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PCB layout / Simple question

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Nate, Apr 2, 2004.

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  1. Nate

    Nate Guest

    Can someone supply or refer me to information regarding the layout and
    maybe some use guidelines of general-purpose component pc boards, such as
    those available from Radio Shack? Basically, I am quite new to hardware
    design and I would like to know the basics of how to use a generic component
  2. Nate

    Nate Guest

    I understand that the rows are actually tracks but my pc board (strip
    board?) has white grid lines drawn on it. What significance do these have? I
    realize this is very very obvious to most, but the question is so simple
    that i'm having trouble finding the answer.
  3. Allen

    Allen Guest

    Why not use the stripboard as a start?

  4. Nate

    Nate Guest

    Thanks for replying. I found a strip board at radio shack but i made
    the mistake of buying one with grids on it; I was wondering what the heck
    these grid lines meant. Basically a 3x5 array of white paint ensquared hole
    groupings. It is supposed to be obvious for me to know what is connected to
    what, but i dont think this uses tracks across the whole board like normal
    stripboards. it looks like this...

    | | | |
    o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
    | | | |
    o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
    | | | |
    o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
    | | | |
    | |

    and so on

    any help for my idiotic self would be greatly appreciated.
  5. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    You might want to refer to my page at
    for in-depth tips on basic hand-drawn PCB

    Hope it helps!

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  6. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    If it's just paint and not copper traces then they are just there to
    make it easier to lay things out in nice, straight lines.

    The copper donuts on the solder-side are there to help "tack" components
    to the board. Wiring is all point-to-point.

    However, if you're just experimenting (and don't intend to keep the
    result permanently) then a "solderless breadboard" may be the way to go.
  7. Nate

    Nate Guest

    Thankyou, that is helpful. They are just paint. Just one more question
    (and i HAVE tried to find information before asking here, this stuff is just
    so basic...:) on the component side, the white paint also encircles the top
    left most hole and the bottom right most hole, as well as a hole offset two
    to the left of the bottom right most hole. What does that mean? Are they
    just telling me a specific spot to put my ground and power source?

  8. If a board has been designed for a specific design, the white lines on the
    component side use to show the outlines of the components. On a general
    purpose experimenters board the lines use to tell something about the
    insulation between the coperclads on the copper side. Most of the times I
    saw the holes within a white outline connected together. Sometimes however
    it's only a design feature for component placing.

  9. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    AFAIK, those would just be for orientation. It's possible that RS has or
    had some project kits that used a particular layout. Unless there are
    heavier traces or interconnects on the solder side, though, you can just
    treat the extra paint circles as decorations.
  10. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    It certainly is! :)

    They're there for reference, is all.

    As far as actually using one, well, there are several different types,
    and they all have their uses. I guess I'd pick the one that's most
    amenable to whatever I'm trying to build. Like, if I have a little
    circuit with about a dozen DIP IC's, I'll get a board that has
    DIP layouts with maybe a little short trace per pin, maybe 4-5 holes.
    For stuff with more discretes, I use pad-per-hole and wire point-to-
    point. I've done this with microprocessor stuff to, but it's too
    much of a PITA to want to do it on a hobbyist level, at least as
    my age. :)

    I also like the ones that have a ground plane on the component side.
    That can be handier than a rat!

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