Re: Prototyping PCBs and Ipso Facto / ACE 1802 PCBs... #Serial #IpsoFacto #Electronics

Mark Abene

In the late 80s, me and a friend had some success with a method we read about on Usenet (we commonly used a combination of resist ink pen and Archer dry etch transfers). The method involves a laser printer and instead of paper, the transparent acetate sheets used in overhead projectors. We used a layout program in DOS called EASYTRAX, if memory serves. You print your PCB layout in inverse on the shiny side of the acetate (not the matte side!). Then tape the sheet around the edges face down on your copper-clad board, matte side up, and cover with a thin bed sheet and carefully iron it. Getting the heat setting just right and how long to iron was an art. You need to slowly "test peel" the acetate sheet to see if the toner is sticking well to the board. Once you're good to go, it's FeCl bath time.
Not an exact science, and it took practice, but the results were very satisfying for the late 80s, especially for more complex designs that would've otherwise taken hours and hours to layout by hand.

On Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 11:39 PM Lee Hart <leeahart@...> wrote:
cmdrcosmac wrote:
> I wonder if it's not easier to design the board in KiCad and send it to
> OSH Park.

I thing that's what happened with me. It just got easier to use CAD
instead of mylar-and-tape, and to use the quick-turn PCB houses instead
of making my own. I think I made my last PCB by hand about 10 years ago.


ICEs have the same problem as lightbulbs. Why innovate and make
better ones when the current ones burn out often enough to keep
you in business? -- Hunter Cressall
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377,

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