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Are Circuit Boards necessary?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by shax11, Jul 28, 2016.

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  1. shax11


    Jul 28, 2016
    Can I solder the components together? I just started to learn and I dont have a circuit board. Thanks

  2. Mongrel Shark

    Mongrel Shark

    Jun 6, 2012
    Yes. You can do it without a circuit board. There are pro's and cons.

    There are two main methods. The more recommended for people with limited soldering skills is the point to point method. Basicly grab a bit of wood, cardboard or plastic or whatever. Draw your circuit on it with pen/pencil/texta. The put screws/nails at junctions for everything to connect to.

    Or if you like a soldering challenge dead bug circuits can be a lot of fun.
    You can do stuff like this multiplexing stack
    This 555 timer

    Or you can meet in the middle with stuf like this SD card doorbell.

    As you can see dead bug circuits are challenging to solder up and almost impossible to modify without a full rebuild. All the soldering on/off if you are testing or tuning something tends to result in broken pins or overheated chips sooner or later. The worse you are at soldering the faster you will kill parts.

    For work with IC's like arduino etc a breadboard can be a fantastic tool. If you want to use your chip on multiple projects I would advise not soldering to it at all. Get a socket or breadboard. If you can't buy a socket or breadboard then make something similar.
    shax11 and Harald Kapp like this.
  3. Mongrel Shark

    Mongrel Shark

    Jun 6, 2012
    P.S. I have made many learning projects I don't plan on keeping around by just twisting wires onto the component legs or using clip leads. You need to be very careful the wires don’t come loose and short stuff or just make your circuit misbehave due to poor contact. Sticky Tape, Hot Glue and Rubber bands are your friends for these builds. Zip ties can work too.

    Again with transistors and IC's etc. Be careful not to bend the legs around too many times. They snap of easy.
    shax11 likes this.
  4. shax11


    Jul 28, 2016
    Thank you :). Excellent post I appreciate it. I will keep it in mind.
  5. wingnut


    Aug 9, 2012
    You obviously know about breadboards, those plastic slabs about 2" x 5" with little holes in rows for poking component pins into, like the Arduino has. If you are just starting, I would steer clear of soldering. If you are just mucking about with different circuits, why bother to solder? If you want it to last 100 years in a vibrating vehicle, then solder may be required.
    Mongrel Shark likes this.
  6. HippyNerd


    Dec 2, 2015
    The easy way is to use perfboard, or maybe stripboard, they are inexpensive and make things easy.

    You can also build it with no circuit board, and preparing the part before soldering the part is where most of the work is, not the soldering.

    With many processes, the step before the step you are working on makes the biggest difference in the outcome of the step you are currently working on. In other words, If you are soldering parts together, how the parts are prepared are going to effect how well and how easy you can solder them, so if you want to do a good job soldering your parts, you need to start by doing a good job pereparing your parts.

    Besides being stilled, you also may want to use tools and tricks to make difficult jobs easy. You can use dental tweezers and other tools to make preparing parts, and soldering part easier. You can also use things like tape, putty, or glue to hold things temporarily or permanently to make soldering or preparing easier. You can make jigs, or fixtures to prepare and terminate parts with consistently regular shapes. For instance, when building LED cubes, its important that the LEDs are evenly spaced, and the best way to get good results is to build a fixture to solder your LEDs with consistent, even spacing.

    Electronic parts are usually soft metal, like copper or brass, and easily reformed into new shapes, but you can also use hard metals, like steel, if you need more structural strenth.

    Typically, through hole type parts are going to be easier than surface mount.

    For something like you are talking about , you might make it easier, to draw what you want on a piece of paper, tape the parts to that piece of paper as you prepare them, then solder them together, and untape it after its all together.
    Mongrel Shark likes this.
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