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PCB fabrication

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  • bill rowe
    I ve been working for the last while on learning the eagle cad program and getting ready to get a PCB manufactured. I found a couple of things that might
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 22, 2012
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      I've been working for the last while on learning the eagle cad program and getting ready to get a PCB manufactured.
      I found a couple of things that might interest people generally:1) A 3d gerber viewer that lets you see your finished product: http://mayhewlabs.com/webGerber/?demo=Go_Between_Shield is an example2) Seeed Studio does a prototyping service, double sided boards for an unbelievable price starting at 2"X2" boards at $9.90 for $10. My board is bigger so the total is $25+$10 shipping again for 10 pieces. This seemed pretty amazing to me. Probably 3 weeks turnaround though and heaven knows I don't need 10! There are extra cost options for things like color but I'm sticking to the basics. http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185
      Eagle, by the way, is an amazing product. The learning curve is incredibly steep - the terminology and the user interface are counter-intuitive. But it's the kind of product that's got decades of practical experience built into it and there are libraries of parts, tutorials, and pre-made board files all over the web.

      Here's the board for anyone who's interested - it's an interface to Lee's membership card. Wish me luck on the production.http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinoB.pnghttp://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinosch.png


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Chuck Bigham
      I ve used DorkbotPDX for small-order PC boards, although now that I ve checked it turns out that they ve evolved into a commercial service called OSH Park
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 23, 2012
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        I've used DorkbotPDX for small-order PC boards, although now that I've checked it turns out that they've evolved into a commercial service called OSH Park (http://oshpark.com/). They quote a Membership Card-sized double-sided board a $38.35 for three.

        They run a 2-layer panel every other day, a 4-layer panel every three weeks, and a periodic small production run (150 or more square inches of board).

        They are a little pricier than SEED Studios, but they are a purple board with silkscreen and solder mask on both sides. Their tool takes an Eagle 6.1 board file directly and will show you a render of the board, the copper layers, and the silkscreen layers right in the tool.

        I got a couple of small runs from them back when they were still with DorkbotPDX, and have been more than satisfied with they're work. Their boards are as good as any I'be purchased as part of a kit.

        Chuck

        ________________________________
        > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
        > From: bill_rowe_ottawa@...
        > Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 17:17:37 -0400
        > Subject: [cosmacelf] PCB fabrication
        >
        >
        >
        > I've been working for the last while on learning the eagle cad program
        > and getting ready to get a PCB manufactured.
        > I found a couple of things that might interest people generally:1) A 3d
        > gerber viewer that lets you see your finished product:
        > http://mayhewlabs.com/webGerber/?demo=Go_Between_Shield is an example2)
        > Seeed Studio does a prototyping service, double sided boards for an
        > unbelievable price starting at 2"X2" boards at $9.90 for $10. My board
        > is bigger so the total is $25+$10 shipping again for 10 pieces. This
        > seemed pretty amazing to me. Probably 3 weeks turnaround though and
        > heaven knows I don't need 10! There are extra cost options for things
        > like color but I'm sticking to the basics.
        > http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185
        > Eagle, by the way, is an amazing product. The learning curve is
        > incredibly steep - the terminology and the user interface are
        > counter-intuitive. But it's the kind of product that's got decades of
        > practical experience built into it and there are libraries of parts,
        > tutorials, and pre-made board files all over the web.
        >
        > Here's the board for anyone who's interested - it's an interface to
        > Lee's membership card. Wish me luck on the
        > production.http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinoB.pnghttp://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinosch.png
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
      • bill rowe
        wow, the dorkbot/oshpark ordering/rendering interface is great - it gives you good confidence in what you re going to get. I think with shipping to canada it
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 23, 2012
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          wow, the dorkbot/oshpark ordering/rendering interface is great - it gives you good confidence in what you're going to get. I think with shipping to canada it would be $55 total for three pieces and maybe two weeks instead of three. I'd happily have paid the $55 for *one* week turnaround though so for us residents it's great.
          I pushed the button on the seeed order yesterday so I'll post the results when they arrive.

          > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
          > From: chuck@...
          > Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2012 16:56:09 +0000
          > Subject: RE: [cosmacelf] PCB fabrication
          >
          >
          > I've used DorkbotPDX for small-order PC boards, although now that I've checked it turns out that they've evolved into a commercial service called OSH Park (http://oshpark.com/). They quote a Membership Card-sized double-sided board a $38.35 for three.
          >
          > They run a 2-layer panel every other day, a 4-layer panel every three weeks, and a periodic small production run (150 or more square inches of board).
          >
          > They are a little pricier than SEED Studios, but they are a purple board with silkscreen and solder mask on both sides. Their tool takes an Eagle 6.1 board file directly and will show you a render of the board, the copper layers, and the silkscreen layers right in the tool.
          >
          > I got a couple of small runs from them back when they were still with DorkbotPDX, and have been more than satisfied with they're work. Their boards are as good as any I'be purchased as part of a kit.
          >
          > Chuck
          >
          > ________________________________
          > > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
          > > From: bill_rowe_ottawa@...
          > > Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 17:17:37 -0400
          > > Subject: [cosmacelf] PCB fabrication
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > I've been working for the last while on learning the eagle cad program
          > > and getting ready to get a PCB manufactured.
          > > I found a couple of things that might interest people generally:1) A 3d
          > > gerber viewer that lets you see your finished product:
          > > http://mayhewlabs.com/webGerber/?demo=Go_Between_Shield is an example2)
          > > Seeed Studio does a prototyping service, double sided boards for an
          > > unbelievable price starting at 2"X2" boards at $9.90 for $10. My board
          > > is bigger so the total is $25+$10 shipping again for 10 pieces. This
          > > seemed pretty amazing to me. Probably 3 weeks turnaround though and
          > > heaven knows I don't need 10! There are extra cost options for things
          > > like color but I'm sticking to the basics.
          > > http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185
          > > Eagle, by the way, is an amazing product. The learning curve is
          > > incredibly steep - the terminology and the user interface are
          > > counter-intuitive. But it's the kind of product that's got decades of
          > > practical experience built into it and there are libraries of parts,
          > > tutorials, and pre-made board files all over the web.
          > >
          > > Here's the board for anyone who's interested - it's an interface to
          > > Lee's membership card. Wish me luck on the
          > > production.http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinoB.pnghttp://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinosch.png
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > ========================================================
          > Visit the COSMAC ELF website at http://www.cosmacelf.comYahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • granz_consult
          I have used Seeed Studios Fusion Service (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185) before and really like it. They do a great
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 24, 2012
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            I have used Seeed Studios Fusion Service (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185) before and really like it. They do a great job and the prices are excellent.

            I must admit to being worried about them, what with all the horror stories out there about Chinese child labor and bad working conditions/minimal wages, etc. So I did some research and have had my fears eased. I have read of several people who have visited them (their attitude towards visits is wonderful - they even have a photo guide on how to get to their place and invite visitors.) They also seem to be hackers/hobbyists who have gone professional, which is what I am doing.

            In short, Seeed Studios is my number one proto shop, and I also use them for short-run production fabbing.

