Review or Discard at Will

Journey to PCB

I’ve spent the last week learning about Fritzing to create printed circuit board art work. It’s a cool program with a quick learning curve. You might enjoy this quick video. It’s a great demonstration introduction. (Note: Fritzing is not limited to adduino)   I also spent a bit of time trying to produce a PCB board. After quite a bit of frustration I learned it’s pretty easy to do. The numerous tutorials I found weren’t exaggerating. Turns out it was the laser printer I was using, an HP Color CP2025. Love that printer. But $50 bucks at Office Depot bought me a Samsung ML-1865W monochrome laser printer. Once I had this new printer I produced this board with my second try at applying the art work to the copper using the toner transfer method. Turned my frustration into excitement for using this technique for lot’s of electronics projects. It’s not much more time and effort than doing it on a perf board and it’s quite a bit more durable. You can send the circuit you create to a fabrication house for production too once you come up with that great idea for a new product. After checking out the various tutorials in the Resources section below I highly recommend the Yahoo group: ‘Homebrew_PCBs’ Big win here was Staples item# 633215 Color laser paper. $12.49 / 300 =~ .042 cents per sheet. I also bought some 3M color transparency paper at Office Depot for the sticker shocking price of $35.49 / 100 =~ 35 cents a sheet. I haven’t tried the transparency subsequent to the laser printer purchase. For that price I can deal with the few shards of paper that stick to the artwork. I’m assuming you’ve read one of the tutorials and are familiar with the terms used in the remainder of this post. This is a nice little video from Instructables. Check the links in the Resources section of this post. Doesn’t hurt to read a couple different tutorials to drive the concepts home.     This is the PCB view in Fritzing of the board I created. Here are a few pictures of my first circuit board using the toner transfer...