Familiarize Electronic Components Part XX- Prototype boards

Prototyping is the method of construction of a working model of circuit before making the actual etched PCB. By analyzing the working of Prototype, the reliability of the circuit can be confirmed. If there is any defect in a part of the circuit or in a component, that can be rectified before making the actual PCB. For prototyping, the common methods used are Bread board assembly, Perf board assembly and Strip board assembly. This part explains the use of Prototyping boards and the easy method of Perf board construction.

Bread Board
Breadboard is used for temporary construction of circuit before making a PCB prototype. Breadboard connections are held by friction, and the breadboard can be reused many times. However, a breadboard is not very suitable for prototyping that needs to remain in a set configuration for an appreciable period of time. Mechanical vibrations or loose contacts may cause failure of circuit’s function. Bread board construction is a solder less construction and Hook up wires are used to connect the components.One drawback of bread board is that, when RF circuits are constructed, the performance may be erratic since the hook up wires and the extra leads of components may induce capacitance and other forms of disturbances in the circuit. An RF circuit will work perfectly only if the components and closely arranged with minimum lead length to avoid unnecessary oscillations.

Perf Board
Most experimenters are familiar with “Perf board” which is a pre-drilled circuit board for creating prototypes of simple circuits. It’s not too expensive and for more easier to get started with than etching PCB’s. The components are mounted by inserting the leads through the most appropriate holes then are wired on the back side, usually by bending the leads over to the desired connection point. Perf board is also know as Common PCB. It may be with lines of separate holes so that the components can be aligned as per requirements and connections can be made using wires or the trimmed leads of resistors, Diodes, LED etc.

Strip board
It is another widely-used type of electronics prototyping board characterized by a 0.1 inch regular grid of holes, with wide parallel strips of copper cladding running in one direction all the way across one side of the board. It is commonly called as Vero board and the name Veroboard is the trademark, of Vero Technologies Ltd, UK who invented this kind of board.

In using the board, breaks are made in the tracks, usually around holes, to divide the strips into multiple electrical nodes. The 0.1 inch (2.54 mm) spacing allows sockets for ICs. The components are usually placed on the plain side of the board, with their leads protruding through the holes. The leads are then soldered to the copper tracks on the other side of the board to make the desired connections, and any excess wire is cut off. The continuous tracks may be easily and neatly cut as desired to form breaks between conductors using a 5 mm twist drill, a hand cutter made for the purpose, or a knife. Tracks may be linked up on either side of the board using either insulated or uninsulated lengths of wire.

How to construct a circuit on a Dot type Perf board?

The following pictures will give you the answer.