Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby arhi » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:46 pm

The tip for the tinner - you get a multi part one. The shelf life is many years (of the parts). Then you mix only small amount (100cc for e.g.). The shelf life of the mixture is bit over 6 months (even after a year it works but too slow). after 6 months you throw those 100cc and make a new batch, thats many years of service for 20E :D
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby erdabyz » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:23 pm

arhi wrote:The tip for the tinner - you get a multi part one. The shelf life is many years (of the parts). Then you mix only small amount (100cc for e.g.). The shelf life of the mixture is bit over 6 months (even after a year it works but too slow). after 6 months you throw those 100cc and make a new batch, thats many years of service for 20E :D


Didn't know that. Anyway, I'll keep soldermasking my PCB's. It's better for me.
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby tempmj » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:39 pm

I'm only vaguely familiar with MG Chemicals' liquid tin, and no other products. I didn't know you could get multi-part type.

Does anyone know what the shelf life of MG's liquid tin is? Their site only specifies "long shelf-life". Also PulsarProFX says that it has "no known shelf life expiration". I'm assuming it to be years, but i don't know.

Does anyone know of a brand name or supplier for the multi-part type in the states?
Check out my site at http://www.controllerprojects.com I'm always open for some input or suggestions
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby arhi » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:24 pm

they all degrade over time and also you make the solution weaker every time you use it .. the "regular" shelf life of the pre-made solutions is cca 2 years (what I seen written on 2-3 different types I used to use earlier), the "long shelf-life" means that MG stuff can survive longer. The multi part stuff I use (SUR-TIN) after 6 months it start to take more then double time to get the same effect from the same concentration, but it still work (I once made two batches for test, used one for 6 months and kept the other one closed, after 6 months I tested them and they took approx same time to tin the board after 6 months, and it took cca twice as long as the day solution was made... I could of used it lot more then I did but .. in general I used it for maybe one board a week so that was not enough to "use it up", it desintegrated more from sitting then from being used)
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby bearmos » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:53 pm

erdabyz, do you know what kind of shelf life is there on the green gue from ebay (the link in your first post)? your boards look great, btw.

The price seems decent, especially for smaller boards. Assuming the 10ml (.6102374 inch^3) is applied 5 mils thick (this may be on the thick side), there should be enough for ~122 inch^2, or about a 10" x 12" PCB.

I agree, soldermask goes along with proper tinning to make the smaller SMD stuff easier to solder - it doesn't look too bad to apply.
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby erdabyz » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:29 am

bearmos wrote:erdabyz, do you know what kind of shelf life is there on the green gue from ebay (the link in your first post)? your boards look great, btw.

The price seems decent, especially for smaller boards. Assuming the 10ml (.6102374 inch^3) is applied 5 mils thick (this may be on the thick side), there should be enough for ~122 inch^2, or about a 10" x 12" PCB.

I agree, soldermask goes along with proper tinning to make the smaller SMD stuff easier to solder - it doesn't look too bad to apply.


Well, my first syringe lasted a year, and it was still like the first day. Of course, you have to store it in a opaque container, so it doesn't receive light. I think that as long as it doens't receive unnecesary light, it could last ages.

I also did calculations when I bough my first syringe and they were similar to yours, but reality is much much better than calculations. With a syringe, I coated A LOT of boards:four of five 100x160 double-side boards, like 5 or 6 50x50 to 50x100 boards, lots of 10x20 boards and I still wasted a lot of product when i didn't know how to use it. The yields are spectacular and totally unexpected, and the syringe is pretty big (maybe more than 10ml?) Give it a try!:P
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby bearmos » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:47 am

Thanks again for the link! The only other item I've noticed was from LPKF, Who knows what they were asking for it - they don't even provide pricing on their web site.
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby FourthDr » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:38 pm

I was looking at some of the sellers on ebay that offer UV curable soldermask. One had this disclaimer:

International Buyers - Please Note:
Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the
item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility.
Please check with your country's customs office to determine what
these additional costs will be prior to bidding or buying.

Just wondered if anyone has had to pay a tax or tariff or some other fee before they where able to receive there order? Especially since pretty much ALL of these vendors are in Hong Kong.
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby bearmos » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:49 pm

I've only ordered one thing via Hong Kong from ebay. It was labeled "gift" (I'm assuming so there weren't any import fees), so I only wound up paying for item + shipping. I imagine a "legitamate" seller/company would not do this, however.
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby sqkybeaver » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:21 pm

single items tend to move OK.

pay for the extra shipping option, they tend to go through customs much quicker.

for inexpensive items the tax is all most nil anyway.
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby bearmos » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:42 pm

sqkybeaver wrote:pay for the extra shipping option, they tend to go through customs much quicker.

are you referring to something like DHL vs. just standard shipping?

I have heard that DHL, specifically, tends to move things more quickly through customs. A previous employer used them exclusively for shipping between the US and UK and it seemed to work quite well (note there was no monetary exchange).
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby sqkybeaver » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:57 pm

Hong Kong post was extremely quick, shipped 6kilo package to states for $60. arived in 1 week.
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby erdabyz » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:46 am

FourthDr wrote:I was looking at some of the sellers on ebay that offer UV curable soldermask. One had this disclaimer:

International Buyers - Please Note:
Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the
item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility.
Please check with your country's customs office to determine what
these additional costs will be prior to bidding or buying.

Just wondered if anyone has had to pay a tax or tariff or some other fee before they where able to receive there order? Especially since pretty much ALL of these vendors are in Hong Kong.


Spain recently approved a law to accomodate our customs laws to european directives, which if i'm not mistaken are followed by most countries in the european union.

You can import whatever you want without having to pay any tax or get involved in any custom clearance process as long as the declared value of the goods + shipping is less than 22€.
If it is between 22€ and 150€, you have to pay custom clearance fees (which vary from carrier to carrier) + VAT, which is 18% of the declared value here.
If it is worth more than 150€ then you have to pay VAT, clearance fees and customs taxes, which vary depending on the nature of the goods.

That's the theory, the practise is that 90% of the packages arriving through the official postal service pass whithout being stopped by the customs, and from the 10% that get caugh, 99% are big packages.

If you're unlucky, however, the custom clearance fees are high enough to remember you why adhering to the european union also has its bad things. (until this law, anything below 150€ passed without any tax)
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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby ian » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:40 pm

It depends on where you are. USA has 400 exemption I think. Dhl fedex ups have own customs houses ans clear quick usually. Normal post gets no inspection in my experience

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Re: Soldermask ink for homemade PCB's (yeh, the green stuff)

Postby erdabyz » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:11 am

Just found cheaper soldermasking ink, in more different colors and in much higher quantity:
http://cgi.ebay.com/PCB-UV-Curable-Sold ... 2eb6088535

http://cgi.ebay.com/PCB-UV-Curable-Sold ... 2c5d833362

http://cgi.ebay.com/PCB-UV-Curable-Sold ... 2eb6089267

Now that's cheap!
I have experimented making soldering stencils in metal foil using soldermasking ink as the photosensitive mask for etching the metal, with very promising results. I'll try to refine the process to get something both usefull and durable, and if it works i'll post it here. I'm trying to find copper foil with a thickness of 0.1-0.15mm to make further testing, as aluminium is too soft.
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