Introduction: Stripboard PCB Design

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This instructable will show you how to make a diagram for stripped PCB and build it.

With a stripped PCB you can start build your circuit without to wait the shipping of a custom PCB. One of the photos is a raw PCB and on the other photos are the same PCB but with a circuit.

Befor to start choose a circuit you want build. For example I have a circuit of an alarm from another instructable :

Steps of this instructable :

  1. Create PCB diagram
  2. Interrupt the coppper strips
  3. Jumpers
  4. Solder components

Step 1: Create Diagram

This step is the most complicated. To draw the PCB diagram you need the circuit diagram. Draw the PCB diagram with a pencil on a paper with dots, squares, Or print your own PCB paper like I did. I made my PCB paper with google sheets.

  • Draw dots at each place where something will be soldered (jumper, component).
  • Draw circle for external connections, for cables for example.
  • Draw line to interconnect the solder points.
  • Lines that are parallel (vertical in the image) to the copper strips are just for better understanding of the circuit.
  • Lines that are perpandicular (horizontal) are jumpers.
  • All other components are just drawn on the paper like you want. I use rectangles to represent transistors, but all other components are like in a regular diagram.
  • Make a cross to interrupt the copper strip.

Don't forget that the diagram is one side of the PCB the other will be revers. A component at the left will be on the right on the back side. Which side the diagram represent is not important, but I prefer the copper side.

There are many ways to design a same circuit, you can build it in any manner you want. But keep the following constrains in mind :

  • Components take space, you cannot put two big capacitors in pins that are next to each other.
  • Some components can get really hot and needed to be cooled.
  • Some components don't like heat. Don't put an electrolytic capacitor next to a hot MOSFET.
  • You may want to make holes in the PCB for screws, save a bit space for that.
  • Add a copper wire if your circuit need to handle with high current.

You can draw the diagram with colors to better understand them or to make it more "readable", but make sure you can always erase, errors are common.

Step 2: Interrupt the Coppper Strips

To interrupt the copper strips use an object with a sharp edge. I cut a piece of aluminum from an old floppy disk, people often also use a drill bit.

Take the sharp object put it into the hole and turn to remove the copper around it.

Step 3: Jumpers

You can easily make jumpers from any solid wire (wire that is in one piece of copper).

  • Remove the insulation.
  • Bend the wire at his end.
  • Put the bent part of the wire into a hole of the PCB. The hole must be as apart from the edge than the jumper should be long. For example the jumper in the image has a length of 5, therefore I put it into the fourth hole.

  • Cut the wire.
  • Bend the other end.

You can also use a U shaped breadboard jumper, but it's a bit more expensive.

Step 4: Solder Components

Now, the most fun part, soldering !!

But be carefull, an error can easily happen.

Start to solder the smallest components, it's almost always the jumpers. Continu with bigger components like diode and resistors and solder the highest components like transistors and big capacitors at the end. It's easier to follow this order, it can become tricky to solder a jumper if you have a transistor next to him.

Done !!

Connect a battery (everywhere between 3 and 15 volts schould work) and a piezo electric speaker and it will start to beep.

STRIPBOARD PCB 100X160MM Prototyping Boards