Previously I made an article on how to make your own PCB at home using toner transfer method. In that article I am using magazine paper to transfer the toner to the PCB. The results of using magazine paper is satisfying for simpler circuit, at least for my case. However, when working with more complex circuit, its getting tougher. So today I am going to show a better method to make your own PCB, which is using toner transfer paper. Toner transfer paper can be obtained very cheap from China seller, so I think its quite affordable for hobbyists who wants to make their PCB at home.

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Toner transfer paper

I will show the PCB after toner transfer steps to the end of PCB. So you can see the results of using toner transfer paper to make PCB.

As you can see from the images below, these are PCBs after etching process. The traces are all very nice. One thing I need to stress on toner transfer paper is that the process to transfer toner is very easy and fast. Compared to previous method which uses magazine paper, I save a lot of time to transfer the toner to copper board. They transfer to the board as soon as the board is heated.

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PCB
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PCB
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Breadboard 5V supply
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PCB
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PCB

The steps are the same as this after etching which is removing the toner using thinner solution.

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Finally, after removing the toner, its time to drill and cut the shape of PCB.

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Pads pattern for Arduino proto shield
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Arduino Proto Shield

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Anyway, I am going explain some of the PCBs that I’ve made. First is the Arduino Proto Shield.

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Official Arduino Proto Shield

I decided to make my own Proto Shield because I want to practice making Arduino shield so I can design more in the future. On my Proto Shield, it has pin 13 LED with current limiting resistor and also a reset button with 10k pull up resistor.

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The only time consuming part when making this shield is drilling all those holes, but it was quite fun to me. Besides that, there is no problem in making all those tiny solder pads with the help of toner transfer paper.

DSC08279The second PCB is breadboard 5V supply. This board is meant to fit on breadboard and provide 5V supply using LM 7805. There are male headers that can be fitted on the side rails of breadboard. However, the bad news is after I done the PCB and trying to fit it on breadboard, I realize the headers could not fit onto it. This is due to the mistake in distance measurement.

So I need to revise back my PCB design and make a new one soon.

DSC08280The third PCB is GPS Bee Breakout Board. I made a second one because my previous breakout board is damaged. This will be used to fit the GPS Bee and convert from 2mm to 2.54mm pitch header. You can look for more details at my GPS article.

DSC08278Finally this is a PCB for LM 386 Low Voltage Audio Power Amplifier. I still need some time to troubleshoot and get it working. So I will update after this board is fixed.

Overall, toner transfer paper is good for making PCB especially for beginners. It can saves your time and has higher success rate in making good quality PCB. They are also cheap and affordable. Magazine paper is still an alternative if you don’t want spend any money on the toner transfer paper. Just that it requires more practice and precise skills to make a good PCB.

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