# Beginner Circuit Help

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by alcapwns, Dec 15, 2014.

1. ### alcapwns

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Dec 15, 2014
I have always been interested in designing and making circuits, so I decided that I should start learning the very basics. This project I tried to make was in order to learn about parallel and series circuits.

I didn't want to spend a lot to build my first project so I thought I would look at using a stripboard to do my soldering.

I found a program online that was able to do nice and simple stripboard layout and after I finished the preliminary design, I realized that the way I laid out my circuit is completely wrong for a strip board

The circuit is just supposed to light up the leds that will spell " C A R L"

So my question is if whether this would actually work (after I input correct resistor values and led values) because I was wondering that since the tracks are horizontal, it might cause problems with the way the resistors and leds are placed.

Any extra input on what I may have done wrong would be awesome so I can learn from my mistakes!

(Green lines are jumper wires)

(Yellow lines are there just for a visual aid for myself)

2. ### Bluejets

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Oct 5, 2014
Would be better to run the traces vertical and cut between components.
Either that or use as you have now but use 2 sets of holes per LED array and cut all tracks vertically between them.
As an example you need 2 holes per junction, not one as you show.

If you plan to run all those LEDs from a small 216 9v battery, it will not last for very long.

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3. ### Gryd3

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Jun 25, 2014
Here's what you need to do...
Grab an exacto-blade or something else you can cut with.. and cut the horizontal traces to isolate your components from each other. Cut in the shape of a 'v'.

Otherwise... all the parts on the same row will short to each other.

So, cut along column C, E, anywhere along G-J, L, etc... you only need to cut the horizontal traces if you have a component soldered to it.

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4. ### alcapwns

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Dec 15, 2014
Cool thanks, that makes sense

Yea I saw that I could use perfboard but I didn't really understand how to use it.

I'm guessing that because cutting the traces would work, that for a perf board, I would just keep the same layout, but instead just make mechanical connections between everything?

5. ### alcapwns

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Dec 15, 2014

Cool, this thread is making me understand where I went wrong.

What is not very long? I am just looking to be able to turn it on and see if it works but at the same time have like a physical version of my first project, that is why I don't really want to use a breadboard

6. ### hevans1944Hop - AC8NS

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Jun 21, 2012
Several of the horizontal traces short out parts of your circuit. For example the anodes of D5 and D7 are shorted out by the jumper at the cathode of D12. The anodes of D26 and D27 are shorted out by the jumper at the cathode of D20. Just take a sharp knife and cut the offending traces if you already have this soldered up.

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7. ### Gryd3

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Jun 25, 2014
Exactly.. you make all the connections on the underside of the board with wire, or solder. Of course, using BlueJets suggestion of rotating the board so all the lines are vertical instead will require less 'cuts' and will only require the cuts directly underneath the components you add to prevent the + and - side of the LED from touching for example.
If in doubt, draw something and we can take a look!
Let's do a little math...
There are 12 columns of LEDs. (Each column has it's own resistor. Good job.)
Each column will most likely draw 20mA, so that's 240mA.
That's one quarter of an Amp!
The technical details for a 9V battery here :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-volt_battery#Technical_specifications
State an average capacity of 565mAh, so assuming a perfect world, those lights will stay lit for 2 hours... (565mAh / 240mA = 2.35h)

This is not perfect though... because that is a lot of current for a 9V battery to put out, it will cause it to heat up and loose more energy within itself. So the lights will not last as long as posted above... I don't have the current know-how to accurately detect the run time any closer than less than 2 hours though.

8. ### alcapwns

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Dec 15, 2014
Thanks! I uploaded a fixed version, but I just removed the stripboard template and replaced it with a perfboard template so it might not look the greatest

Also those equations seem pretty helpful, I probably should right those down!

How would I avoid this problem, should I get like a power plug and attach it to the circuit using like a wall wort? (not sure if I used the right words there, I have really no experience in electronics, I have just seen a couple youtube videos)

I feel bad for bombarding everybody with questions, but does anyone know any good resources that will help me start to learn about electronics a bit better? Just so I can get a decent foundation in order to minimize mistakes

9. ### Gryd3

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Jun 25, 2014
Hey now. Don't fret. Usually the first question or road block we fight with is that people require a resistor to power an LED from a battery... or that you don't directly connect LEDs in parallel.
You didn't run into that

As far as power is concerned... that would depend on you, and how long you want to light it.
A wall-wort is typically the older heavier bigger adaptors... and you may need to be careful picking one up. Make sure it's 9V (or whatever voltage the circuit was designed for)
You can almost always buy or use an adaptor that provides more mA than you need. The exception here is when using cheaper wall-worts... as they are not regulated, and the output voltage will vary potentially damaging your circuit. If you have a multi-meter, it's a good idea to test it. In general though, most AC-DC adaptors are now regulated, and will put out the same or very close to the same voltage regardless of current draw so you need not worry.
If you still want it battery powered... you could use more than one 9V battery in parallel, or you could get 6 AA batteries.

10. ### Bluejets

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Oct 5, 2014
Don't know if you realise it or not, bt you are still trying to join two devices in one hole.

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11. ### Gryd3

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Jun 25, 2014
Haha, nope. Good eye.
Didn't catch that.
The drawing certainly shows that in both versions.

The the Op... the LED and Resistor cannot share the same hole... so when using perfboard, the legs that are supposed to connect will get their own hole and will be joined underneath by bridging the gap with solder, or by using wire if the holes the legs have been placed in are too far apart.

12. ### alcapwns

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Dec 15, 2014
Yea sorry I know that, I have done basic soldering before hahaha

I just did that because I'm kinda odd and it looked unfinished with everything separated..probably a habit that I shouldn't continue..

13. ### alcapwns

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Dec 15, 2014
Got to start somewhere!

But okay sounds good, I think I'll just stick with batteries because the goal is just to make a circuit that will work