Construction for projects?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Neil Groves, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Neil Groves

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    I just layed out the syntom circuit on strip board, then wondered if i should breadboard it first, THEN it dawned on me about making the P.C.B for it, now my head is spinning with all the options of general construction techniques. Also should i buy the case first and then design the board to fit the case, especially if i use a case with pre formed slots for the board?

    I intend at the moment to breadboard my experimental prototyping as it's easier to correct my screwups of which i am sure there will be plenty, then build it on strip board, i like strip board as if i mess up with component connections, it's easier to correct than having to cut P.C.B tracks and adding extra links.

    I suppose it's safe to say that with circuits from magazines (although i am learning they arn't always error free) i could just go straight to strip board, just using the breadboard to actually get my own designs working?

    Neil. :confused::confused:

    what do you people do as a general construction rule?
  2. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    If you have a particular case in mind, then you should either get the case first, or try some experimental layouts with components to see if it will actually fit within the box before you buy it.

    It's up to you. Breadboarding is a pretty good way to figure out if something is going to actually work.

    Try to keep the wires short, and components close together.

    You may very well find that magazine circuits leave something to be desired as well, or even have outright errors in them; sometimes the errors are not the fault of the originator, but the graphics illustrators who re-drew the schematic for publication, or typos in the parts lists. I just found an error a couple of days ago in a manufacturer's datasheet in a schematic for a switching power supply; it would not work at all as drawn.
    K.I.S.S. :)

    If the circuit is low frequency audio, breadboarding is a good approach. If even moderate speed digital, one really needs to go to stripboard, Veroboard, or "dead bug" prototyping even for a test circuit, as breadboards have a great deal of parasitic properties.

    Go over everything several times in your schematic and board development. Have others look at it. The trouble with doing it all yourself is that once you are so familiar with it, you'll overlook problems that will be obvious to others.
  3. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    1. Breadboard
    2. Prototype
    3.a. Put the prototype into service, or
    3.b. lay out PCB (after choosing enclosure and in/out methods.)
  4. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Generally speaking, I don't make a PCB if I am making just one circuit because of the effort it takes. However, if you feel that you can learn by etching your own PCB, then starting off with a simple one-of-a-kind design is a good way to begin.

    Make sure your circuit works before laying out a PCB. Solderless breadboard is the usual way of doing this.

    There are no rules as to whether you make the board first or purchase the case first. As SgtWookie suggests, you should have a layout planned so that you have a rough idea on the size of the case required to hold the project. Then go out and purchase the case that suits the project. With the case in front of you, you can take exact measurements for your board. Some cases make it easy for you by providing mounting holes. Other cases may have slots in the side for sliding in a PCB. Plan ahead how you are going to mount controls on the front panel. Finally, consider labeling. "Dymo" tape looks tacky. The newer label machines provide you with a wide choice of tapes, metallic, white, clear etc.
  5. Neil Groves

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Great advise, thanks guys.I will probably go the modular approach for the syntom as i want to make 4-6 identical circuits and hook them up to practice pads.