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Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for a CubeSat mini satellite

Question asked by sonomer in #Electronics on Feb 17, 2011
sonomer · Feb 17, 2011
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for a CubeSat, one kg, one cubic decimeter demonstrative satellite -------- I have to make the double sided PCB of a Cubesat power control and distribution unit similar to this one. Question:Is it possible to fabricate the PCB home using the photoresist method or the components are too tiny and traces too thin for this method to work (see the pdf file in the link, it contains a list with all the packages used)? PS: I would appreciate answers especially from people with real hands-on experience in making high quality home made PCBs, not from individuals having just theoretical knowledge. Posted in: #Electronics
scarydesign · Feb 17, 2011
I've been designing printed circuit boards for over 30 years. I've done the "quick" photoresist as you mention as well as production million+ pcbs. I think the first thing you have overlooked is this is a double-sided PCB. As such vias from one side to the other are very hard to do (you can make the vias bigger, insert a wire and solder from both sides) but the bottom line is you are better off using a PCB house and have the boards made. If the Gerber files are available this is a very easy task. There are so many places that will make one or two boards now for around $100 US I wouldn't waste the time to try it yourself.
Good luck.
Mike T.
sonomer · Feb 23, 2011
Unfortunately, I have to design and redesign, many times, a number of at least six cubesat boards. Ordering, each time, a 100$ PCB to a manufacturer will run me into expenses of thousands of dollars and delays of one year or more which I can not afford.
The last step will be "six professional printed boards made by a PCB house", all of them in the same time, only one order. For prototypes however, I have to manage using photo resist.

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