|PROJECT: BENCH OS & HW|

My WorkbenchUsually people going through difficult times decided to change something. Some start drinking, some change their outfits, some try to move away to the other side of the country. I don’t want to go into details but when I was going through my difficult time I had done all 3. And one more.

I decided completely re-do my room which I had since I was a kid. I wanted to get rid of the look like a child was living there and get something more “grown up”. I had my own vision in mind and it was a combination of simple, yet elegant looks and a whole lot of functionality.

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|PRE-PROJECT: PCB ETCHING| part 5 (Drilling)

drilled_designAfter all the steps until now it’s quite important to go through with this one with as much caution as possible. I have been writing pretty much to every step that it’s one of the most important ones.

This one might not be important in itself. But it’s important not to screw it up. Because just like with any other step, it’s not so nice when you are finished and you notice that the time you spent doing the step was for nothing.

This especially applies in this step as you have gone through every other step. Doing something that would render the whole work useless would be devastating.

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|PRE-PROJECT: PCB ETCHING| part 4 (Etching)

etched_designI am really surprised that you stuck with this series for so long but the most work is pretty much already done.

If you are happy with how your design has been transferred to the photoresist on top of the copper board, and all the copper that is supposed to be etched away is exposed and shiny the nearly last step awaits. Until now this has been just a preparation for the etching process itself.

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|PRE-PROJECT: PCB ETCHING| part 3 (Transfering)

ATTiny 45 breakout for ISP programmer - exposed copper board
ATTiny 45 breakout for ISP programmer – copper board after the photoresist has been exposed under UV light

As you noticed I have used the same design pretty much for the whole series of these posts. My point was to show how one design looks in different steps of the process so that you can compare them to what you might get.

This one actually is a bit of a scam as I don’t have a useful picture of a exposed and developed board at hand. And I am not currently home take one so I have therefore used my photoshop skills to create one that looks just like the real thing.

So let’s continue. Shall we?

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|PRE-PROJECT: PCB ETCHING| part 2 (Printing)

ATTiny 45 breakout for ISP programmer - the print
ATTiny 45 breakout for ISP programmer – the outlines that you get from you software and wich you print on the transparency

After you are happy with your design of the board you can continue to the next step. It still is necessary to check if it is designed correct. Maybe you just didn’t notice a small mistake or a wrong connection while doing the last inspection inside the software, this is therefore another chance to go back and solve the issue before things get wrong.

Granted that re-printing your design isn’t as expensive as throwing away an already etched PCB it still is a good place to look for issues.

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|PRE-PROJECT: PCB ETCHING| part 1 (Design)

ATTiny 45 breakout for ISP programmer - the design
ATTiny 45 breakout for ISP programmer – the design

Sooo this one is another one of those things I want to, and have to get out there before I actually get to my “projects”.

Why?!

Because from my point of view, it’s one of the most important skills if you want to play with electronics on a more advanced level. At least for me it was. Because you can use prefabricated prototyping board to solder your components in place but it’s messy, it’s not really organized and you can get lost easily.

Of course you can have your PCBs pre-fabricated in a professional factory. But it costs too much and you have to wait up to a week just to find out that you made one tiny mistake and need to redo your design. Of course if you need multi layer PCBs then having them manufactured by someone else is the best option but I am going to talk about my experience with etching single sided PCBs.

As I written in my last post, this will be a long one. Therefore I decided to split it into 5 separate posts so that I will be able to provide detailed information about each and you don’t get bored after 2 minutes.

So let’s begin with the first step

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