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Perfboard Hackduino (Arduino-compatible circuit)

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Step 2: IC Socket

First step is to figure out what exactly what you are putting into this circuit.  For this tutorial all we will build, other than the ATMega necessities, is a voltage regulator, so I am leaving space at the top of the board for this.  I also recommend leaving some space towards the bottom for a capacitor.  However, if you know this will include much more than just the ATMega circuit, you should plan this out on your board now, and install the IC socket appropriately.

Most IC's (Integrated Circuits), and consequently their corresponding sockets, have a notch on one end.  In this photo, you'll see the notch is towards the top of the board.  This is extremely important to pay attention to both while building the circuit and when inserting the chip during the last step. 

Go ahead and solder all 28 pins in, making sure the pins are sticking out of the copper side of the board.