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On-site Assembly of the GC18 Air Agitated Etching Cell
(page 4)


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  1. The coupling to the source of compressed air is via a press on fitting that mates to the stand-pipe sticking above the cover plate.
  2. Route the air supply tube so that it will not interfere with placing a board into the tank. It is generally a good idea to have the stand-pipe at the rear of the tank when the tank is installed in a tabletop.
  3. Place the barbed air fitting over the stand-pipe.

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  1. Push the fitting onto the stand-pipe and wriggle it back and forth to achieve a airtight seal. The stand-pipe is glued into the sparger manifold and will not turn as you install this fitting.

    Do not glue this fitting onto the standpipe since it will need to be removed if the etching cell needs servicing.
  2. Connect the air sparger to a source of clean, dry, filtered compressed-air. It is a good idea to provide as shut off valve as well as a flow control valve in the air supply line. That way you can turn the air flow on and off without losing the adjustment that you will make in the last step. Needless to say, you should make sure that there is no pressure on the line while the connection is being made.
  3. Using the flow control valve, adjust the airflow into the sparger until bubbles just start to spill out of the board slot and onto the top surface of the tank cover. Back off the airflow until bubbles are just touching the bottom surface of the cover.
  4. Adjust the temperature controller to 115°F and allow the etchant to come up to temperature.
  5. Clamp a piece of clean copperclad into the board clamp. You should tighten the clamp bolts until they are tight to insure that the board does not come loose and drop into the tank.
  6. Measure the amount of time it takes to totally etch all copper from both sides of the board. Write this number down for further reference
  7. Lift the board from the etchant and thoroughly rinse the board and your board clamp. Remove the board from the clamp. Note: the clamp can be left in the bath when it is not being used.
  8. Turn off the compressed air.
  9. After you have chemically analyzed the bath and adjusted any depleted components, your cell is ready to use.

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