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v1.2

Minor Versionm

by Cosimos Sivan Cendo

Introduction

The Contac S4 is a machine used to copper plate vias in circuit boards using electrolysis. It uses a 5 step chemical procedure that takes around 3 hours to complete.

  1. The Contac S4 is used to plate the insides of the board's drilled vias with copper so that they create a connection between traces on the top of the board and traces on the bottom of the board. The power switch is located on the right side of the machine
    • The Contac S4 is used to plate the insides of the board's drilled vias with copper so that they create a connection between traces on the top of the board and traces on the bottom of the board.

    • The power switch is located on the right side of the machine

    • Allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes on power on

  2. Ensure all baths are filled to the required levels. Top off with chemicals (or inform a trained staff member) if necessary: Bath 1 takes cleaner 110
    • Ensure all baths are filled to the required levels. Top off with chemicals (or inform a trained staff member) if necessary:

    • Bath 1 takes cleaner 110

    • Bath 2 takes cleaner 210

    • Bath 3 takes activator 310

    • Bath 4 takes via cleaner

    • Bath 5 takes copper plater 400

    • Bath 6 takes tin plater (not used in this guide)

  3. On the touchscreen interface, push the menu icon in the upper left corner Select "Profiles" Select "Copper Plating Profile"
    • On the touchscreen interface, push the menu icon in the upper left corner

    • Select "Profiles"

    • Select "Copper Plating Profile"

  4. Mount the board in the PCB handle located on the left side of the machine Insert the long side into the clamps and tighten with an Allen wrench Rinse the board with tap water
    • Mount the board in the PCB handle located on the left side of the machine

    • Insert the long side into the clamps and tighten with an Allen wrench

    • Rinse the board with tap water

    • Take the lid off bath 1

    • Place the board into bath 1 and press play

  5. Once phase 1 is complete, remove the board from bath 1 and rinse it with tap water Place the board into bath 2 and press play Place the board into bath 2 and press play
    • Once phase 1 is complete, remove the board from bath 1 and rinse it with tap water

    • Place the board into bath 2 and press play

  6. Once phase 2 is complete, remove the board from bath 2 and rinse it with tap water Dry the board with a heat gun Hit the board on a hard surface while drying to ensure no air bubbles are trapped inside the vias
    • Once phase 2 is complete, remove the board from bath 2 and rinse it with tap water

    • Dry the board with a heat gun

    • Hit the board on a hard surface while drying to ensure no air bubbles are trapped inside the vias

    • Place the board into bath 3 and press play

  7. Once bath 3 is complete, lift the board out of the bath and scrape ink off the surface back into the bath Transfer to a tub and scrape off any remaining ink We want ink to remain inside the vias and nowhere else because the copper will get deposited on the ink
    • Once bath 3 is complete, lift the board out of the bath and scrape ink off the surface back into the bath

    • Transfer to a tub and scrape off any remaining ink

    • We want ink to remain inside the vias and nowhere else because the copper will get deposited on the ink

    • Dry the board and then place into bath 4 and press play

    • The quality of the copper plating depends on how dry the ink is, so ensure the board is as dry as possible before starting bath 4

  8. Once bath 4 is complete, remove the board Dry the board with a heat gun Hit the board on a hard surface while drying to ensure no air bubbles are trapped inside the vias
    • Once bath 4 is complete, remove the board

    • Dry the board with a heat gun

    • Hit the board on a hard surface while drying to ensure no air bubbles are trapped inside the vias

    • Again, the quality of the plating will depend on how dry the insides of the vias are

    • Gently wipe the surface with a moist towel to remove as much black ink as possible

    • Do not press into the holes on the board; we want the dry black ink to remain in the holes

    • Place the board into bath 5 and press play

    • Halfway through the two hour plating process the Contac will pause so you can rotate the board 180 degrees and press play again

  9. Once bath 5 is finished, remove the board Rinse with tap water and dry with a heat gun
    • Once bath 5 is finished, remove the board

    • Rinse with tap water and dry with a heat gun

    • The via plating process is now complete

    • Bath 6 is used for tin plating which is not covered in this guide

Finish Line

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Jimmy Nolan

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