Home tanning lamps become organ donors for a PCB exposure bed

Some projects benefit greatly from the parts a builder is able to find. Take this UV exposure bed for photo-resist copper clad boards (translated). It looks like a commercial product, but was actually built by [TabascoEye] and his fellow hackers.

The main sources for parts were a flatbed scanner (which acts as the case) and two self-tanning lamps that use UVA flourescent bulbs. By sheer luck the bulbs and their reflectors are exactly the right size to fit into the top and bottom cavities of the scanner. The control hardware centers around an ATtiny2313 micorocontroller, which takes input from a clickable rotary encoder, and displays exposure information on a character LCD. The finished product deserves a place right next to other professional-looking exposure boxes that we’ve looked at.

Comments

  1. hboy007 says:

    nice build, especially the timer with rotary encoder is very handy. I’ve built a simple version of this some years ago but after using it for some time I found the solid angle of the rays hitting at each point too large to deliver sharp results when the mask doesn’t lay perfectly flat. I’ve tried to write a little simulation (youtube: ckCrRRBZk8E) to quantify the phenomenon. A honeycomb light former may improve the sharpness to some extent, however, a custom-made attenuator foil will be needed to flatten the intensity over the active area.

  2. TabascoEye says:

    Hey guys. It wasn’t built by me. “Felicitus” and “nessi” were the awesome haxx0rs that put this baby together.

  3. vtl says:

    Great looking box. Maybe you can start a build on a heated acid sprayer machine. We got one at uni that can etch a simple board in a few minutes.

    But I’ve got pretty mixed feelings with diy etch boards. On pcbs where you require a lot of detail and resolution it becomes tricky as typically the fine detail will etch slower than the other parts of the board.
    Even if it comes out perfect you’re still left with a bare copper board that prone to oxidation and has no solder mask.

    When you consider you can send your design off and a run of 10 boards of 50mmx50mm for about $10 I really question is it worth spending all the money for the chemicals and equipment to do it yourself.

  4. TabascoEye says:

    Hey guys. It wasn’t built by me. “Felicitus” and “nessi” were the awesome haxx0rs that put this baby together.

    Can you correct that in the Post? I hate taking credit for something I didn’t do!

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