            Art

            --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > wow, the dorkbot/oshpark ordering/rendering interface is great - it gives you good confidence in what you're going to get. I think with shipping to canada it would be $55 total for three pieces and maybe two weeks instead of three. I'd happily have paid the $55 for *one* week turnaround though so for us residents it's great.
            > I pushed the button on the seeed order yesterday so I'll post the results when they arrive.
            >
            > > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
            > > From: chuck@...
            > > Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2012 16:56:09 +0000
            > > Subject: RE: [cosmacelf] PCB fabrication
            > >
            ...
          • bill rowe
            Ordered Friday evening(Saturday morning in China). Marked as Shipped 6:30 AM Monday(close of business Monday in china) so quick fabrication but I expect a
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 25, 2012
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              Ordered Friday evening(Saturday morning in China). Marked as "Shipped" 6:30 AM Monday(close of business Monday in china)
              so quick fabrication but I expect a couple of weeks delivery time.>
              > ________________________________
              > > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
              > > From: bill_rowe_ottawa@...
              > > Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 17:17:37 -0400
              > > Subject: [cosmacelf] PCB fabrication
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > I've been working for the last while on learning the eagle cad program
              > > and getting ready to get a PCB manufactured.
              > > I found a couple of things that might interest people generally:1) A 3d
              > > gerber viewer that lets you see your finished product:
              > > http://mayhewlabs.com/webGerber/?demo=Go_Between_Shield is an example2)
              > > Seeed Studio does a prototyping service, double sided boards for an
              > > unbelievable price starting at 2"X2" boards at $9.90 for $10. My board
              > > is bigger so the total is $25+$10 shipping again for 10 pieces. This
              > > seemed pretty amazing to me. Probably 3 weeks turnaround though and
              > > heaven knows I don't need 10! There are extra cost options for things
              > > like color but I'm sticking to the basics.
              > > http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185
              > > Eagle, by the way, is an amazing product. The learning curve is
              > > incredibly steep - the terminology and the user interface are
              > > counter-intuitive. But it's the kind of product that's got decades of
              > > practical experience built into it and there are libraries of parts,
              > > tutorials, and pre-made board files all over the web.
              > >
              > > Here's the board for anyone who's interested - it's an interface to
              > > Lee's membership card. Wish me luck on the
              > > production.http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinoB.pnghttp://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinosch.png
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > ========================================================
              > Visit the COSMAC ELF website at http://www.cosmacelf.comYahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • joshbensadon
              For that price, they can take a couple of months and I d still be happy! Unless it s for a customer.
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 25, 2012
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                For that price, they can take a couple of months and I'd still be happy! Unless it's for a customer.

                --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Ordered Friday evening(Saturday morning in China). Marked as "Shipped" 6:30 AM Monday(close of business Monday in china)
                > so quick fabrication but I expect a couple of weeks delivery time.>
                > > ________________________________
                > > > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                > > > From: bill_rowe_ottawa@...
                > > > Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 17:17:37 -0400
                > > > Subject: [cosmacelf] PCB fabrication
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > I've been working for the last while on learning the eagle cad program
                > > > and getting ready to get a PCB manufactured.
                > > > I found a couple of things that might interest people generally:1) A 3d
                > > > gerber viewer that lets you see your finished product:
                > > > http://mayhewlabs.com/webGerber/?demo=Go_Between_Shield is an example2)
                > > > Seeed Studio does a prototyping service, double sided boards for an
                > > > unbelievable price starting at 2"X2" boards at $9.90 for $10. My board
                > > > is bigger so the total is $25+$10 shipping again for 10 pieces. This
                > > > seemed pretty amazing to me. Probably 3 weeks turnaround though and
                > > > heaven knows I don't need 10! There are extra cost options for things
                > > > like color but I'm sticking to the basics.
                > > > http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/fusion-pcb-service-p-835.html?cPath=185
                > > > Eagle, by the way, is an amazing product. The learning curve is
                > > > incredibly steep - the terminology and the user interface are
                > > > counter-intuitive. But it's the kind of product that's got decades of
                > > > practical experience built into it and there are libraries of parts,
                > > > tutorials, and pre-made board files all over the web.
                > > >
                > > > Here's the board for anyone who's interested - it's an interface to
                > > > Lee's membership card. Wish me luck on the
                > > > production.http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinoB.pnghttp://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss355/bill2009_photos/olduinosch.png
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > > ------------------------------------
                > >
                > > ========================================================
                > > Visit the COSMAC ELF website at http://www.cosmacelf.comYahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • bill rowe
                I was fishing through my old junk looking for a 4016 ic when it occurred to me that the case I keep some of this stuff in was once used to hold a 2400 foot
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 29, 2012
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                  I was fishing through my old junk looking for a 4016 ic when it occurred to me that the case I keep some of this stuff in was once used to hold a 2400 foot reel of nine track tape. I filched the case ALMOST FOURTY YEARS AGO when i worked as a mainframe system programmer! It made a great catchall component holder because it had a locking hub.
                  I found the 4016s by the way but the pins are rusty so I dunno.



