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Building on Veroboard

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Toby, Jun 27, 2011.

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  1. Toby

    Toby

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Does anybody have any tips for building circuits on Veroboard?

    I've been using LochMaster to try and design my circuit. I've selected my veroboard and then sized it accordingly using the software.

    All my components physically fit onto the board but when I come to arranging them so everything is connected correctly I run out of room. I suspect it is something I'm doing wrong though I can't see what can go wrong, its just a case of using the strips and interconnecting them with jumpers but maybe there are a few techniques I'm not aware of.

    I could of course simply use a bigger board but I rather not if I can help it as its final installation - within an enclosure - is limited in space.

    EDIT: Yes I'm aware I've missed an L in the title but I can't edit it now :D
     
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    hi there Toby,

    Welcome to the forums

    that statement seems a contradiction. If they fit onto the board, then how can you be running out of room ?
    fit onto the board in the software ? but not onto the physical board ?
    If so maybe you are not taking into account the physical size of the components when doing the layout in Lochmaster?

    a little clarification mite help us to help you :)

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  3. Toby

    Toby

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Apologies.

    Everything physically fits on the board if it is placed anywhere. The problem comes when I move components to make use of the strips and wire links to make sure everything is connected properly.

    I'm laying it out roughly per my schematic but maybe this is the wrong way?

    Hope that explains it a bit better.

    PS. Thanks to the person who edited my spelling mistake out of the title :D
     
  4. poor mystic

    poor mystic

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    Apr 8, 2011
    Hi Toby :)
    Everything you've said suggests to me that you really do need a bigger veroboard - if you stay with veroboard. Have you considered making up a proper pcb for the project?

    Maybe it would help if we could see a circuit diagram and a high quality photograph of the problem.

    I wonder what software you're using, too. Please tell us!
     
  5. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    ok mate,
    yeah well schematics are usually drawn for ease of understanding the circuit. They often bear little resemblance to actual component layout

    But that lochmaster system seems an interesting way to sort out the layout issues.
    I wasnt aware of that software prior to have a look at it after your original post

    cheers
    Dave
     
  6. Toby

    Toby

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Hmmm, that is not good. It starts to get bit too large for where it needs to go. I've decided against PCB purely on cost grounds. I don't have the gear and buying it would be just as expensive as getting someone to do it. I was hoping veroboard would suffice. Also, routing a PCB is a bit beyond me.

    I'm using LochMaster to lay out the veroboard so can't really take a picture :D. I roughly stuck with laying it out per the schematic for ease (or so I thought!)

    I'm going to redraw the schematic as the ones saved on this machine are messy and I need to decide if to isolate opposite relays I wire them through the back of the other one or use a 1N4148 and a resistor on the timers to lock out the opposite one, maybe both?
     
  7. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Other than for really simplistic stuff, I find veroboard to be harder to design for than a PCB. I am never satisfied wit the outcome. It always seems bigger than it needs to be. And I guess that's your problem too.

    Screen capture maybe?

    I just had a quick look at Lochmaster. It seems to be a reasonable tool :)
     
  8. poor mystic

    poor mystic

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    Apr 8, 2011
    There's another kind of board you could use which your Lochmaster might handle and which is a good deal more economical in the matter of board space.
    What's it called... a set of 10th-inch spaced holes with a solder pad on each hole?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  9. TBennettcc

    TBennettcc

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    Dec 4, 2010
    PerfBoard

    Available both with and without copper plating around each hole.
     
  10. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    Jan 15, 2010
    As davenn pointed-out, your schematic isn't going to look like your actual component layout. You need to think about the circuit, and place your components for the best
    wiring configuration for each component.
    Don't know if you're interested, but have you ever considered 'wire-wrap', to connect
    your components. That's what I use on vero or 'perf' boards.
     
  11. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    The problem with wire wrap and matrix board is the creation of what is (no so) affectionately called a "rat's nest".

    And while a rat's nest may work, it's really hard to debug. Veroboard is much easier in that respect.
     
  12. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    Jan 15, 2010
    What matrix board?
    And it's considerably easier to change wire locations with wire wrap when/if you need
    to modify your circuit.
    I'm assuming if you're building on a vero perf board, you're building an experimental
    test circuit, before you settle on something you actually WANT to make a permanent
    installation. But maybe I'm reading something into this post that isn't here.
    Anyway, to each chef his own homebrew. Just a suggestion for the poster.
     
  13. Toby

    Toby

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I'm using veroboard for cost mainly. The other reason was for simplicity but that seems to have gone out the window :D.

    It is a one off design and although a PCB would be better, I think it would be far too expensive to make or have made. Also, I believe for home made PCBs a laser printer is a must, I don't have one and the only printer available is an ink jet. I could take the file to a printing shop but again. that incurs more cost.
     
  14. duke37

    duke37

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    Jan 9, 2011
    I have used the "dead bug" technique. Use some unetched printed circuit board or some tin plate and glue the integrated circuits onto it with their legs uppermost and connect other components in fresh air. If you need the odd land you can glue down a small square of printed circuit.
    This is a good method for radio frequency circuits since an earth connection is always close at hand.
    Small circuits can be made inside a sardine tin and a lid can be soldered on to give rf screening.
     
  15. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    All these alternate forms of construction are good, but the benefit (for Toby at least) of using veroboard is that he can use a package to help design the layout.

    If he has a problem he can show us the circuit, the designed layout, and his work and it will be fairly easy to play "spot the difference" to see what has gone wrong.

    Matrix board (just perforated board without copper) and wire wrap or some other form of rat's nest construction can be somewhat tricky for a third party to verify, especially if you are doing it from photos.

    The dead bug layout specified above can be made to match the schematic layout quite closely (as long as the various component packages cooperate). OK, it's not quite dead bug unless there are IC's mounted upside-down, but it's kinda the same thing. Verification is probably not that hard either, but you may lack the step between schematic and circuit (i.e. a plan) which can have it's effects on neatness.
     
  16. Toby

    Toby

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Sorry it has taken so long but here are some images.

    The first is my schematic, messy I know but it was knocked up fairly quickly in the time I had available.

    Secondly a screenshot of Lochmaster. The components have all be placed onto the board in random postions, it all fits. The problem is getting everything connected. The board size you see is the area I have to play with.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. poor mystic

    poor mystic

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    Apr 8, 2011
    You didn't post a piccy of the bottom side. Is it such a nightmare to look at?
     
  18. Toby

    Toby

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    Jun 15, 2011
    As I say, those components are just placed randomly to show what needs to fit, and the size of the board they need to fit on. Nothing is connected. Everytime I tried and ran out of room I just binned it.
     
  19. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    1,068
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    Apr 8, 2011
    Ahh. Sad.
    Well looking at the images you posted I can see you have a real eye for neatness and that makes me sure you'll find the right solution in the end. I suppose there's no hope of stacking 2 bits of veroboard in the box?
     
  20. Toby

    Toby

    19
    0
    Jun 15, 2011
    Unfortunately not as the relays take up most of the height.

    One thing that that has just popped into my head after reading your previous post again is were you expecting to see the jumper wires on the solder side? When connecting I've been placing them on the component side which is where I thought they should be.

    Yes I do like to try to keep it neat, doesn't always work though! :D
     
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