Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Protecting your PCB

A completely cleaned PCB.
This will teach you how to protect you PCB foil pattern from oxidation. I am using a unetched PCB for demonstration. You would be doing this AFTER you etched you PCB.

I used a cotton bud, you could get an appropriate brush to do the same. The trick is using clear varnish to the tracks BEFORE soldering. Here i am applying varnish to to top part of the PCB.

This is what it looks like after the varnish is applied. It takes about 2 to 4 hours for the varnish to completely dry. This depends on how concentrate your varnish is. You can mix thinner in your varnish to dilute it if it takes too long. Also i do not recommend a very thick coat.

This is what the PCB looks like after a few days. Oxidation set in. Notice the part of PCB varnished is not affected.

This is the best part. Varnish not only protects your PCB, it also acts as flux which you don't have to wash off.

Top view of the solder joint. It perfect. So it protects your PCB and functions as flux. You can solder while the varnish is not yet dry, but it tends to be sticky. So take care. Oh...if you don't want to get high while varnishing, use appropriate protection.


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