DIY prototyping board

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efinque

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Jan 3, 2018
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306
Sup GDIY,

upon purchasing an Arduino Starter kit I also acquired a solderless breadboard. The MCU now uploaded with code and inside a case I put the breadboard into use (I've been using it for other various projects too w/o the Uno board like filter design etc, iirc the previous platform which came with the kit was brown plastic and had a 9V battery holder but first I cut in half and eventually threw it away because I no longer needed it for the Arduino)

IMG-20210403-121728.jpg


First I cut a sheet of 8mm thick MDF about 210x245mm as the base, then using screws, hot glue and double-sided tape I attached the goodies; a 2,1mm power jack, a 3xAAA battery holder and a +/- screw terminal wired in parallel which are used to supply power to the breadboard. It stands on rubber feet.

The breadboard is 400-point (a to j, 1 to 30) with power bus strips, as I was inspecting it after cleaning it with alcohol, oil and steel wool/sand paper I noticed the other +/- rail shorts and one pin in the breadboard is damaged (not a big deal really as I marked them down)

Then it has a GPIO (=General purpose input/output) consisting of 4 screw terminals and 4 crimp terminal blocks as well as an additional 2-pin screw terminal (10 in total) for interfacing with external modules, input sources, output devices etc because doing so via jumper wires from the breadboard is kind of flimsy and hazardous.

I also drew an 8-column 3-row array as a reminder to keep track of the component wiring. It also has a schematic/block diagram including the board layout.

Is there anything else one would add to it? Power on/off button/LED perhaps, audio jack, more I/O, and/or a fuse holder comes into mind but anything else?

-ef
 

cyrano

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Sep 6, 2010
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1,132
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Europe
I like to have a small speaker.

I "listen" to PSUs, for instance. So my test speaker has a DC-isolating cap on a third connector. Strong hum = replace caps before measuring. Weak/no hum = measure voltage.
 

rp

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Feb 23, 2014
Messages
44
Location
Baltimore, MD
Looks good! I like the terminal blocks.

Cyrano's small speaker idea is a very good one.

I'm in the process of making a more robust proto board too. The features I'm going to add are: power switch and LEDS, mechanically secure jacks, brackets for mounting pots and switches, and metering - either a little vu or just a clip indicator.

Right now, I wire little legs onto potentiometers so they can live on another breadboard that sits on the side, and that works pretty well.
 

efinque

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Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
306
cyrano said:
I like to have a small speaker.

I "listen" to PSUs, for instance. So my test speaker has a DC-isolating cap on a third connector. Strong hum = replace caps before measuring. Weak/no hum = measure voltage.

I was thinking of this speaker/buzzer thing the other day but I'd expect it to burn quite often so it'd need a socket of some sort so it can be easily replaced (I have a breadboard-compatible piezo transduce too)

The audio jack is kind of the connectivity needed there, often I use spare RCA/3,5mm breakout wiring from old cables etc (I usually put audio through from a smartphone into headphones)

rp said:
I'm in the process of making a more robust proto board too. The features I'm going to add are: power switch and LEDS, mechanically secure jacks, brackets for mounting pots and switches, and metering - either a little vu or just a clip indicator.

Right now, I wire little legs onto potentiometers so they can live on another breadboard that sits on the side, and that works pretty well.

I was trying to ape those engineering pads (the blue ones with millimeter scales and grids etc) but they're usually much larger.

A built-in multimeter or an oscilloscope would be nice too, or an adjustable DC power supply (I have a spare transformer somewhere) but the linear PSU vs. SMPS is a tough question, not to mention it adds weight.

Other stuff I was thinking is a soldering station (or SMD/hot air) with a magnifying glass and those clip holders for components (or a PCB holder) to form a working area and to protect the desk.
 

rp

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Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
44
Location
Baltimore, MD
I finally got my proto board setup built! I figured I'd add on to this thread rather than start another.

RPproto1.JPG
It's built in a hammond aluminum box. The breadboard sits unattached on top, so you can swap projects on different breadboards in and out. There are two built-in panel meters and four trs jacks, which are accessible via little mil-max headers mounted on strip-boards.

RPproto2.JPG
Internally, there's a meanwell +-15v smps, which comes out on screw terminals. There's also a dc barrel jack that attaches to two terminals, and two "unassigned" terminals. There are two LEDs to indicate the 15v power rails. One nice thing about the meanwell psu is that it hiccups when you have a short somewhere, so the power LEDs flash. I still need to add a power switch - right now it just turns on when you plug it in.

RPproto3.JPG
Here's the inside. I mounted an empty proto board in there thinking I might build in buffers for the meters at some point.
 
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