Followed my recently renewed interest in hardware and electronics—a hobby which has been dormant for about twelve years— I’ve had my first printed circuit board (PCB) made commercially. I’ve always made my own PCBs before, starting with pressing Letraset symbols directly onto copper boards for etching in a ferric chloride solution back in the 1980s. Later I graduated to photoresist based techniques, which at least meant I could re-use my designs. Today there is little point in doing this stuff at home when commercial services are available – you get much better results and you avoid also that messing about with chemistry.
I’ve been using the free Eagle CAD to design my PCBs and used PCB Train in the UK for manufacturing. My first design is a bidirectional optoisolator for the I²C bus. See below for both the design and the reality.
I obviously still have a something to learn because although the component outlines and some of the labels made it through to the end result the component names did not. Fortunately there are only a few components! Also, I notice that my font does not match the manufacturers font.