Sunday, 25 August 2013

Electrolytic Etcher–Design progress–Part 4

This weekend, I fitted the electronics into a project box so that the electrolytic etcher is all packaged up and ready to use.

I also added a LED power indicator into the circuit. After doing some testing, I discovered that my old LED was indeed dead, so I added a brand new LED lamp to the circuit as per the design shown in part 3. The LED doesn’t show up very bright in the photograph … but it is there and it does work.


I am using a 5 amp globe to demonstrate that the power is indeed flowing through the circuit and that the potentiometer does indeed regulate the flow.

The image above shows the project in the box plugged in, but switched off.


Above, the project is switched on, but the potentiometer is dialled to 0%. The lamp is off.

And finally, below, the project is switched on and the pot is dialled to 100%.


You can see that the lamp is now well illuminated, so the available voltage is now flowing through the circuit and to the alligator clips.

I will still be working on this project for a while yet. I still want to make a top panel for the project box with a dial indicator, switch and power labels and positive and negative labels.

I’ve drawn up and scanned the basic design that I will etch into the top panel. I plan to do a bit of tinkering with the design for the top panel yet. But this is what it will look like.


The plate will be etched in brass and I think that a nice copperplate font will be good. I might put a kind of cogs and wheels design into the ground area for interest … I’m not sure yet.

Again, I can’t stress this enough, this is a simple design and has been pretty easy to build and test. I can only estimate the total cost of the project, because I had the power supply, switch, wire and solder already on hand. My out of pocket expense for the project was $14.00, getting the parts from Jay Car. If I had to buy the adapter and the switch, it would probably have increased the cost by about $20. Although, you could do better than that if you sourced your supplies from eBay.

Next, I will start an article on electro-etching using this project as the power source.

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