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • ekeefe8051
                  Hello, I remember that type of case. We used them for off site transport when I worked on an IBM 3090 system. If you need a few 4016s, let me know. I just
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 29, 2012
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                    Hello,

                    I remember that type of case. We used them for off site transport when I worked on an IBM 3090 system.

                    If you need a few 4016s, let me know. I just bought some a month ago.

                    ED


                    --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > I was fishing through my old junk looking for a 4016 ic when it occurred to me that the case I keep some of this stuff in was once used to hold a 2400 foot reel of nine track tape. I filched the case ALMOST FOURTY YEARS AGO when i worked as a mainframe system programmer! It made a great catchall component holder because it had a locking hub.
                    > I found the 4016s by the way but the pins are rusty so I dunno.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Kevin
                    I ve used nine track as recently as 1991. It was the data backup for a 911 dispatch system running on a PDP-7. Typical government installation about twenty
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 29, 2012
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                      I've used nine track as recently as 1991. It was the data backup for a 911 dispatch system running on a PDP-7. Typical government installation about twenty years behind current technology. We had to run eighteen backup tapes each weekend at a time when a single 4 mm DAT could have held twenty times as much data! Not even a CRT on this system---it utilized a line-printer terminal. 911 operators were equipped with Lear Siegler ADM terminals connected via RS-232.


                      --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > I was fishing through my old junk looking for a 4016 ic when it occurred to me that the case I keep some of this stuff in was once used to hold a 2400 foot reel of nine track tape. I filched the case ALMOST FOURTY YEARS AGO when i worked as a mainframe system programmer! It made a great catchall component holder because it had a locking hub.
                      > I found the 4016s by the way but the pins are rusty so I dunno.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                    • Mark Graybill
                      Ya know, ya get something, and it works, so you keep using it...and before you know it people are coming into your house, looking at it, and saying things like
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 29, 2012
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                        Ya know, ya get something, and it works, so you keep using it...and before you know it people are coming into your house, looking at it, and saying things like "I've heard of things like that, but I've never _seen_ one!"

                        I get that with my boxes of 8" disks, reel to reel tape recorder/player, rackmount chassis (it can't be old, it's 19"! The 24 incher in the garage, now that's a bit old!) Etc.

                        And anything bought new outta stay new till it's used. Darn those edge card connectors with the bright metal flaking off, anyway! :)

                        Obviously the legs on your 4016s got hit by whatever got to my edge card connectors. The corrosion fairy, or whatever.

                        A little contact oil and a brush should fix them right up. Any more, I test chips even out of my parts drawers before using them. Especially when the date code is, well, from long before disco died. ;)

                        Mark
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------
                        http://saundby.com/
                        Electronics, Books, Video Games, etc.

                        On Jun 29, 2012, at 5:00 PM, bill rowe wrote:

                        >
                        > I was fishing through my old junk looking for a 4016 ic when it occurred to me that the case I keep some of this stuff in was once used to hold a 2400 foot reel of nine track tape. I filched the case ALMOST FOURTY YEARS AGO when i worked as a mainframe system programmer! It made a great catchall component holder because it had a locking hub.
                        > I found the 4016s by the way but the pins are rusty so I dunno.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Lee Hart
                        ... I have most of my ICs stored in antistatic tubes. They have fared well over the years. But I had some parts stored in black antistatic foam. In many cases,
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 30, 2012
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                          Mark Graybill wrote:
                          > Obviously the legs on your 4016s got hit by whatever got to my edge card connectors. The corrosion fairy, or whatever.

