[vcf-midatlantic] gold fing-ers

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Thu Apr 19 17:38:16 EDT 2018

So, I'm obtaining a recently-made PC board, which was produced by some 
PC board house from Gerber files, the usual sort of small-run hobby 
project. This particular board, was with ENIG plating on board and 
fingers. This means, a micron-thick plating of gold over 150-200 microns 
of nickel, mostly for better soldering and copper protection. But that 
also "covers" the edge-connector fingers, they are not heavier gold.

What's out there, for adding gold to those fingers? There's a good 
number of them, not just a dozen or two. I"m bothering to ask the 
question here, because it's a "vintage repair" problem also. A solution 
for one or two fingers, is a solution for many. Or, tell me "nickel 
isn't so bad, don't insert and remove it every day, you'll be fine".

No, I won't spend $300, $600 for a gold-plating electro-pen system. If 
someone has that and wants to give me a quote, I'm all ears, tell me how 
many microns you'll plate. No, I won't mix up cyanide solutions, not 
likely to use nitric acid; it's outside my experiences and one "oops" 
could really ruin my day. I don't expect to rub gold-leaf on fingers and 
glue them down, that won't last. I may well go to some PC board shop and 
ask them for a quote, maybe someone has done that.

So - what do people here know-of, from repair experiences or their own 
experiences? I have looked around the Web, there's means of doing these 
things, but it's hard to judge them "cold". And of course, it's hard to 
search on "hobbyist covering PCB edge connector with gold", there's many 
people selling products or showing how they mess with aqua regia or coat 
quarters with microns of gold.

Herb "Goldfinger" Johnson

Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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