Author Topic: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water  (Read 3780 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« on: March 31, 2019, 09:02:16 pm »
Experimenting with etching your own PCB's by concentrating existing ferric chloride levels in tap water. How well does it work?

 

Offline rs20

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2019, 09:46:07 pm »
Unbelievably good results! Do you think there might be applications in producing more eco-friendly PCBs?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2019, 09:50:09 pm »
Unbelievably good results! Do you think there might be applications in producing more eco-friendly PCBs?

Someone on Youtube mentioned a new RoHS standard that includes this?
 

Offline Hootch

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2019, 10:07:40 pm »
Amazing idea!
Although I was a little bit sceptic, I tried it, and it actually works quite good. I even was able to get a better result with four magntes arranged in a x-shape. Put the glas on the cross of magnets and do as Dave did it. It also helps to say and repeat the following little prayer until the copper is completely removed:

Almighty God
Please help to
Remove the copper
In order to make a
Lowcost PCB.

For thou hast the power
Of increasing the concentration
Of Iron and chlorine in this
Liquid for ever and ever. Amen.

Dave, I know your opinion about religion, and I also didn't believe it first. But this works really better than your procedure.

Greetings!
 

Offline ludzinc

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2019, 10:22:44 pm »
I’ll have to try this tomorrow!
 
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Online Cnoob

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2019, 10:34:23 pm »
Here is another tit- bit of information on Iron dissolved in water, the forming of "bog iron",https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bog_iron.


 
 

Online JackJones

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2019, 10:36:49 pm »
I tried it with photoresist, works a treat!

Although it did take me closer to 1.5 hours to etch. There must be pretty large differences between local water supplies.
 
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Offline Whales

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2019, 10:52:18 pm »
Negative result here.  My tracks ended up solder plated instead of etched.

I might try running the tap into the sink for a while first, get rid of local plumbing contaminants.
 

Online wilfred

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2019, 10:58:00 pm »
What sort of magnet was it that you used. I'll have to try this. I once left an old magnet next to a copper water pipe in my laundry for years and it eventually leaked. I thought I was being clever because it was meant to attract the rust particles that caused problems in my film developing days. I've replaced all of the galvanised steel pipes now of course but I'm a bit concerned.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 10:59:49 pm by wilfred »
 

Offline ZeTeX

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2019, 11:25:21 pm »
I've tried it and it worked great! I had to leave it for a few hours actually, but hi, it is definitely worth it! save the mess of using ferric chloride, and save some money!
I recommend using the magnets you get from a hard drive, they are strong and work great.  ;)
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2019, 11:39:47 pm »
What sort of magnet was it that you used.

Fluke meter hanger magnet. Couldn't find my huge block one after the move.
 

Offline nixfu

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2019, 12:38:53 am »
>with four magntes arranged in a x-shape.

I got even better results with the magnets arranged in a pentagram, but this only works for PCB's to be used in "evil" applications such as nuclear weapons, and sex bots.  :-DD
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 12:41:20 am by nixfu »
 

Offline Rolo

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2019, 12:46:53 am »
Here in my country the water is best in april so I will try it tomorrow.
 
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Online tggzzz

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2019, 12:48:12 am »
How well does it work?

Since this isn't "obvious to someone skilled in the art", you could have patented it.

But you can't because you disclosed it. The bright side is that now it has been disclosed, nobody else can patent it and stop you using your invention.

So go ahead and see if you can make all your boards like this :)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline golden_labels

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2019, 12:50:33 am »
I had no glass big enough, so I’ve used my grandma’s copper bowl. The PCB was untouched until I placed a strong magnet under the bowl to ensure automatic stirring of the solution. I think this is the key: it etched the PCB in just 12 minutes. Now I need advise… where can I quickly buy a new, good quality copper bowl?

 :popcorn:
Worth watching: Calling Bullshit — protect your friends and yourself from bullshit!
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2019, 01:01:16 am »
 

Offline Bud

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2019, 01:45:00 am »
It is just begging to run a competition how small track/spacing width you can get. :-+
 

Offline jim_griff

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2019, 02:17:39 am »
It may not be the appropriate time to post this video (depending on where you live on the planet) but here's my experiment and video response:

 

Online German_EE

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2019, 03:38:08 am »
I was with you up to the point where it started working, then I thought of the copper water pipes in our bathroom, then I looked at the date.

Nice one, well done  :-DD

P.S. Water containing Ferric Chloride isn't magnetic but blood which contains iron IS. Look around and you'll find some interesting experiments.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2019, 03:54:53 am »
I tried it with my home-delivered bottled water. After 8 hours : nothing. so that proves my water is very clean and does not contain Fe3Cl ! Good.
Then I tried it with tap water here in silicon valley. Etched pretty fast ( a good  25 minutes faster than Daves results) . That probably is because we had so many chemicals form all the old waferfabs leaking into the groundwater.

I found out that i could speed up the process even more if i added a bit of Ammoniumpersulfate or sodiumpersulfate to the water. Side-effect is that it does turn the water a beautiful shade of blue.
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline GigaJoe

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2019, 04:13:13 am »
3% Hydrogen Peroxide + citric acid (white crystals) + kitchen salt
use a plastic bag, warm in hot water ...

UPD, riaiaiaight ... I'm in 31 Match time belt, still :)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 04:18:13 am by GigaJoe »
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2019, 04:17:42 am »
I used the lab centrifuge and the result was better than using a strong magnet. I used tap water.

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline GigaJoe

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2019, 04:22:07 am »
i have a few centrifuges that i use to use to enrich uranium, so I wonder if I will using it, with sequence of helium cooled magnet, wonder if possible to reach close to 100% ferrite concentration?

 
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Offline SparkyFX

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2019, 04:24:25 am »
Damn internet, now you´re not even safe half a day before. :-)
 

Offline toby_muc

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Re: EEVblog #1197 - DIY PCB Etching With Water
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2019, 04:29:23 am »
Damn, doesn't work in southern Germany, bloody mountain-spring-water ...
 


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