DIY through hole plating of PCBs


Jan Mrázek documented his experience experimenting with DIY through-hole plating of PCBs:

I’ve been thinking about though hole plating for several years. The general procedure is simple – you have to activate non-copper surfaces (make them conductive) and then you apply standard electroplating procedure. You can find many tutorials on the internet, however, most of the require hard-to-get chemicals for the activation solution. Few weeks ago, I noticed that the local electronic component supplier had started to sell Kontakt Chemie Graphit – a conductive paint. It’s basically a colloidal graphite in an organic solution. It is supposed to be used for making surfaces conductive to prevent static electricity discharges. This could be perfect for activation of the non-copper surfaces! So I gathered all the necesery chemicals and equipment and made a test run.

More info at mind.dump() blog.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Awesome work. Author is right to say that it’s not worth it in 95% of the cases. For example, it’s easier for me to avoid doing DIY double-sided boards and use jumper wires with single-sided designs instead.

    The TDS and SDS for Kontakt Chemie Graphit is online. SDS reports main ingredients as “propan-2-ol; isopropyl alcohol;isopropanol” and “graphite”. TDS gives a bit more clue: “graphite lacquer”, “thermoplastic binder”. Probably additives like surfacants. One more clue, above 100degC the binding agent decomposes. And compatible with an alcohol solvent? Anyone has any idea what the binding agent could be?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.