Cheap FR4 proto boards

Thread Starter

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
251
I got some cheap FR4 proto boards off eBay recently. I'm disappointed that the silkscreen isn't mirrored from one side to the other. That is, A1 on side 1 isn't the same as A1 on the other.

Has anyone bought these cheap proto boards where the silkscreen was done correctly? If so, where?
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,384
The ones I use – see this thread – look like the ones in your link but are symmetrical. Guess I got lucky. Can you show a picture of the problem you're having? The linked ones appear to be symmetrical.
 

Thread Starter

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
251
The ones I use – see this thread – look like the ones in your link but are symmetrical. Guess I got lucky. Can you show a picture of the problem you're having? The linked ones appear to be symmetrical.
But they're not symmetrical. Hole A1 refers to the bottom left corner on side 1. Flip it over and you get the bottom left corner on side 2. Those are not the same hole; they're opposite ends of the board.

If you insert a component into A1 you should be able to flip the board over and see the lead coming out of A1...that's not the case with these boards.

Silkscreen should be "A B C D ..." on one side.
And "Z Y X W ..." on the other side.
 
Last edited:

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,040
I've been using these boards for years now, in many many sizes.

Funny, I never noticed the ref letters don't mirror. But I mostly go by my assembly sketch anyway. And I've never used the "connector pins" along the short edges.

Done in something like autocad it's easy to get them to mirror front to back.
 

Thread Starter

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
251
I like to use the reference coordinates so that I don't solder to the wrong place...which we've all done. I prefer to have notes when assembling: "transistor BCE at J1,2,3".
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,384
Ah, now I understand your problem. Yes, my boards also have two identically labeled sides.

I do my connections by checking against a drawing, so it's not a problem for me. With the drawing software, it's easy to flip the component-side image, hide the components layer (leaving the interconnects layer showing), and put the flipped image over another copy of the board template. Then I do my back-side solder tracks without ever paying much attention to the component side of the board. Of course I double-check that component leads being soldered on the back make sense against the drawing.
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
But they're not symmetrical. Hole A1 refers to the bottom left corner on side 1. Flip it over and you get the bottom left corner on side 2. Those are not the same hole; they're opposite ends of the board.

If you insert a component into A1 you should be able to flip the board over and see the lead coming out of A1...that's not the case with these boards.

Silkscreen should be "A B C D ..." on one side.
And "Z Y X W ..." on the other side.
Once you flip it over - the bottom LH corner has moved to the top.
 
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