Easily solder surface mount components like the tiniest LEDs and SOIC sized ICs. Make your own break out boards.
As more and more DIP ICs are being fazed out, some of them are now only available as surface mount devices. Creating a custom printed circuit board for each one is impractical for the amateur robot builder or electronics experimenter. Pre-etched Breakout boards which adapt a surface mount IC to the standard .1" spacing of breadboards are available. Unfortunately, they often cost more than the IC itself.
In this instructable are some techniques for making your own breakout board using standard copper traced strip board or perfboard. Also included are some techniques for easily mounting other ridiculously small surface mount components.
The first pic shows a breakout board for a SOIC-8 sized surface mount IC.
Step 1: Materials
.015" diameter Kester 44 solder from: http://www.mouser.com/
30 gauge heat strippable magnet wire from Mouser
Heavy duty aluminum foil from WalMart
Loctite mounting putty from WalMart
Soldering iron with 1/32" tip
Brass shavings tip cleaner available from: http://www.jameco.com/
.055" spring wire or music wire to make a surface mount clamp