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Thread: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* ElektroLumens's Avatar
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    Default THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    To anyone interested in etching their own PCB boards:

    I have long sought for a really good etch resist pen. I use 2oz copper clad PCB board, and the usual etch resist pen doesn't work, hardly at all. The ink eats off by the time the copper is done etching. I have used a Liquid Paper pen, up until now. It worked the best. However, I recently purchased and tried a very interesting pen, called the 'Pump Pen', by Ackerman.

    This pen, you can fill it with any kind of ink or paint you want. Hmmm. I just used the ordinary ink for nib pens, as my son has some. I tested it on some copper PCB, left it all night, and the copper was eaten off, and the ink is still fully in tact! I am leaving it on all day today, just to see how well it works. Needless to say, this pen works awesome for etching.

    You can use ink, paint, whatever. I plan to do a test with fingernail polish. Fingernail polish? Yes, it is basically lacquer, I think. Anyway, it is an old old trick, using fingernal polish.

    If you have been looking for a good way to etch your boards, and have been frustrated with trying to find a good etch resist ink pen, stop looking and buy this one.

    (I am not getting paid for this plug, really! )


    Wayne

  2. #2

    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    Wayne,

    That sounds very interesting. I suppose you already know about the blue mylar and toner transfer paper methods.

    I think the best investment I ever made was buying the Laminator fuser from the toner transfer company in Florida. It applies uniform pressure and heats both side. It allows me to make good quality (8mil traces) reliably. It ran me $299.00 some years back.

    I'm sure someone will flame me for this info
    [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Almost any generic cad program, draw program will do and you print you image reversed to any laser jet printer.

    But, the pen sounds real cool for quick and simple jobs.

    Keep me posted on your results. I'm very interested in hearing how your results go.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dat2zip:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    dat2zip,

    Yes, I have read about the transfer method you refer to, the blue mylar and toner transfer paper methods. Up to now, I have been drawing the circuit designs on the boards I've been working with. This is just because I am prototyping, just doing one at a time to get the correct board design. I am presently looking into the UV method. The method you mention is also a possibility. I will definitely look into this method.

    The purpose of the pen is just as you mention, quick and simple jobs. I left the test PCB board in the etchant, all last night, and it is still there. I will check on it this evening. That would be about 22 hours submersed in etchant. The only other thing I've tried that survives such abuse is fingernail polish. But have you ever tried to draw with a fingernail polish brush?

    I need to make a PCB design to be printed out on clear transparency, which will be 4" X 6", and will have 24 circuit boards on it. Probably get more like 20 or so. Each board is 1" in diameter. Oh what fun! After the board is etched, I will have to cut it up and shape each board to a one inch round disc, and solder the small components on each board. This will be for the MAX757 dc/dc step up circuit I've designed.

    Obviously, to draw each one by hand is not the way to go.

    Wayne

  4. #4

    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    In school we would draw our boards on smartwork for dos and print it up with a HP lazerprinter on velum. We used photo resist and would put it out in the sun for about 5 min and then into the acid bath. The etchings turn out great but you have to remember to invert your drawing before you print it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    Wayne,

    Can you tell me where you got the pen or where I can get one and what Flavor/color nail polish you are using.

    My laminator is out on loan... Dang.

    This CDF is too addictive. Gotta stop reading this stuff....

    Any info you can provide would be appreciated.
    [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    BTW are you the one that did the board for papasan? I see his photos, that's soo cool.

  6. #6

    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    Well, update. I found it at Yahoo shopping for $29.95. I hope I ordered the right thing. Can't wait to get it. Now.... Hmmm, what color nailpolish should I borrow from my wifes collection. LOL. I hope she doesn't read this...

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* ElektroLumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dat2zip:
    Well, update. I found it at Yahoo shopping for $29.95. I hope I ordered the right thing. Can't wait to get it. Now.... Hmmm, what color nailpolish should I borrow from my wifes collection. LOL. I hope she doesn't read this...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    dat2zip,

    Do NOT use fingernail polish. I almost did, or possibly did, ruin it. The fingernail polish dries too fast and clogs the thing up. I had to soak it in lacquer thinner to clean it, and this might have damaged the O rings. I don't think it did permanent damage, but Ackerman wants me to send it back to him so he can evaluate what I did, and the effect of the lacquer thinner on it.

    The ink I used very successfully (spelling) is from HIGGINS, called Black Magic. I think it may be a kind of lacquer? Anyway, it can be washed out with water. The etchant doesn't touch this ink, even after 24 hours. I purchased some other kind of ink, and it was eaten off right away, so the correct ink is very important. Indian ink might also work well?

    Heres the link for Ackerman:


    Ackerman]http://www.ackermanpens.com]Ackerman Pens[/URL]

    Here's the link for Higgins Calligraphy Supplies :

    web page


    Wayne

  8. #8

    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    Wayne,

    Thanks, for saving my behind. I probably would have ruin it right out of the box and gone [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] .

    I looked at the art supply link and the only thing I think you were refering to might be called Watercolor Magic, color Black (8oz) for 3.69. Could you confirm this before I order it. Thanks.

    Watercolor magic??

    Or is this stuff. This is the Higgens supply:

    Higgins Calligraphy Supplies

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* ElektroLumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dat2zip:
    Wayne,

    Thanks, for saving my behind. I probably would have ruin it right out of the box and gone [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] .

    I looked at the art supply link and the only thing I think you were refering to might be called Watercolor Magic, color Black (8oz) for 3.69. Could you confirm this before I order it. Thanks.

    Watercolor magic??
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hey dat2zip,

    Yeah, I thought I might mention on the forum not to use the fingernail polish, to save others from the fate of destroying their pen. If I didn't happen to have some lacquer thinner, my pen would be toast!

    No, that's not the correct ink. I would try the "Wtrprf Black Callig Ink 1 oz.", for $1.71. I could not find the 'Black Magic' ink I have, but it is calligraphy ink, and so this must be it. Indian ink is lacquer ink, and it is washable with soap water (I don't know how waterproof ink is washable by soap and water, but it is), so it would most probably also work. Lacquer is impervious to the ferric cloride. The lacquer etch pens that are commonly sold, coat the PCB much too thin. With the Ackerman pen, it can put it on thicker. Charles Ackerman said that another PCB etcher prefered the brush version as opposed to the nib version. I have the nib, and it works okay, but perhaps I'd like to purchase the thin brush. He said the brush sort of draws excess ink back into the brush.

    Let me know how it goes with the pen, and also you might want to email Charles Ackerman and let him know your results, he seems to be willing to work with us to develope something that works for us.

    Wayne

  10. #10

    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    Wayne,

    Thanks, I've found it now. I'm going to shop locally and maybe I can save the shipping since it's only $1.71. I suppose shipping is like $3.00 or something. I haven't check how much that would be. There are few art and craft and several good places to check. I might get lucky [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] . That's what I always say when I step into the bar...

    There is Higgens "Black Magic". Now I'm confused. I did a search for it and found the Black Magic on the web somewhere else.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* ElektroLumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: THE BEST ETCH RESIST PEN FOUND! "The Ackerman Plastic Nib Pump Pen"

    dat2zip,

    "YOU DROPPED ANOTHER LED IN THE CARPET."

    (This story doesn't belong here, but, what the heck.)

    This reminds me of a story a coworker told me about someone who reloaded his own ammo. I guess he would drop some of the spent parts on the carpet, and later his wife would vaccum them up. Well, it seems one time he accidentally dropped a number of unused primers into the carpet. When the wife came to vacuum them up, they would explode inside the vacuum cleaner! At least LED's don't do that!

    Wayne

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