll have to take your word for it. I remember graphite on boards as a PitA. I'm missing the *redeeming grace* part. Notice how the link got borked by Google. See 1st link in this post. [2nd link re-done the way I originally meant to do it. 8-( ] (http://www.ece.gatech.edu/research/labs/vc/packaging/lectures/lecture9.pdf ) Looks interesting, thanks. Since fab houses have been set up (several years now) in e.g. Bulgaria and China, the prices of PWBs have gone WAY down. Turnaround time too. Domestic fab houses have also had to get more competitive. As the pros get increasingly competitive, most of the DIY stuff has fallen by the wayside. Indeed, but I'm coming from the other direction. I'm sick and tired of sending off a board for production, then waiting the week or so for it to come back. [. . .] board (to PCB-pool)[...]came back [built to my incorrect spec...] even with the ($$\$) quick turnaround
[. . .]it wasn't the cost that was important to me,
it was the turnaround time...
Yeah.
DJ and some of the other guys still DIY--but I think they all use
the poke-a-tiny-wire-thru-and-solder-it-on-both-sides technique.
Maybe we'll see some testament.
That's not correct. The wayback machine takes a snapshot of the
images too, it's just so overloaded that fetching them is hit-and-miss.
I haven't seen evidence of that yet
but looking at the source of the page, it seems possible.
If I manage to get them all, I'll put up an attributed mirror.
I'm willing to be convinced.
**Machine For Homebrew Plated-Thru Holes (Page1of7)**
see 1st link in this post.]
http://web.archive.org/web/20070629073753/http://www.myhome.ch/mzingg/pcbstuff/tps/
This is of course the link I originally referred to ("the original site")
which you were claiming was never cached by the archive...
Just to quibble, I said that the makezine page wasn't archived.
Reference to Markus' page didn't appear till I posted it.
[...]http://tinyurl.com/6cemer
if the "obfuscated" url doesn't scare you too much)
I'm sure there are those whose software have problems displaying

As the vast majority of long links come thru just fine for me,
I'd just as soon not have to do extra pageloads
*I* appreciate seeing the _original_ link.
I'm sure many will agree with me.
(For posterity as well: links to extinct short-URL services
are testament to the folly of relying on those.)
...and here's an old thread on the subject:
[Note yet another borked blockquoted link]
(You'll notice a recurring theme: "Let the pros handle it".)
As with most things in this life, it's a matter of cost and benefit -
and since these are subjective and particular to any individual,
it's a personal choice. I'm exploring possibilities, that's all...
Gotcha. *Motivation* is a Good Thing(tm) to include in a query.

S

#### Simon

Jan 1, 1970
0
JeffM said:
I haven't seen evidence of that yet
but looking at the source of the page, it seems possible.

I'm willing to be convinced.

Become convinced. The URL is http://0x0000ff.com/tps/ If Markus ever
resurfaces, or if anyone knows his current page, I'd appreciate the
URL...

Quoth I:
....in response to JeffM:
Just to quibble, I said that the makezine page wasn't archived.
Reference to Markus' page didn't appear till I posted it.

Just to quibble right back, the device was *pictured* on the makezine
site, but I referenced the *original site*, ie: the site that the
makezine site referenced, ie: Markus' site.

Simon.

O

#### Okkim Atnarivik

Jan 1, 1970
0
: Alternatively, anyone had any experience with the LPKF 'contac rs' or
: 'miniContac rs' machines ? And how much were they ?

No experience with the above, but be warned against their ProConduct
system which uses conductive polymer paste. The vias produced are OK
when fresh (even seem to work at 4K in liquid He) but they seem to easily
break at the slightest mechanical stress. In particular the cards made
of thinner (like 0.8mm) substrates become unreliable when they age. There
are not many jobs more frustrating and time-consuming than hunting for
a faulty via which occassionally conducts and occassionally dies away.

Regards,
Mikko

T

#### TheM

Jan 1, 1970
0
Okkim Atnarivik said:
: Alternatively, anyone had any experience with the LPKF 'contac rs' or
: 'miniContac rs' machines ? And how much were they ?

No experience with the above, but be warned against their ProConduct
system which uses conductive polymer paste. The vias produced are OK
when fresh (even seem to work at 4K in liquid He) but they seem to easily
break at the slightest mechanical stress. In particular the cards made
of thinner (like 0.8mm) substrates become unreliable when they age. There
are not many jobs more frustrating and time-consuming than hunting for
a faulty via which occassionally conducts and occassionally dies away.

Regards,
Mikko

You usually just need prototype for a short period.
I'd never used these for anything but prototype work.

Still, good feedback. I used this solution, yes, its good to know
it gets unstable with time.

M

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