I have been happy with the results I have been getting with new version of the Spectrum Analyzer interface board. Unfortunately now I am waiting on the new si5351 board I want to use. Looking around for something to do I came across the BITX-40 board by Asher Farhan. This is a single board version of his BITX design, and is being produced by a collective of local women in their homes to provide a livelihood.
More information including schematic and a great circuit description is available at http://www.hfsigs.com/
I had previously started a modular version of the BITX, but this looked like would make a nice small portable transcever.
Because of the size of the board I could not use the free version of EAGLE that I have been using. There are several other free PCB design software packages around, but I had some experience using ExpressPCB. There is not a large component library as available for EAGLE, but it is fairly easy to add custom components to the ExpressPCB library. The other issue with ExpressPCB is that it is designed to be used with the ExpressPCB board service, so there is no provision for generating Gerber files if you want to use a different board service. One of the other PCB software packages I had tried was Copper Connection. It was fairly easy to use, but I preferred ExpressPCB. One of the things Copper Connection can do is read ExpressPCB files and then generate Gerber files. It also has a very easy way to print the bottom and mirrored top copper layer for use with toner transfer at one time. So I will use ExpressPCB to layout the board, and export that to Copper Connection to print the toner transfer images.
After I finished the layout, I tried to make a board. I have had very good luck using the Cold Toner Transfer method, But because of the board size, the clamping fixture use would not cover the whole board, and I ended up with areas on the board where the toner did not adhere to the copper.
I tried using the Hot method with my laminator, but could not get the toner to stick to the copper at all. As a last resort I processed a board with the Cold method solvent, and instead of using the clamping fixture I fed it through the laminator without waiting for it to heat up. I ran it through a couple more times as it was warming up and when I checked the board and it was nearly perfect. I had to touch up a few pinholes in large copper pours, but all the traces were perfect. I got the board etched and now to start building the board.