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Thread: Create PCBs with the Direct Toner Method Guide

  1. #1
    cfwprophet Guest

    Thumbs Up Create PCBs with the Direct Toner Method Guide

    He sceners, pirates and homebrewers

    I found a nice guide of a german guy called Thomas Pfeifer where he explain on his site how to do your own homebrewed PCB's.

    It's real easy and can be done in time of 30min's. And you don't really need some special stuff.

    Here we go: Printer_Paper_and_Results.txt‎

    A simple and fast method to create PCBs without the exposure step. Instead of photo-resist, toner of a laserprinter is used as etch-resist.

    • Laser printer (i use a HP laserjet 1010)
    • Iron
    • Copper coated fiberglass (FR4) board - without photo resist
    • Acetone
    • Etchand (e.g. "Natriumpersulfat" sodium sulfate ?)

    1. Layout

    The layout is printed with the laser printer on a page of a "Reichelt-Catalog (it's a german Distributor, the pages of some magazines also works well). If there are problems with paper-jam, use Scotch tape to stick the catalog side at the top of a page of typewriter paper. The Layout should be mirrored (i.e. typo not readable).

    2. Crop and align

    Remove dust and fingerprints on the board with acetone. That is important, otherwise the toner will not retain.
    Cut out the layout an put it with the printed side on the board. If necessary, you can fix the layout with Scotch Tape.

    3. Ironing

    Put a linen cloth (i use an old purchase bag) on the board.
    Iron the layout on the board with circling movements and light pressure.

    Thereby the correct temperature is important. If it is too high, the toner becomes too liquid and the strip lines become blurred. If it is too low, the toner does not retain on the copper. A setting between “wool” and “silk” works good for me.

    4. Remove the paper

    Wait until the board has cooled down. Put it in a plate with cold water and somewhat soap. After some minutes you can carefully remove the paper by rubbing it. The toner should remain on the board. If not, you can remove the toner with Acetone an try it again.

    5. Burn in (optional)

    After removing the paper roughly, one can "burn in" the toner optionally. Set the Iron to the maximum and put the dry (!) board on it for a few minutes. The toner becomes again liquid thereby. Thus smallest holes are closed and the toners connect themselves optimally with the copper.

    6. Etching

    Now the plate is put into the etching bath. I use an old bucket.

    7. Finished

    After etching, you only have to remove toner. This can be easily done with acetone.


    I have made several PCBs with this method, partly with TQFP SMD parts. In a test i have etched 3 mil (0,0762mm) conductive strips (!).

    Video Tutorial

    The Tonertransfer-Method as a Video-how-to (single-side, fuser, laminator, tin-platet). The Video is in 4x time lapse.

    Note: in the video i use the heater of a document laminator instead of the clothes iron. It was modified to reach a constant temperature of approx. 220 degree Celsius. More information can be found here:]modified document laminator (german)

    An update with a translated list of optimum paper and optimum temperature will come next days when i have time to do.

    And don't forget HERE IN PS3 NEWS WE HAVE THE BEST GUIDES!!!

  2. #2
    oVERSoLDiER Guest
    Very interesting method to do our own PCB's ! Has somebody an idea, where we can find a good repository for the "PCB design" ? Of course +Rep for you cfwprophet !

  3. #3
    cfwprophet Guest
    You can do this with several apps like EAGLE 6.0.0 or you catch some from the net.If you have a shematic then tools like eagle let you do your owen .brd (board file) which you can use to print.

    I'll do a .brd for the NAND SPI FLasher (USB version).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Thanks for the guide cfwprophet and +Rep!

  5. #5
    moja Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by cfwprophet View Post
    You can do this with several apps like EAGLE 6.0.0 or you catch some from the net.If you have a shematic then tools like eagle let you do your owen .brd (board file) which you can use to print.

    I'll do a .brd for the NAND SPI FLasher (USB version).
    Is this the one with the PIC18F2455? I'd like to try that one. Thanks for the guide.

  6. #6
    cfwprophet Guest
    Yes it is the one with the PIC18F2455/PIC18F2555. But i use the SMD version (SO/I). In case of i do this for first time it could be that i need a few days. With Saturday i have 2 weeks holidays so lately on Monday i should be done. Also i will post some .brd's of a LPT2USB converter which use a emulator FW that can program some of the old MC's.

    Atmel's and PIC's are fine to flash with it and can be used of peoples they dont have a D-SUB port on here PC's or LapTop's. Only bad thing that the second version which use a ATmega8 DIL28 need also to first be flashed with a D-SUB port. After that the converter can be used to flash LPT device's via USB.

  7. #7
    mackn918 Guest


    thats pretty interesting

  8. #8
    cfwprophet Guest


    Just a little update on the SPI NAND Flasher board file. I finished the upper side and now only need to do the bottom side.

    They are just a few connection to ground so will be done in a few hours.

    But first i need to go out and buy some tools and a laser printer. Found a HP Laserjet P6 for 8€ and a second hand original packed Canon EP-A toner cardridge for 10€. Both together will give good results and tiny lines of 0,25mm are no problem. Additional this toner can be burned into the epoxyd with a normal flat iron.

    For you guys out they want to do there owen board files and play around with this i have included a patch for Eagle 6.0 Freeware to Professional

    At last here a screenshot of the upper board side of our opensource SPI NAND Flasher:

  9. #9
    miandad Guest
    is there a way by passed or jumper the nor or nand flasher to accept lower frimware .. i mean without any tools just jumper or modifiy !

  10. #10
    cfwprophet Guest

    First release

    The first layout is done and use a double sided pcb. I tryed to export the board file as a img but the included ulp (user language program) for converting brd's into img's doesnt work correct. It run truth the process but do not put out the img. So you will need eagle to load the .brd and then you can print the layout. For next release i will includ some img files too.

    Some words to the layout: I've used buildart 0603 for the 22pF (or 0,022nF) which are connected to both legs of the smd chip crystal, for the 100nF,150nF,10k resistor and the 100R resistors.

    And i have changed the 220nF of pin 14 to 1x 100nF and 1x 150nF (total 250nF) cause in my country the 220nF's are not available and the 0,22pF's are to larg they are only available in buildart 2512. The usb connector is a mini usb-b one.

    Also you need to mirrow the top side of the pcb before you print. The bottom side you can leave as it is.

    Additional in next release i will do a single sided pcb too.

    Have Fun -cfwprpht-

    ps. To miandad: Do you mean the fw of the ps3? Then first this flasher mainly is for the x360 cause it use SPI (only 6 wires) and we dont have found any SPI port on the ps3 mainboards yet. Please explain exactly what you mean with accepting a lower fw.

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