View Full Version : Where to buy "Blank" etchable PCI cards

21-09-2003, 10:12 PM
I have a friend who is looking for "blank" PCI cards, which he can etch a circuit into. I'm not too sure what he actually wants to do with it, but he's just been trying to find someone in NZ who sells them.

What he wants is basically a circuit board cut to PCI-size, with the copper/gold contacts where it plugs into the mobo, and a blank main part where he can etch a circuit into. It will also need the metal bracket for mounting onto the case.

Does anyone know if these things actually exist, and if so, where could he buy one from (and for how much)?

Poppa John
21-09-2003, 10:20 PM
Dick Smith? In the hobby/model section?? PJ

21-09-2003, 10:34 PM
you wish :-)

21-09-2003, 10:39 PM
Hobby/Model section?? Doesn't sound like the right place to look.

21-09-2003, 10:45 PM
I know what you mean, but doubt they exist.

There is a basic problem, in how can the un-etched board exist if it already has the pre-etched finger contacts. The simple action of etching your own circuit onto the blank double sided board would destroy the finger contacts. You would need to somehow mask these as well.

If you visualise it, every finger would be joined to the copper of the unetched part of the board at the start, so you would need to etch away the connections of every unused finger as well, or you would end up with a short circuit of all unused fingers. The alternative is to find a board that required links to be made to each edge connected finger contact. Messy.

Only small run manufacturers of specialised equipment would have a need for such things, and then it would be quicker to etch everything in one hit, finger contacts and all.

Given that, then yes they do exist. Blank PC boards from DSE or Jaycar. Cut to the size yourself. Gold plating is a bit of a hurdle, but it would work without it if the copper was well cleaned.

Poppa John
21-09-2003, 10:54 PM
Godfathers last Para sounds like what I was tyring to say !!! PJ

21-09-2003, 10:55 PM
Thanks for your help godfather.

I had the same concerns about the etching issue, but figured there might be a way around it. I'm not sure exactly what he was going to do with it however, so I guess he can try to find an alternative way (maybe through a serial/parallel port).

Graham L
22-09-2003, 04:47 PM
The local PC board makers used to be able to do the gold plating ... you had to leave extra tracks from each edge connector finger to a shorting track for the plating. Then they guillotined that edge off, and chanfred it nicely. It all cost. :D I suppose there are still firms who can do it.

I wanted an ISA one (with the edge conn + wirewrap area) ... they were available from the big US computer hobby companies in the 70s and 80s(remember Jameco, CCS, ... ?), but they were very expensive. I finally picked one up a year or so ago, and it's still sitting in its package. :D Most things I do can be done with a parallel port. And now you can hang a PIC controller on just about anything ...