2017-05-30 (Tu) Pi0 Laser Tag PiTagErrUs

Thin traces on the circuit board seemed responsible for a lot of the current problems. Many of the traces were broken or "open." If one or two broken traces ended up on a circuit board, they would simply be patched with some solder and wire, as they have ben fixed before. The regularity in these breaks led me to believe the problem was not worth patching.

The existing layout was saved but a new one was started with the intention of making thicker traces. Thicker traces should etch at home better. Professional fabrication shops shouldn't have any problems with the thin traces but anyone making their own boards based on this design may appreciate the ability to make boards at home.

Making the traces thicker meant having to rearrange components to keep the board roughly the same size. The accelerometer was moved underneath the microcontroller with the intention of mounting it on the underside of the board. Footprints for the transistors were replaced with a version that featured larger pads but the outline was backward.

***** If you copy this design, flip the transistors 180° *****

Rearrangement of components and thicker traces

The thicker traces are move evident in this close-up

Most of the experimental techniques for making good transfers were tried but soaking the transfer paper had not been attempted. My hope was that it would disintegrate the paper and remove the need to peel it away. This was not the case.

Water-logging the transfer paper

Saturating the paper had an effect that was equally beneficial, even though the paper was not disintegrated. Peeling the limp paper away did provide very good conditions for a successful transfer. The results were worth repeating.

Peeling away wet, limp paper

Everything for a successful build was done in a day and two boards were redesigned, printed, transferred, etched, and drilled.

Two complete boards

Separating the boards last time was done with industrial table shears which were not available when these boards were ready to be split. This time, a razor and straight-edge were used to make score lines on both sides of the board and snap them in half. Each edge of the board sanded afterward

Boards ready to be broken apart


The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1 
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3

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2017-05-26 (F)