There’s an old joke about the physics student tasked with finding the height of a building using a barometer. She dropped the barometer from the roof and timed how long it took to hit the ground. Maybe that was a similar inspiration to [Moe_fpv_team’s] response to the challenge: use a 3D printer to create a PC board. The answer in that case? Print a CNC mill.
[Moe] had some leftover 3D printer parts. A $40 ER11 spindle gets control from the 3D printer software as a fan. The X, Y, and Z axis is pretty standard. The machine can’t mill metal, but it does handy on plywood and fiber board and should be sufficient to mill out a PCB from some copper clad board.
Continue reading “3D Print A PCB The Hard Way”
[Ruvin Kub] likes magnets, a lot. Most of his projects feature some sort of magnet and his PC board agitation bath is no exception. You can see a video about the device, below. We’ll admit our Russian is pretty rusty, but if you ask YouTube nicely it will translate the Russian subtitles into whatever language you like.
One of the things we liked about the video was that he uses hydrogen peroxide, citric acid, and salt as an etchant. We’ve seen the same mix with vinegar or muriatic acid instead of citric acid. We aren’t sure what the actual translation is about why he doesn’t like ferric chloride, but YouTube says, “she’s too gloomy for my light souls.”
Continue reading “PCB Bath Comes From Russia With Love”
Now that it is relatively cheap and easy to create a PCB, it is a common occurrence for them to be used in projects. However, there are a lot of subtleties to creating high-performance boards that don’t show up so much on your 555 LED blinker. [Robert Feranec] is well-versed in board layout and he recently highlighted an animation on signal crosstalk with [Eric Bogatin] from Teledyne LeCroy. If you want a good understanding of crosstalk and how to combat it, you’ll want to see [Eric’s] presentation in the video below.
Simplifying matters, the heart of the problem lies in running traces close together so that the magnetic fields from one intersect the other. The math is hairy, but [Eric] talks about simple ways to model the system which may not be exact, but will be close enough for practical designs.
Continue reading “Avoiding PCB Crosstalk”
Those of us who remember when microprocessors were young also recall the magazines of the era. Readers bought the magazine for content but the covers attracted attention on the newsstand. In the late 70s until the early 90s the competition was fierce, so great covers were mandatory. The covers of Byte magazine created by [Robert Tinney] were detailed, colorful, and always interesting.
[Bob Alexander] of Galactic Studios recreated one of those hand drawn covers using photographic techniques. The cover shows a steam engine, tender and caboose rolling along the traces on a PC board amidst a landscape populated by resistors, capacitors, and integrated circuits. The photographic clone recreates that image using all real components, including an HO train. The circuit, unfortunately, isn’t of a working device.
Creating this work followed all the normal hacking steps for a PC board: a mockup of the layout, designing the board, and ordering it from China. Component procurement was sometimes a hassle since some are no longer in production. The components that weren’t found on EBay were hacked.
The only image manipulation involved the HO train. It was much larger than the PC board so could not be put in place for the photo. Images of the PC board and the train were merged using software. Also added were smoke rings puffing out of the locomotive’s smokestack.
The photo is a worthy recreation of [Tinney’s] original.
For more trainy goodness, check out our own Brian Benchoff’s tour of the Siemens Model Train Club. Or for further photo-realistic modelling, have a look at this insanely detailed Ford pickup model.
If you’ve ever tried ironing laser printed paper to transfer the toner, you know that it can be slightly frustrating. [Dave] sent in an interesting twist on this method. The laser printer is used to print onto paper from a magazine and then the board and paper are both run through a laminating machine six or seven times. From the writeup, it looks like this technique works great. (You’ll probably need a printer with a manual feed tray to get it to print on the magazine paper)