Author Topic: Perfboard layout - looking for tips and tricks  (Read 9375 times)

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Offline shdo

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Perfboard layout - looking for tips and tricks
« on: June 10, 2012, 04:54:08 pm »
Hello all,

I'm working on building an ESR meter I found on the web.  I can read the schematic, and even understand most of it, but I am having a hard time laying it out on perfboard without making a rats nest of it.  I was wondering if you all could enlighten me with your tips and tricks for laying out circuits when not using a PCB. 

thanks
 

Offline david77

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Re: Perfboard layout - looking for tips and tricks
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 05:57:37 pm »
Could you provide a link to your schematic?

I usually try to copy the schematic 1:1 onto perfboard, that works very well with simple circuits. Personally I prefer perfboard with the individual pads, I don't like the stripey stuff, it's too restricting.
With the individual pads boards you can place components as they are in the schematic and wire everything up with very thin copper wire. I use the individual strands out of a 6mm² stranded wire, they are quite perfect.

Getting good results on perfboard needs some experience, I guess. I've played around with the various layout programs for Veroboard but they all suck. I try to imagine what I want the board to look like in the end and then figure out where best to start. Sometimes you will have to go back a step when you find you made a bad decision while placing components but that's the beauty of it: You can always make changes.

Something that is very important: Never use component leads as connecting wires! That is extremely messy and looks horrible.
I always place components where I want them, solder them in, cut their leads and then wire everything together with the thin copper wire. On long runs tack the wire onto unused pads. The thin wire can even snake between other components much like a PCB trace. You can also jump up to the top layer of your board and go back down some other place.
Components can be placed on both sides of a perfboard, you can even use bigger SMD stuff, like 1206 or 0805 resistors and caps. SMD with more then two pins is a bit tricky but can be done.

Do a search on the forum, somebody posted a link to a good tutorial a while ago.
I'll see if I can put a picture of one of my boards up later, as an example.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Perfboard layout - looking for tips and tricks
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 06:02:03 pm »
I do perf with the component leads but i have to say when you are prototyping unless you are a neat nut it doesn't matter
You can solder the pads and solder both leads together to make it look like one straight line but i truly hate to use fine wire for perfboard it's too messy
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Perfboard layout - looking for tips and tricks
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 06:03:30 pm »
Stripboard magic is a program that I bought many years ago. I expect better ones are available but give it a go and see how it performs. It is now unsupported and seems to be freely available on the internet since the manufacturer abandoned it. You MAY need an older PC to run it, I am not certain.

It certainly worked for me when I used to use Veroboard.

To save you searching you can find it here:

http://www.marlwifi.org.nz/other/stripboard-magic

http://www.whatcircuits.com/software/pcb-cad/stripboard-magic/

http://blog.g4ilo.com/2010/01/stripboard-magic.html

http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/1600/stripboard-veroboard-matrix-board-design-software

Different softwares detailed here:

http://www.printedcircuitsboards.com/software/88/veroboard-stripboard-software.html

Regards

Aurora
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 06:27:33 pm by Aurora »
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Perfboard layout - looking for tips and tricks
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 06:26:26 pm »
One more. Free and promising, yet still a bit buggy:
http://blackboard.serverpool.org/Home.html


All in all "LochMaster" is the best I tried despite of the stupid name. I think it's worth the money if you do a lot of veroboard stuff. Also supports striped and more complex ones and you can automatically show pads with the same potential etc.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline caroper

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Re: Perfboard layout - looking for tips and tricks
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 08:51:47 pm »
I personally don't like perfboard but do make a lot of use of strip Board (Veroboard).


When it comes to software LochMaster is the best of a bad bunch.
It is not intuitive to use, is lacking a lot of obvious features and as far as I can tell is not extensible.

If you persist with it, however,  you will find it a useful tool, not only for Perfboard and Stripboard but for BreadBoarding too.

Breadboards are not offered as a board choice in File->New, but if you use File->Open->Boards you will see a selection of Breadboards. Great for documenting your Prototypes.

Cheers
Chris
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 08:53:57 pm by caroper »
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Perfboard layout - looking for tips and tricks
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 11:30:15 pm »
When it comes to software LochMaster is the best of a bad bunch.
It is not intuitive to use, is lacking a lot of obvious features and as far as I can tell is not extensible.

Well, actually you can edit existing components and also create new components from primitives. You can also edits the board.
Indeed, I actually found LM4 to be quite intuitive and created my first board with it without any issues.
My main issue with it is that it's commercial and uses a proprietary, binary format. Also the component images are somewhat ugly compared to e.g. BlackBoard. Anyway, the only feature I really missed was the import of a netlist and netlist check. Then again, it's not really that important for smaller projects.
So what other obvious features are missing?
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 


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