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Veroboard cutting and veroboard-layouting

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Rikard Bosnjakovic, Mar 16, 2005.

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  1. Greetings

    As a newcomer to the wonderful world of electronics, I have recently
    setup a minor electronics lab in my home and started to build a few
    things. My tools and equipment exists of standard components (resistors,
    capacitors, ICs, etc), soldering iron, a bunch of veroboards and a
    multimeter. I do not, however, own an oscillator or any of those more
    expensive tools like PCB-etching equipment and such. Atleast not yet.

    As stated above, I'm using veroboards (stripboard and breadboard is a
    synonyme for the same thing, i think) for building my circuits. I also
    own a licence of Electronic Workbench (Multisim and Ultiboard are the
    ones I use most frequently). However, since I do not own any etching
    equipment Ultiboard is of less use for me since it can only do
    PCB-layout/routing. I have contacted the developers to hear if there was
    any possibility to make Ultiboard output to veroboards, but regretfully
    enough UB is designed for PCB only, was the answer.

    1. Is there any layout/routing-application that is able to output
    layouts for veroboards? I have only found two cheap shareware-programs
    on Google. Even if they work, they were terribly tedious to use (limited
    amount of components etc). Is there no commercial or fully developed
    program anywhere? A great plus would be if the program could read the
    format that Multisim saves to, thus allowing me to save time by not
    designing the whole circuit all over.


    2. When constructing on veroboards, I often have the need in cutting the
    boards to smaller shapes and I've found that it's pretty cumbersome
    since I haven't found any good tips of how to do it the right way. For
    new boards, I could take a small saw and shape it up without much
    problems. But for new circuits that I haven't done before, cutting the
    boards could lead to a too small board in the end, requiring me to start
    it all over again.

    Therefore I build new circuits on unmodified boards, so I get the whole
    space to begin with and cut it down later. But here's the problem. When
    I cut (not using a saw), the board usually tends to break up and it
    seems it doesn't want to be cut in straight line. I've tried a long and
    sharp knife, placing it between the lines of copper, and pushed hard.
    But the board still tends to break up in pieces near the end.

    Has anyone got a tip / link for me where I can read about how to cut
    boards without any breaks?


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Yukio YANO

    Yukio YANO Guest

    Next new/used toy ! E-Bay for a used Oscilloscope ~ $25/50 +s/h
    Then breadboard a "555" timer for a signal generator, cost ~ $2.00
    biggest expense ! $1.50 for a 9 Volt batteryUse a Jeweller's Saw ! Looks like a Coping Saw, only a little more refined

    Find under Jewellery Making or Lapidary Supplies
    "Michael's". "Hobby Lobby", "Walmart ? " ~$10.00 + blades

    I have'nt bought a new one in years so Price is only a guess.
    I've used a Dremel tool with 1" Abrasive cut-off wheels, but the
    Jeweller's is much more elegent,

    Yukio YANO
     
  3. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    None that I know of. If you think about it, Veroboard is intended for
    prototyping only in order to verify a circuit design. Of course it
    does have it's use as final board for a one-off design but essentially
    it is used only for prototyping. It would not be viable for any
    software designer to develop a layout package for Veroboard since the
    ultimate goal for any product manufacturer who uses an electronics
    module is to go to a standard pcb layout.
    Yes, the cut-after-fitting-components does make it difficult and is
    only recommended for very small boards maybe up to 50 x 50mm. With
    this approach I always cut with a 32tpi hacksaw blade with the blade
    teeth flat across the copper strips or in between strips as the case
    may be. You have to ensure that the board is held rigidly and this may
    be difficult and also make sure that you use both hands to guide the
    hacksaw frame and use small forward motions to start. When you have
    scored the board to about half thickness it will then snap quite
    cleanly such that a file will tidy up any irregulariies. Of course you
    can cut to a greater depth to make it even neater.
    The best way to construct larger boards is simply by proper planning
    on paper. I draw out the physical shape of the components about 2x
    scale on paper so that they occupy a logical arrangement according to
    the circuit schematic. This can take a good deal of experience based
    upon the characteristics of the individual components you are placing.
    This knowledge only comes with years of experience so I can't give you
    specific instruction in this regard. You can use lined paper so the
    lines simulate the copper traces or you can use linear graph paper on
    a 0.1" grid to draw it up full size. You need to work out where to cut
    traces and where to add wire links to suit your design. Use a soft
    black pencil and remember an eraser is your best friend The more time
    you spend on the paper layout the easier it will be to add the
    components to a piece of board which is pre-cut to its finished size.
     
  4. Ol' Duffer

    Ol' Duffer Guest

    I am not familiar with that package, but have used commercial
    routing programs to do veroboard and thought it was a piece of
    cake. At least compared to pencil, eraser, and graph paper.
    Just snap to a 0.100" grid and remember that the traces on the
    bottom only run one direction. No it won't tell you where to
    make cuts, but is that really so hard to figure out?
    A bandsaw with a fine-tooth blade is a beautiful thing, but
    a hacksaw can serve. With small boards, I sometimes find it
    easier to clamp the saw in a bench vise and drag the board
    across it.

    Or with a little practice, you can score the board and break
    it over a sharp table edge like you would a piece of glass.
    It may help to cut through the foil at the desired break line,
    as it is tougher than the board. The key is to create an
    obvious path of least resistance.

    Cut or score along the holes, as this is the weakest place,
    and any random breaks will tend to occur here anyway. If you
    need to trim down further to that 0.050" between holes, a
    belt sander or bench grinder works well. Or a fine-tooth
    file for inside corners.
     
  5. LochMaster claims to be a developers tool for strip board
    (VERO) projects for designing, documenting and testing a board.
    This is a commercial program.

    LochMaster 3.0
    http://www.abacom-online.de/html/lochmaster.html
     
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