                          I have most of my ICs stored in antistatic tubes. They have fared well
                          over the years.

                          But I had some parts stored in black antistatic foam. In many cases, the
                          leads have corroded badly. In some cases, the leads corroded completely
                          away!

                          Herb Johnson mentioned that he read that the black antistatic foam is in
                          fact made with carbonized SUGAR! Sugar is highly hygroscopic. That could
                          explain the corrosion.

                          Most inexpensive IC leads are made of steel (an alloy called Kovar). You
                          can pick them up with a magnet. They are tinned, but once the corrosion
                          gets through that, the steel will rust away pretty fast!
                          --
                          An engineer can do for a nickel what any damn fool can do for a dollar.
                          -- Henry Ford
                          --
                          Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net
                        • bill rowe
                          you know, I think the worst one was a 74ls125 that was in the black foam. I just carefully put all my loose ic s away in foam - better redo that! To:
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 30, 2012
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                            you know, I think the worst one was a 74ls125 that was in the black foam. I just carefully put all my loose ic's away in foam - better redo that!
                            To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                            From: leeahart@...
                            Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 11:16:33 -0500
                            Subject: Re: [cosmacelf] OT: Good lord some of this stuff is old.


























                            Mark Graybill wrote:

                            > Obviously the legs on your 4016s got hit by whatever got to my edge card connectors. The corrosion fairy, or whatever.



                            I have most of my ICs stored in antistatic tubes. They have fared well

                            over the years.



                            But I had some parts stored in black antistatic foam. In many cases, the

                            leads have corroded badly. In some cases, the leads corroded completely

                            away!



                            Herb Johnson mentioned that he read that the black antistatic foam is in

                            fact made with carbonized SUGAR! Sugar is highly hygroscopic. That could

                            explain the corrosion.



                            Most inexpensive IC leads are made of steel (an alloy called Kovar). You

                            can pick them up with a magnet. They are tinned, but once the corrosion

                            gets through that, the steel will rust away pretty fast!

                            --

                            An engineer can do for a nickel what any damn fool can do for a dollar.

                            -- Henry Ford

                            --

                            Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net
















                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Charles Richmond
                            ... Lee, I m *not* real smart about this... but is there any way to gold plate the leads *after* they are already attached to the chip??? It would seem that
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 30, 2012
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                              On Jun 30, 2012, at 11:16 AM, Lee Hart wrote:

                              > Mark Graybill wrote:
                              > > Obviously the legs on your 4016s got hit by whatever got to my
                              > edge card connectors. The corrosion fairy, or whatever.
                              >
                              > I have most of my ICs stored in antistatic tubes. They have fared well
                              > over the years.
                              >
                              > But I had some parts stored in black antistatic foam. In many
                              > cases, the
                              > leads have corroded badly. In some cases, the leads corroded
                              > completely
                              > away!
                              >
                              >

                              Lee, I'm *not* real smart about this... but is there any way to gold
                              plate the leads *after* they are already attached to the chip??? It
                              would seem that the leads could be suspended in the plating bath
                              *without* submerging the chip itself... and a tiny electrode wire
                              could be soldered to the top of each lead to allow for the flow of
                              current *down* the lead into the bath. To prevent "sneak circuits",
                              it might be better to plate one lead at a time. :-)

                              --
                              +----------------------------------------+
                              | Charles and Francis Richmond |
                              | |
                              | plano dot net at aquaporin4 dot com |
                              +----------------------------------------+
                            • Mark Graybill
                              You can re-tin them. If you re still concerned about corrosion, a light coat of thinned clear nail polish will help fill in pores. It can be taken off with a
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jun 30, 2012
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                                You can re-tin them.

                                If you're still concerned about corrosion, a light coat of thinned clear
                                nail polish will help fill in pores.

                                It can be taken off with a swab-down with acetone before soldering, or just
                                burned off when soldering if you don't mind a little messiness (which
                                cleans off with an acid brush when degreasing the board.)

