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Electronics Club

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

Designing | Exposing and Etching | Cleaning and Drilling

Also see: Breadboard | Stripboard | Types of Circuit Board


Printed circuit boards have copper tracks connecting the holes where the components are placed. They are designed specially for each circuit and make construction very easy.

Electronics Club members will receive an etched PCB that will need cleaning and drilling before soldering.


Designing a PCB

Sorry, this section is still being prepared.

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Exposing and Etching a PCB

Sorry, this section is still being prepared.

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Cleaning and Drilling a PCB ready for Soldering

PCB and rubber
  1. Clean off the protective coating from the PCB using a PCB rubber or steel wool so that all the copper tracks are bright and shiny. The PCB rubber has grit in it to make it very abrasive.
    In fact the coating can be left on and it should melt away around the joints as you solder, but in the Electronics Club we have generally had better results by removing the coating.
  2. Drill the holes with a 1mm diameter bit. This is easiest with a proper electric PCB drill in a stand, but a hand-held miniature electric drill can be used if you take care to avoid twisting and snapping the small drill bit. Wear safety spectacles.
    A hand-drill is not suitable for such small bits unless you are very skilled.
  3. A few may holes may need to be larger, for example preset resistors usually need a 1.5mm diameter hole. It is simplest to re-drill these special holes afterwards.
  4. Check carefully to make sure you find all the holes.
    Even with experience it is easy to miss one or two!
WARNING! The small drill bits are fragile. Drill gently but firmly. If you are using a hand-held drill you must take great care to avoid twisting the drill sideways because this will snap the drill bit.

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© John Hewes 2007, The Electronics Club, www.kpsec.freeuk.com
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