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Mega PA310 PCB processing
PCB processing tank (etch tank)
Equipment Information
Status Unknown
Manufacturer Mega
Model PA310
Hackspace Information
Induction Required Yes
Induction Information Here
Card RFID Enabled No
Owner LHS

The Basics


MEGA PA310 Tri-Tank Unit for Printed Circuit Board (PCB) processing. A self-contained triple process unit with built-in DEVELOP / SPRAY WASH / BUBBLE ETCHING functions.


  • MEGA PA310 Tri-Tank Unit
  • Moulded 13amp plug (kettle lead)
  • Two syphons
  • Front panel tank control
  • Connections provided at the rear for drain and cold water requirements.
  • Width 400mm, Depth 525mm, Height 380mm.


You must read the safety documentation in this link before using this equipment.

Safety is very important when using this equipment, you must also read the safety information below.

This is the basic information, you are expected to do further research into the area yourselves before using the equipment.

You must also read and be familiar with the safety datasheets for all chemicals you use, eg developer / etchant.

Safety equipment requirements


You MUST WEAR SAFETY EQUIPMENT when using this product. The following basic equipment and requirements must be available or followed before using this product. All protective equipment must be CE marked showing that it complies with applicable standards. [2]

  • Access to running water (toilets near dark room)
  • Well aired through effective local aspiration. Active ventilation should be activated before work begins
  • Hand protection - Long gloves. Protect hands with category III work gloves (see standard EN 374). [2]
  • Clothing protection - category II professional long-sleeved overalls and safety footwear (see Directive 89/686/EEC and standard EN ISO 20344). [2]
  • Eye protection - Wear airtight protective goggles (see standard EN 166). [2]
  • First aid eye wash
  • Face wash station or shower head attached to cool water tap for first aid.
  • Check for degradation of equipment before use. Replace regularly before degradation occurs [2]
  • Small spill clean up - blue paper towels
  • Large spill clean up - bucket of sand.
  • Use with an RCD power break device as per manufacturers instructions
  • Wash safety equipment after use (e.g. gloves, goggles) in fresh water so that the next person doesn’t expose themselves to chemicals when using the equipment and so that the chemicals do not degrade the safety equipment over time

Some of these notes are modified from the London Hackspace wiki.

Equipment use

  • Do not use this equipment when lone working
  • Report any accidents immediately
  • Do not run any heater unless the tank is full of liquid. It should blow a thermal fuse before melting the tank, but that may involve replacing the heater. Keep unused tanks full of plain water.
  • Do not etch anything except copper (other metals will pollute the etchant)
  • Do not operate the pump unless the lid is on the tank
  • Do not drink the chemicals
  • Do not allow the chemical to contact the skin or eyes
  • Remove any contaminated clothes and personal protective equipment before entering places where people eat.
  • Check the power has been turned off after use.
  • Do not dip a basket soaked in one chemical into the tank of another chemical
  • Read the instructions (pdf) [7] for PA series PCB Processing Tanks http://www.megauk.com/datasheets/5280_Data_Sheet_PA_&_PCB_process_tanks_(1117).pdf.pdf
  • Only use Mega developer and Ferric Chloride etchant. Other chemicals can have undocumented safety issues
  • Purchase chemicals from reputable sources
  • All chemical containers must have clear labels on them
  • Ferric chloride attacks any metals including stainless steel. All metal surfaces near the equipment must be covered
  • Do not use this equipment near pipework, eg gas or water pipes in case of spillage onto those pipes.
  • Ventilate the room, even though Mega UK indicates etching with Ferric Chloride does not need ventilation, gasses may be generated during use and an acrid smell is often present.
  • Materials which are used to clean up spills should NOT be put down the drains
  • Do not move the unit whilst full
  • Do not “take a peek inside” without wearing safety equipment, the liquid splashes out surprisingly easily
  • If splashed in eyes: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing [1]
  • Have scrub pads available for removing ferric chloride staining from the equipment

Safety - Chemical storage

  • Store the chemicals in a plastic bottomed container. Preferably a lockable chemical cupboard suitably labelled.
  • The plastic should be of a suitable type which will not be attacked by the chemicals stored.
  • Do NOT store in metallic containers
  • Label all containers.

Safety - Disposal

  • Dispose of according to local authority/government requirements. Meaning take the chemicals in original labelled containers to the recycling centre and ask where the chemical disposal area is. You may have to explain what it is your disposing.
  • Do NOT dispose of chemicals down the drains. This is because 1) the etchant eats the metal pipes and cause leaks 2) the chemicals will contaminate the drainage and water recycling system

Safety - Cutting PCBs

  • PCB dust is not healthy for your lungs, do not saw PCBs. Splinters can also be created when sawing. Use a guillotine or other shears. Or even better buy the correct size PCB for the job.
  • Keep fingers well clear of cutting edges
  • Only cut on a flat surface in a clear work area
  • Never cut whilst lone working

Basic first aid measures

You must read the Material safety data sheet (MSDS) for each chemical you use. A generic summary is below. You still need to read the official MSDS documents and understand them before use!

  • General information [8]
    • Immediately and carefully remove any clothing soiled by the product. Check for clothing melted on to the skin ensuring skin is not removed with the clothing.
    • Never make an unconscious person vomit or drink fluids.
  • After inhalation
    • Supply fresh air; consult doctor in case of complaints.
  • After skin contact
    • Immediately wash with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.
    • Cover wound with a sterile dressing.
    • Failure to treat burns can prevent wounds from healing.
    • Consider medical advice.
  • After eye contact
    • Rinse open eye for 30-60 minutes [2] under running water. Then consult a doctor.
    • Remove contact lenses if present, do not force if stuck to eye. [2]
    • Seek medical treatment.
  • After swallowing
    • Give patient copious amounts of water to drink and provide fresh air.
    • Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to by medical personnel.
    • Call for a doctor immediately.

Firefighting Measures

Suitable extinguishing equipment - See MSDS documents for each chemical.


Ask on the mailing list for volunteers to demonstrate the use of the equipment.


Producing a PCB

Read the PA series PCB Processing tanks datasheet for PA310 specific use details. http://www.megauk.com/datasheets/5280_Data_Sheet_PA_&_PCB_process_tanks_(1117).pdf.pdf or https://www.rapidonline.com/pdf/34-0760e.pdf

WARNING: Using the WRONG ARTWORK FILM in a laser printer can cause it to MELT AND STICK INSIDE THE PRINTER damaging the printer - an expensive mistake!

We also have a UV exposure unit for exposing photoresist type PCB.


  • Youtube has many tutorials on creating PCBs


[1] http://www.labchem.com/tools/msds/msds/LC14380.pdf

[2] https://www.megauk.com/datasheets/4133_MSDS_600-015_&_600-016_Ferric%20Chloride%20Solution(1113).pdf

[3] http://www.electricstuff.co.uk/pcbs.html

[4] https://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/view/PCB

[5] https://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/view/PCB_etching_instructions

[6] https://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/view/Equipment/PCB_etch_station

[7] http://www.megauk.com/datasheets/5280_Data_Sheet_PA_&_PCB_process_tanks_(1117).pdf.pdf

[8] http://www.megauk.com/datasheets/4059_MSDS_41-112064%20&%20112064-2%20Developer(0310).pdf

[9] http://www.megauk.com/datasheets/4045_MSDS_12-15500-1-2_CPD5_Developer(0813).pdf