Moving from Play Time to Real Time

Thread Starter


Joined Sep 20, 2011
I have been asking and getting tons of help with a project I am workiong on. I have now started receiving components in the mail and I just quickly realized the flexibility/safety of using my solderless protoboard is about to end. I plan to use standard perfboard to make my circuits that I will use in my project. I know I will have many more questions, but in addition to any basic suggestions, I have a few specific to my project.

My project will involve using a quad 339 setup with 4 separate LDR's. When any of the LDR's go "dark", I will have a 3 digit counter setup (7 seg LED's) to count the number of times this happens. I know I talking in generalities, but I have a few open threads where specific help has been/is being given.

My questions involve the best way to separate the different components. My initial thinking is to keep all of the circuit(s) together with the only components being (wired) farther away being the 4 LDR's and the 3 digit, 7 seg LED display.

I apologize if my questions are too vague for you to offer an educated suggestion. I will try to sketch my "big picture" plan to help clear things up. I have to step out for awhile, but I will make sure to clarify as soon as possible.
Last edited:


Joined Nov 12, 2008
I think you're asking whether you should separate certain components from the board?

It depends. Often circuits need to go to one place and the peripherals (displays, sensors, etc.) need to go to another. Sometimes you can put the circuit and a display on the same board if you have room in whatever you're mounting it to. Sensors are often used or need to be placed in an area that the board can't go, so they're generally away from the board, but not always.

If you can put everything on the board and it suits your needs, there is no reason against doing so. If you're going to end up placing it in an enclosure or may need to put the display or sensors somewhere else from the board, you may want to go ahead and plan to have them off the main board. You can solder wire directly from the board to your peripherals, but I'd recommend using some connectors so you can separate the peripherals from the board and make repairs or improvements easier should you need to in the future.

There are several connectors available for doing this. The simplest I've found is using male and female headers. You can purchase these with and without polarization (keeps you or someone else from connecting them in the wrong direction). Futurelec sells quite a few and pretty cheaply at that.

You can use the female non-polarized headers on the board and put the male headers on the wire going to your peripherals with heat shrink. When you use connectors, you should use female connections for anything providing power and male for anything requiring power. This helps reduce the chances of shorting live power or having someone come in contact with live power. This is generally limited to user made connectors such as power cords for AC outlets, not so much boards as most users won't be handling the board, but rather a qualified technician who knows what not to do. That said, you're also okay using the polarized male headers on you board too, but you'll need to buy female headers, female pins, and a crimping tool.