New hosting provider

Due to the inability of my previous hosting provider to maintain the integrity of their machines, resulting in enormous and incomprehensible technical problems for at least a year now, I have decided to switch over to another provider.

To complete the chaos, this page will from now on reside under the new TLD

(blog.) muwave.de

For the sake of existing links to this page, I will keep the old domain (mmueh.net) transparently mapped to the new URL for at least one year while this page will already deliver all content in relation to the new domain.

I expect the transition to go smoothly (most of it already has) and hope for better conditions in the future – especially regarding server features and page loading time.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if anything remains broken. You’ll find my details on the Impressum page, or you can just hit the comments section of this post.

UV + vacuum = better pcbs?

Inspired by a project published in the magazine ELEKTOR about converting one of those little membrane air pumps used on fishtanks and stuff into a vacuum pump, I went and opened up the pump that came with my pcb etching machine. Exciting! For this one there isn’t even any modification necessary as the inlet is connected to the regulator by a hose which can be easily redirected. True, it might need another hole in the case to poke the hose through, but if that is all there’s to it…will try tonight!

That hose is acutally a bypass outlet. If the valve is open, pressure goes out of the tube instead of the port on the side of the pump. The REAL inlet is just below the black nozzle, it’s a small hole in the orange pump casing. Look at picture below!

The resulting vacuum can then be used to evacuate the air out of a clear plastic foil sandwich containing the pcbs with attached layouts, effectively removing all air bubbles and pressing the layouts against the photo resist – like it is done when curing epoxide resins. I am pretty curious if this will solve the problems I’ve been having with blurred pcb traces.

Regent R-002 pump innards

Inlet hole

Read more about the idea and its use over at the original authors (french) website. Just look for “Pompe A Vide” after the redirect.

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