2 March 2010

How to build a circuit on Veroboard

There are a few ways to build an electronic circuit, one of the easiest is to use Veroboard.
Veroboard or stripboard is a prototyping board for laying out circuits. It has rows of parallel copper strips with holes spaced at 0.1” to accept most through-hole components.

In this post, I'll try to explain how to build a simple circuit on Veroboard.

To get started building simple circuits you need to know what the symbols mean, this site has a good explanation of most components.

Next, you have to gather the all components you need. I'll be making my low-battery indicator, but the steps are the same for any circuit you build.
  I'll need, 6 resistors, 5 transistors, 2 leds and a potentiometer along with some wire.
The next step is to work out your stripboard layout. You need to think carefully about where to place each component and where you may need to cut tracks or add wire links to complete the circuit. You have to take into account the size of each part and where the leads are.
There is software to do this "automatically", but I find for small circuits it's not really worth the effort in setting up and it always requires manual tweaking anyway. Here is what I came up with for the above diagram:
 
The plus and minus symbols are where the battery is connected, the blue lines are wires, the brown squares are where the track underneath is cut and the part on the left is the potentiometer used to set the voltage the low-battery led comes on at.
It's important to note the order of the pins on your transistor because they may not be the same as on my diagram, eg. from left-to-right; 2N4401 is E-B-C, and BC547 is C-B-E.

  • Now to start building the circuit. When using stripboard you should begin by cutting the tracks, this can be done with a dremel or by carefully twisting a screwdriver or drill-bit inside the holes until the copper track is broken. It's a good idea to clean the board after this step to remove any residual copper.
For the low-battery circuit, make the cuts according to this picture.
Bend some wire to make jumpers
  • To make it easier to solder, start with the flattest components first working your way up to the tallest. I start by making the wire jumpers. I keep the offcuts of components legs for this purpose and bend them into shape with needle-nosed pliers. Alternatively you can use any type of wire for this.
With the copper side down, place the jumpers according to this picture.
When soldering it will sometimes help to use a crocodile clip to keep the part in place:
When you've done all the jumpers, move on to the resistors:
After that you can solder the rest of the taller components
And there you have it, one finished low-battery indicator circuit. To make other simple circuits on strip/veroboard the steps are just the same, design the layout, gather the parts, prepare the board and solder the components in order of height. Easy.

3 comments:

  1. Hi there Mike - we are Vero in the UK and the makers of Veroboard - great blog let us know if we can help with projects etc. regards
    paul - email sales@verotech.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you break the strip in the wrong place how can this be repaired?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Make a bridge using solder or wire

    ReplyDelete