Layout software for breadboards/perfboard

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,060
We recently covered this in another thread that I can't find. Other than Fritzing, is there a good layout software program for placing devices on breadboard/stripboard/perfboard? I usually just look at the schematic and start plugging in parts but would like to "optimize" the layout. Especially when converting to a through-hole permanent board that is NOT a custom-built PCB.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
18,864
There is a few out there for Vero/strip board design/layout, I can look up the names if you cannot find them.
Max.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,697
I just use Eagle. Set up a template in your board program, then place and route as usual. I distinguish pre-existing tracks (e.g., the perfboard or protoboard) from wires I add by color/side (blue for one, red for the other). Of course, you can use any color you want, but if you want the advantages of schematic capture, you need to use a signal layer.

Schematic capture is very important to me and more than makes up for the lack of pizzazz that method lacks.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
683
I gave up on layout programs years ago, I use CorelDraw to do my layouts.

I have all of the boards I use scanned and converted to vectors, along with a file containing all of my commonly used components. (Schematic and true to life.)

I set my nudge to .1 along with a rotate object macro to move the components around.

The result is something like below, and then I actually build the board using the drawing.

I also use CorelDraw to draw schematics, but I rarely if ever draw complete schematics, just the sub circuits I don’t have memorized, and design mostly from block diagrams, but LTSpice also comes in handy. :)

Usually some connections are omitted for clarity. (example the inputs to the 2003 driver chip)

AAC_Example.JPG
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,060
@bertus Unfortunately those links are quite dated/broken/no longer available or will not run on Win10 but were good background info.

@jpanhalt Eagle looks promising but quite a learning curve there. Am I correct that it will import a LTS .asc file and convert it to a board design automatically?

@ElectricSpidey I do use LTS but Corel Draw? Reminds me of a guy I knew who used Lotus 123 as a word processor. Interesting and apparently works for you and the output you are getting is very good from what I saw.

@Alec_t I downloaded pebble, as it looks interesting, but the install on it is quite convoluted and haven't taken the time to unravel all of its convolutions. Maybe later.

@MaxHeadRoom Yeah, what do you have that hasn't been covered so far.

Thanks for your input guys! I looked them all over and Eagle seems the most promising for now but not sure that I am ready to invest the time and effort to learn it at this time. Honestly was hoping for an intuitive quick and easy solution. Pebbles still looks interesting if I can get it installed correctly. I did go back a look at Fritzing again and it still stays in the NO column. Thanks again and any further comments appreciated.

Sam
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,060
No, but when I tried installing it my Norton Virus protection stopped it throwing up red flags. I was at least going to take a look at it or I tried to.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,697
@SamR
I have an older version of Eagle (7.2 and 7.7). I have been using it since v. 3.x. Over the years, it has added a number of links, including BOM links to Newark and LTSpice. I never tried any of them. In fact, I never use its autorouting for actual routing either. On rare occasion when parts placement is not obvious, I have used the autorouter to help with that. After fixing the placement, which may mean swapping some port pins, I rip-up the entire thing and manually route.

Once you learn any software, it seems simple, and Eagle is no exception. I find it very versatile and use it for all sort of non-electronic stuff. Here is one example in which I drew the "schematic" for my hot water heating system using the .brd program :

upload_2019-10-12_11-32-55.png

Sorry I can't give any user report on the LTSpice interface.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,060
Not really interested in BOM. I have built up quite a bit of "Standard" parts when I need something I don't have, since it is just for my own edification, I can be patient waiting on the rowboat from China. Really liked it while Arrow had Free Next Day Shipping, but... Hate paying shipping costs for onesies and twosies. Years ago when I had to space something out and find the best fit for a known area, I would just make sized blocks in CAD for the footprint of the pieces of equipment and fit to the available space and I guess I am wanting something like that to go from freehanded breadboard to optimized perfboard or stripboard. Anyway thanks for the input guys!

Sam
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,697
I would just make sized blocks in CAD for the footprint of the pieces of equipment and fit to the available space and I guess I am wanting something like that to go from freehanded breadboard to optimized perfboard or stripboard. Anyway thanks for the input guys! Sam
That's exactly what I do, except the blocks and footprints are generated automatically from the schematic.
Here's a portion of the original schematic:

upload_2019-10-12_12-36-18.png

Here's the "as built" board (the solderable breadboard was laid out in standard solderless breadboard format:
upload_2019-10-12_12-34-16.png
The nice part of using a real ecad with schematic is that as modifications were made, they were easily incorporated into the layout. Here's the final version after 3 modifications:

upload_2019-10-12_12-40-2.png

I think any electronic CAD program can do that. Not so sure about those that are focused only on protoboards. In these versions, horizontal lines are hoodup wire, vertical connections, with obvious exceptions, are the pre-existing tracks. Implied connections (vertical) are not all shown on the last modification for clarity nor do airwires show up in the images. I used the diagram to help determine the sequence of soldering for the closely packed horizontal wires. Horizontal dashed lines delineate existing protobard connections. Blue is common/negative; red is Vcc; black are the ends of the 5-hole, existing protoboard connections. A short, black dash indicates a cut in the protoboard track, for example the cuts in tracts connected to pins 1-4 of IC1.
 

RIKRIK

Joined Oct 11, 2019
9
If been using pcb wizard by wave concepts, not too expensive, got my copy for free , from a friend of a friend, plus it was the software I was trained on about 15years ago , it cant do bread board,but you can lay your design out on it, but we use to print out our boards designs for etching, it also has a circuit self routing and exports it too Gerber . It's also simple to use
 

sagor

Joined Mar 10, 2019
102
Strange Sam, I ran that veroroute.exe (64 bit) against 69 anti-virus checkers (firms or products) via VirusTotal.com, and none detected anything"wrong" with the file:
https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/92e45fe2ac02811705250c4667ec8a11153cd3b1dec1083751e2f64e7e4891ce/detection.

I always use something like Virustotal.com to check questionable files, and to see if there are any false positives. This is indicated by only one or two AV products detecting anything, but all the rest say it is clean.

That all said however, still use common sense....
 
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