# What's easier/better ? Etch resist pen or dry transfers?

R

#### royalmp2001

Jan 1, 1970
0
I need to make a small number of 2" square pcbs, each having a 8pin dip
ic and half a dozen small caps and 1/4W resistors. I am a beginner at
this.

What is better. I purchased the transfers from radio shack, and while
I am awaiting delivery of the components, I am wondering if I should
get a pen to try out too.

If I stick to the pen will I need a 1/32" or 1/64" tip?

Thanks

C

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
royalmp2001 said:
I need to make a small number of 2" square pcbs, each having a 8pin dip
ic and half a dozen small caps and 1/4W resistors. I am a beginner at
this.

What is better. I purchased the transfers from radio shack, and while
I am awaiting delivery of the components, I am wondering if I should
get a pen to try out too.

If I stick to the pen will I need a 1/32" or 1/64" tip?

Thanks

When I do a board using normal .01 spacing I draw out the whole board
on a piece of grid paper then tape the grid paper to my board and then
use a pin to mark out all the hole locations...this also aids in
keeping everything straight. I then take a small sharpie and mark all
hole locations...then I draw all the straight lines with a sharpie and
a beveled straightedge. After using the pen to do the board lines and
pads I occasionally will use dry transfers over the ic locations and
wherever I want a neat looking round pad. I normally dont drill out the
holes till the board is layed out and after drilling I will go back and
hit the holes with the sharpie again...just because.

Electronix Express has a template that you can use to lay out a board
with a pen. It has templates for ic pads, transistors, different sizes
of resistors capacitors etc....but like I say...I use this template to
mark it all out on grid paper...

http://www.elexp.com/ <<< electronix express web site

the template I use is part no. 03TPEDT.......5.50.....

my way isnt the best but it works for me and the occasional board I
turn out.

I also do surface mount using a pen and dry transfers....and a
magnifying lamp.

For your boards either tip pen would work but I'd probably go with the
1/32 possibly a tad bigger if you dont want real fine lines...it might
make it easier... you can buy those double ended sharpie markets at wal
mart/k mart etc..... go to an art store and look for stadtler drawing
pens...they make nice lines in many sizes though the "resist" is
somewhat harder to remove than an ordinary lacquer based sharpie.

R

#### royalmp2001

Jan 1, 1970
0
Wow, so I don't have to order a special etch resist pen from some
supplier and pay $7 shipping, but instead get a sharpie from a local store....thanks for the tip !!! I always thought these pcb pens has some special resistant chemical in them, and that nothing else would do....thanks for enlightening me..!!! T #### Tom Biasi Jan 1, 1970 0 royalmp2001 said: Wow, so I don't have to order a special etch resist pen from some supplier and pay$7 shipping, but instead get a sharpie from a local
store....thanks for the tip !!!
I always thought these pcb pens has some special resistant chemical in
them, and that nothing else would do....thanks for enlightening me..!!!

Sharpies work just fine. Check out PNP Blue. You can print to them on a
lasar printer and iron on to a board. (circuit board not ironing board )
I'll send you some if you would like to try it. No, I am not selling them, I
am a teacher who just likes to help students learn.
Regards,
Tom

R

#### royalmp2001

Jan 1, 1970
0
Thanks for the offer, Tom, but I think the Sharpie is the way to go (I
only have an inkjet printer).

M

#### Michael Black

Jan 1, 1970
0
royalmp2001" ([email protected]) said:
Wow, so I don't have to order a special etch resist pen from some
supplier and pay \$7 shipping, but instead get a sharpie from a local
store....thanks for the tip !!!
I always thought these pcb pens has some special resistant chemical in
them, and that nothing else would do....thanks for enlightening me..!!!
Anything that doesn't wash away in the etchant works as resist. Right
from the beginning of hobbyists making their own boards, people have used all
kinds of things. SOme are better than others, for the simple reason than
that they can be easily removed after the etching.

One problem with pens is that they often don't give a solid line. I remember
the horrible results I got the first time I made a board, when I didn't
realize this. But this has to do with either the person's skill at drawing
the traces, or the particular pen. Some don't issue a good flow of ink.

One article in "Ham Radio" magazine years ago suggested opening the pen
up, and adding a drop or two of rubbing alcohol. This ensures the ink
does flow better. I've tried it, and it does work, indeed I've done it to
pens I simply use on paper.

I don't know about now, but it used to be that the resist pens I saw were
Sharpies, either relabelled or labelled at the factory for the new task.
YOu can also get Shrpies with a far narrower tip, useful for very thin
lines on circuit
boards.

Michael

A

Jan 1, 1970
0
Since you don't have a lazer printer, this won't work for you, but I print
onto quality inkjet paper with my lazer printer, then iron it onto the
board, like the special paper, but cheaper... After it cools, hot water and
soap melts the paper off, leaving toner and clay (from the quality inkjet
paper good side) to stop the etch. You can us a photocopier to do this, just
set it dark enough to get a nice thick toner layer. Much easier than
drawing each of them out, and makes for a more pro look.

Al...

B

#### Bob Masta

Jan 1, 1970
0
I need to make a small number of 2" square pcbs, each having a 8pin dip
ic and half a dozen small caps and 1/4W resistors. I am a beginner at
this.

What is better. I purchased the transfers from radio shack, and while
I am awaiting delivery of the components, I am wondering if I should
get a pen to try out too.

If I stick to the pen will I need a 1/32" or 1/64" tip?

Thanks

A full description of the hand-drawn Sharpie method,
including lots of hints and tips, is on my site at
www.daqarta.com/lptxh.htm

Hope this helps!

Bob Masta

D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
www.daqarta.com

R

#### royalmp2001

Jan 1, 1970
0
Thank you so much for sharing the link for your site. It is just
great..!!!!

P

#### paologatto

Jan 1, 1970
0
I made several experiments with different kind of papers and the "iron
method" and had the best results using glossy photo paper (printed with
a laser obviously). This kind of paper detaches perfectly after the
iron has passed and the board is cold.

Another suggestion: if the laser doesn't make sufficiently black prints
(and there are no settings in the printer), I simply print 2 times on
the same paper, checking that the 2 prints are exactly overlapped.

With some practice the results are really good..
Here is what I obtained with glossy paper:

http://img217.exs.cx/img217/4143/photoglossy5ew.jpg

Bye,
Paolo

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