Design, Build, Test, Iterate

Posts Tagged ‘etching’

Powered by Apple! (Running my kiwi drive robot off a MacBook Pro battery)

A few months ago, a friend had a MacBook Pro battery that started swelling up. He agreed to let me have it, and now it has wheels:

DIY PCB Etching: Test Run

I found some one-sided blank PCBs on eBay. They are only half as thick (0.0225″) as the ones found in most electronic devices, but I don’t need much more yet. I cut the board by gouging out one side of a small rectangular area with an exacto knife until it was thin enough to be […]

DIY PCB Etching: Safety Lessons Learned

I wondered for a while about the title of this post, because I have actually learned very little in terms of safety. After all this, I know I’m still not going to use a fume hood, I’m still going to do this in my garage (albeit closer to the door), and I still won’t wear […]

DIY PCB Etching: Not Electrolyzing Salt to Make Cupric Chloride

The tutorials use hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide as the starting etchant not because they aren’t adventurous but because that is what works best (as opposed to using electrolysis). The starting etchant (hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide) Once again, the starting etchant provides chlorine that will oxidize copper to form cupric chloride: Hydrochloric acid is […]

DIY PCB Etching: Collecting Chlorine Gas (Read: DON’T)

tl;dr: There are much more efficient ways in which to produce chlorine gas than by electrolysis, so stop hoping and go buy some hydrochloric acid. I ultimately did not achieve anything practical by producing the gas. This post is only a log. Accidentally oxidizing my cuprous chloride solution Technically, it’s possible to turn a cuprous […]

DIY PCB Etching: Colors of Compounds and Helpful Links

UPDATE 11/10/11: Although most of these colors are accurate when dealing with concentrated solutions of salt, some are not (e.g., descriptions of copper (I) and (II) chlorides are mixed up). Take it with a pinch of… salt. Yellow? Copper hydroxide is supposed to be green! If you have already been at this for hours and […]

DIY PCB Etching: Electrolyzing Salt to Produce Cuprous Chloride

tl;dr: You cannot produce an effective cupric chloride etchant using only salt, copper, and electricity. Yet I spent a week trying to do just that. Essentially, I wanted an effective etchant-producing method that didn’t require buying anything out of the ordinary. I mean, all the right elements were there (i.e., chlorine and copper). Unfortunately, other […]

DIY PCB Etching: Overview and Production of Ferric Chloride

I liked the look of the LED-outlined propeller, so I decided I would etch my own PCBs to make it easier to light up all three propellers. I’ve spent the last week researching DIY PCB etching methods and doing some unsafe home electrochemistry that has left me with minor chemical burns in various spots all […]