Retromaster’s Electronics Projects

…related to old computers and other assorted stuff…

UFE New PCB Ready

Posted by retromaster on June 24, 2010

I haven’t posted in a while, but I was not lazy :). I was working on making the PCB for the next UFE hardware revision. I’ve tried a some new things and ran into a few problems in the process, and eventually, came up with the board in the photo.

With this PCB, the soldermask is noticeably stronger than the previous UFE revision, especially on the top side. On the bottom side, the soldermask still lifted in a couple of places. I plan to do some more tests with dummy boards soon and hopefully improve on the process.

One thing that still bugs me here the pitting of copper in large plane areas. Admittedly, this problem is more of a cosmetic nature (as double-sided boards are already limited in terms of signal integrity and speed). I also want to do some further tests to see how this situation can be remedied. Perhaps some Pulsar Green TRF can be useful, or I can even switch back to PnP Blue if I can get it to work with CNC drilled holes.

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2 Responses to “UFE New PCB Ready”

  1. Serge said

    Excellent work on the home-brew PCBs, especially on the solder mask method. I noticed it looks like you tinned the solder pads by hand. I came across an excellent way of tinning copper:

    MG Chemical’s Liquid Tin. You put the board into a glass tray and pour the liquid over it. Instantly tins the copper.

    Here’s a board I did yesterday as it’s submersed in the liquid. You can reuse the chemical by pouring it back into the bottle. Part # is 421 and comes in 125ml and 500ml bottles, with the former being only ~$15.

    Also, instead of etching in a tank or tray, you can use the sponge technique. Saves etchant and makes it a very quick process.

  2. Serge said

    Whoops, here’s a link of the board in the liquid:

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