Previously we have discussed about breadboard, which is commonly used prototyping board in electronics works. We also talked about perforated boards breadboard layout. There are different types of prototyping circuit boards. Here is an illustrated guide on prototyping circuit board basics for the beginners.
Prototyping Circuit Board Basics
Nomenclature of Perfboard, Veroboard, Stripboard, Perfboard with breadboard layout is often confusing to the new users. Perfboard is a thin, rigid sheet with pre-drilled holes for prototyping in electronic circuits which is also known as DOT PCB. Perfboard’s each dots has no connection with each other. Veroboard is brand name of stripboard, which is a type of perfboard with pre-drilled holes and some interconnections via plates for prototyping in electronic circuits. Breadboard is more sophisticated stripboard but common breadboards can not used for soldering the components. There are other variants like Perf+, Points which make them different from each other :
- Whether can be soldered or not
- Whether the board needs cutting to make custom size
- Whether the board can mount both SMD components and through-hole technology components
As Perfboard is practically alternative to homemade PCB by etching, ordinary perfboards are taken as a standard for prototyping. With perfboard, we need to use different methods like soldering, wire wrapping to create the circuits with the basic electronic components as well as hold them in place.
Perfboard Prototyping Circuit Board Types
Sadly, only perfboard is not exactly an easy matter to mention. Difference is commonly in material which makes difference in cutting to soldering for longer time. There is raw phenolic board which are punched. There are glass-epoxy perfboards, which are drilled and tin coated.
The second type is usually of green color, good but costly. The material of the first type can differ, they are of amber color and copper is usually the material. Commonly all of these perfboards has individual copper pads on each hole so that the solder will better hold things in place. There are perfboard planning sheets and also softwares for planning the design.
There are perfboards with a perforated ground plane providing the shielding and grounding benefits of a ground plane but increases risk of avoid shorts. Some perfboards have nice looking alphanumeric numbering to identify location of each hole like graph papers or engineering computation papers. Those are basically not suitable for general purpose circuit making as generally we tend to cut perfboard and also think a solution for the surface mounted components.There is also flexible perfboards.
There are lot of debates around epoxy perfboards and fibreglass board.
More Helpful Information on Perfboard
Gap between two holes of contact points loosely known as PITCH. In case of perfboards that pitch is usually 0.1 Inch, the gap is same for all prototyping boards – all have 0.1 Inch pitch.
We use 30 gauge wire. If we need to cut, we use tools for cutting through the centre of the holes and then the rough end undergo filing.
PCB fabrication services becoming cheaper, single sided PCB is just cheap, it is actually practical to go for PCB for things like creating an Arduino board from our list of components to build Arduino.
These days it is really difficult to decide boards for testing a circuit. For low volume of work, breadboard probably practical followed by using PCB fabrication service to make permanent. Those who are professionals under training, they need perfboards more now. Actually SMD components changed many things.