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  • question for Evan or other electronics guys

    How do I tin a circuit board that I etched?

    -Jacob

  • #2
    usually they are floated on a solder pot.. I used to dip the ends of wires into it too as I built controls..

    lil thimbles are pressed through the holes to connect the top and bottom traces beforehand.

    Sorry, not much help.. I guess you could electroplate them?

    Nobody uses a solder pot anymore because of the fumes.
    Excuse me, I farted.

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    • #3
      fumes aren't a big deal if you have a small exhaust fan.

      just use a liquid flux beforehand, then drop er in for a second or what?

      -Jacob

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      • #4
        There is a solution, I think from GC, that will do "electroless" plating. isn't great, but is OK. You just dunk the board in.

        Yes the standard way is to dip and hot-air level, at the board shops.

        Why you need to tin it? If you use it fairly fast, no problem, and you can coat it with something to stop corrosion after soldering.

        1601

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

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        • #5
          And is it just 60/40 solder?

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          • #6
            I think that Kepro (once a good proto circuit material supplier) had a tin plating bath which you ran the board thru after cleaning off the resist. 99% certain it was electro-less. Den

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            • #7
              what is "hot-air level"

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              • #8
                <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by snowman:
                And is it just 60/40 solder? </font>

                Not any more, with lead-free solder required in europe in 6 months.

                But, in general, yes.
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

                Comment


                • #9
                  You really don't have to "tin" it.
                  When you are ready to install the components, just rub the surface with a Scotchbrite pad.
                  Avoid touching the raw copper traces with your fingers.
                  After installing and soldering everything it really doesn't matter if the remaining copper oxidizes and turns color.
                  This is just the surface appearance, but the underlying copper is electrically intact.
                  I have been doing this for over 35 years with no problems.


                  ------------------
                  457863656C73696F7220212000
                  457863656C73696F7220212000

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                  • #10
                    Hot air leveling is basically to make the surface co-planar (uniformly flat) to receive SMT devices.

                    You can use a liquid flux pen on component pads or just plain solder to them with a solder that contains a "good" flux.

                    I have bare copper PCBs that are 30 years old and a light coating of Krylon clear gloss spray kept them that way.

                    Tin plated boards in some hobby kits (i.e. the old Heathkit and others) used to be a real PITA, IMHO. I think tin is over-rated, but cleanliness is not Den

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                    • #11
                      so how is this leveling done? just an oven or something?

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                      • #12
                        I use a liquid tin flash plating solution. It's tin dissolved in an acid solution. First clean the copper bright with a fine abrasive like an eraser or 1200 paper and then put it in the solution for 5 minutes and then rinse well.

                        I bought this years ago in Vancouver where it is produced by M. G. Chemicals. It will do a LOT of boards.



                        I also do the same thing with a flash silver plating solution for even better solderability.
                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                        • #13
                          and yah, it's not required...but damn is it pretty

                          thanks for all your help thus far...wasn't expecting this many responses!

                          -Jacob

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                          • #14
                            trying to remember the silver plate, you dampen a rag rub the powder on, it silver plates..??

                            We used to use it all the time in switchyard connections...

                            Someone help me out?

                            A pair of #9 Kliens were beautiful when rubbed slick and silvered..
                            Excuse me, I farted.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Check Out:

                              http://www.dalpro.net/

                              They used to be Kepro. Look under chemicals, about half way down. But the tin plating solution is a bit expensive now. On the good side, it has a long shelf life.

                              In case you are curious, the pro shops plate with tin and lead in succession and use the last one of these as the resist when etching the copper. Then, they heat it and the two flow together and become the alloy we call solder. The solder wave tank mentioned above is used after the components are inserted. The waves of molten solder lap at the bottom of the board and solder all the component leads at one time. Or at least that was how it was done with through the board components. Other techniques are used for surface mount components.

                              On the "it is not necessary" thing, one PCB maker I used in the past did not plate their boards. They supplied them with a coating of solder flux. They worked better than any of the tin plated boards I made myself.

                              Aside: If you do get the tin plating solution, drop a couple of old pennys in it and when they are nicely plated, buff them up lightly and put them in a coin display holder. When any coin collectors are around, ask if they have any silver pennys. And proudly show off yours. It drives them nuts for a while anyway.

                              Paul A.

                              [This message has been edited by Paul Alciatore (edited 01-02-2006).]
                              Paul A.

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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