                                Not as elegant as gold electroplate, I'll admit...

                                -Mark

                                On Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM, Charles Richmond <
                                old_computers@...> wrote:

                                > **
                                >
                                >
                                > On Jun 30, 2012, at 11:16 AM, Lee Hart wrote:
                                >
                                > > Mark Graybill wrote:
                                > > > Obviously the legs on your 4016s got hit by whatever got to my
                                > > edge card connectors. The corrosion fairy, or whatever.
                                > >
                                > > I have most of my ICs stored in antistatic tubes. They have fared well
                                > > over the years.
                                > >
                                > > But I had some parts stored in black antistatic foam. In many
                                > > cases, the
                                > > leads have corroded badly. In some cases, the leads corroded
                                > > completely
                                > > away!
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                                > Lee, I'm *not* real smart about this... but is there any way to gold
                                > plate the leads *after* they are already attached to the chip??? It
                                > would seem that the leads could be suspended in the plating bath
                                > *without* submerging the chip itself... and a tiny electrode wire
                                > could be soldered to the top of each lead to allow for the flow of
                                > current *down* the lead into the bath. To prevent "sneak circuits",
                                > it might be better to plate one lead at a time. :-)
                                >
                                > --
                                > +----------------------------------------+
                                > | Charles and Francis Richmond |
                                > | |
                                > | plano dot net at aquaporin4 dot com |
                                > +----------------------------------------+
                                >
                                >
                                >


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • urrossum@att.net
                                ... I m not Lee, but I ve tinkered a bit also... I m not sure that gold plating is easily practical, but tin plating might be. There are a variety of
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jun 30, 2012
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                                  > Lee, I'm *not* real smart about this... but is there any way to gold
                                  > plate the leads *after* they are already attached to the chip??? It

                                  I'm not Lee, but I've tinkered a bit also... I'm not sure that gold plating is easily practical, but tin plating might be.

                                  There are a variety of electroless tin plating solutions available to tin home-made circuit boards after the etching step. I've used a couple, and they do work quite well. I don't know that they'd work on other base materials than copper, but I suspect that they would.

                                  A couple of the brand names I've used are "Tinnit", by Datak, and "Liquid Tin", by MG chemicals. Both of these work similarly: you mix the chemical, which comes in powder form, with water (preferably deionized), then you dunk the board (or in this case, the IC pins) into the solution. The tin plates out quite rapidly - within a couple of minutes - and then you remove the board and flush it with plain water. It's a very easy process, and seemed to produce reliably good results (which is more than I can say for the etching process I was attempting at the time).

                                  The solution only has a shelf life of a couple of months, although the powder's shelf life is indefinite. The product is cheap enough, too: about $8.00 for enough to plate 600 square inches of PC board (how many IC pins is that?).
                                  ~~
                                  Mark Moulding
                                • Lee Hart
                                  ... Gold is hard to electroplate. Nasty, expensive, toxic chemicals. There are electroless plating methods where you basically just dunk the object in it; but
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jul 1, 2012
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                                    Charles Richmond wrote:
                                    > Lee, I'm *not* real smart about this... but is there any way to gold
                                    > plate the leads *after* they are already attached to the chip??? It
                                    > would seem that the leads could be suspended in the plating bath
                                    > *without* submerging the chip itself... and a tiny electrode wire
                                    > could be soldered to the top of each lead to allow for the flow of
                                    > current *down* the lead into the bath. To prevent "sneak circuits",
                                    > it might be better to plate one lead at a time. :-)

                                    Gold is hard to electroplate. Nasty, expensive, toxic chemicals. There
                                    are electroless plating methods where you basically just dunk the object
                                    in it; but these only produce a gold flash; very thin and porous.

                                    I have a solder pot. What I've done on parts that aren't too badly
                                    corroded is to put flux on them, and dunk them in the solder pot.
                                    --
                                    An engineer can do for a nickel what any damn fool can do for a dollar.
                                    -- Henry Ford
                                    --
                                    Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net
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