Don Does Etchings

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than by getting that Amateur Radio license. It is the only passport you will need to travel to any country over the airwaves.

First the new Techs.

Left to right, club president Patrick, new Tech Andrew Stevens, Former club president Ernie, and new Tech Darrin Heard

Next we have three new Generals.

Once again left to right, Patrick congratulates Mike Martin KK4JTB and Ernie congratulates Dr. Ron Case. Ron passed both the Tech and General in one sitting. Great job! Not pictured, Natalia KK4KEG, also passed her General. In Natalia’s case you might say that makes two Generals in the same family. 🙂

After a few timely comments from Patrick, Gary took the floor, as is our custom, with some interesting facts about amateur radio, and a few test questions from one of the Amateur Radio exams.

Seen here, Gary counts off some of the many famous people whose lives were changed by becoming Hams.

Next, Fred shared some field day numbers with those present. We did good! Much better than last year, in no small part due to many helping hams supplying equipment as well as expertise. Look for Fred to give a full report in an upcoming blog.

the main event of the evening,
Don Jeering’s presentation on “Making Your Own Circuit boards.”

Don started with a brief introduction to the process, and gave some suggestions on producing the art work for the circuit board you want to produce. The success of this process is very dependent on your choice of paper.

Here don shows the paper that worked best for him, Staples Photo Paper.

Before we go any further you should be aware that the artwork has to be reversed, or flopped, as a printer might say. Also, this process works only with toner type printers. It will not work with ink jet printers. Lastly, it is absolutely important that the blank copper clad board be clean. This is accomplished by scrubbing a blank board with an SOS pad.

After printing the artwork with a laser printer it is cut to the size of the board you will use.

Don is shown here cutting the image of the circuit to the size of the circuit board he will make.

Next, the photo copy must be transferred to the board. This is done through the application of heat.

Here Don demonstrates how to “iron and press” the photo copy in order to transfer the laser printers toner to the board.

After ironing and pressing Don soaked the board in plain water to soften the paper. Then, very carefully he pealed the paper away, leaving only the toner image on the board. Because the original was wrong reading or flopped, the image transferred to the board is now right reading.

The next step is etching. Before we can etch we have to mix two chemicals that will become our enchant. The first is ordinary Hydrogen peroxide, the second is hydrochloric acid. Both are readily available. You can find the acid in pool supplies, and the peroxide in the pharmacy section. Always add acid to water, never the other way round. Also, wear eye protection, work in a well ventilated area, and wear gloves. Safety first. OK, with all that in mind you will want to mix the peroxide and acid in the ratio of two parts peroxide to one part acid.

With chemicals mixed we are ready to etch the board. All the copper not covered by the toner image will be dissolved away, leaving a board ready for drilling and mounting parts.

Here Don shows his etchings to some onlookers.

Finally, here is everything you need to make your own circuit boards, with the possible exception of a very tolerant wife.