Front panel labels and electroplating

McIntosh, Malcolm mmcintos at
Fri Apr 16 22:17:54 CEST 1999

I seem to remember that one needs to be careful to do this in  a well
ventilated area.  I think the gas given off by the process may be very bad


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Tony Clark [SMTP:clark at]
> Sent:	Friday, April 16, 1999 10:58 AM
> To:	Barry L Klein
> Cc:	synth-diy at
> Subject:	Re: Front panel labels and electroplating
> > Also, has anyone tried using an electroplater such as one advertised by
> > Hunter Products  908-526-8440.   It apparently can plate gold etc on 
> > contacts and connectors.  Wonder if it would work on problem synths 
> > with tin contacts everywhere.  It costs $328.  Also wonder if it blows 
> > up your components when you use it...... 
>    Hey, why spend $328 bucks on a "electroplater" when all you need is a 
> variable power supply and two conductive electrodes?  At my business we 
> do some spot electroplating on linear resistive elements to plate copper 
> over silver conductive surfaces.  To do this we hook up a cheapie lab 
> power supply (variable voltage and current) to a graphite electrode 
> (positive side) and a voltmeter probe (negative side).
>    Then you use a saturated solution of the material you want to plate 
> (like copper sulfate-(ide?)) and use the graphite electrode (covered in 
> an absorbant material (like fiberglass cloth) to rub the area you want to 
> plate while using the voltmeter probe as the current sink somewhere on 
> the conductive path.
>    Takes a little practice to get it to work well.  You can't plate for 
> too long and the current has to be fairly constant and at a good level 
> (somewhere in the 50-100mV range) for it to work, but it does the job.  
> And for a hell of a lot cheaper than $300!
>    Note, I wouldn't try it on populated boards unless you are sure it can 
> handle stray currents in the range above!
>    Tony
> ------------------------------------,----------------------------------
> I can't drive (my Moog) 55!         |     The E-Music DIY Archive
> ------------------------------------|  
> Tony Clark -- clark at     |
> |     Contributions welcomed!
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