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Etchant Heater

:: EPE Chat Zone ­:: ­Radio Bygones Message Board :: » EPE Forum Archives 2010 - » Archive through 24 May, 2012 » Etchant Heater « Previous Next »

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mel
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Username: mel

Post Number: 121
Registered: 05-2005

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Posted on Sunday, 20 May, 2012 - 11:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Has any one converted an aquarium heater so it operates at a higher temperature (50 degrees C max), for use in an PCB etchant tank? or any other ideas of ways for achieving this please
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joe
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Username: joe

Post Number: 1301
Registered: 05-2005

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Posted on Sunday, 20 May, 2012 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Depending on the size of your tank, what about purchasing one designed for the job.

http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Equipment/Tank-Heater-240v-500w-34-0761

You would need some sort of temp control of course or purchase their thermostat.

http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Equipment/Tank-Thermostat-0-60-34-0769
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ant
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Post Number: 874
Registered: 05-2006

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Posted on Sunday, 20 May, 2012 - 07:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello Mel,

I see no reason not to use a heater/adjustable stat, you may have to force the screw past its stop to tweak it high enough...

Perhaps best not to put it back with the fish afterwards!

Regards Ant
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hackinblack
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Post Number: 555
Registered: 09-2006

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Posted on Monday, 21 May, 2012 - 06:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i would try a standard heater,the cheaper ones which use a bi-metal contact aren't what you might call 'accurate',even for their intended use!
they are designed to raise the temperature of a fairly large volume of water;etching,ideally, requires as little as possible!

it is possible to over 'tweak' the stat in them,in fact if you ever get one second hand you have to be careful nobody has wound it right past the stop to try and compensate for buying a heater that was too small for the tank size

if you get a more modern/expensive one with electronic heater stat you are stuck with the range its built at,unless you can unseal the test tube to change resitor values on the PCB,i dont know a way of doing this,the ones i used had a marine caulking sealing them and it was granular and just about impossible to scrape,dissolve,chew off..

on the subject of seals DON'T immerse the seal end of the tube in the etchant,it may cause the seal to deteriorate

Try a standard heater,the temperateure needed for etching isnt that critical,it just means the tank is ready quicker and etches slightly faster,if you have the time,repeatability is far more important
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gordon
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Username: gordon

Post Number: 811
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Posted on Monday, 21 May, 2012 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is an article here, where a cheap aquarium heater has been modified to heat the etchant to about 40C.

http://pcbheaven.com/exppages/Removing_the_built-in_thermostat_of_an_aquarium_heater/
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rich13
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Username: rich13

Post Number: 64
Registered: 03-2011


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Posted on Wednesday, 23 May, 2012 - 12:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Modifying the aquarium heater,,would the element stand 40-45deg, or would it be made just to do its designed temperature. Just a thought..

I was thinking along the lines of them 12volt car element heaters, the ones to make tea/coffee. Small enough for the job and safe voltage.
__ Rich __
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terrym
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Username: terrym

Post Number: 1158
Registered: 05-2005

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Posted on Wednesday, 23 May, 2012 - 02:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The heaters should be able to reach 50-55deg without any problems.

There used to be an etch tank kit sold here in Oz that used aquarium heaters. May still be around, haven't looked lately.

The 12v tea/coffee heaters wont work as they are metal (at least, the last ones I saw were) and will be eaten by the etchant.

TM

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