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breadboarding. Advise needed please
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
breadboarding. Advise needed please

Hi

There are so many circuits out there that I would love to do but no one makes PCB's anymore (you know how you stumble onto a project, read all about it, decide yeah I'm in - :project no longer active").

So I'm thinking about going full diy. There are a number if questions but a few to start off with:
What about mounting input/output trafos.
If tubes are required
IF ic's are required
Is point to point that much harder than working from a PCB


There are a number of power supply solutions so I'm Ok on that front.


Cheers

Matt
Old 15th November 2009
  #2
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ulysses's Avatar
There are so many sources available for good, cheap, fast custom circuitboards that I don't bother breadboarding anything anymore. Expresspcb.com gives you free layout software but you have to get the boards from them. Eagle is the preferred layout software, and for small projects you can use their free version. Some board houses, including Silver Circuits, accepts Eagle files directly which may be less intimidating for a first-timer than trying to generate your own Eagle files.

Breadboards and perfboards, in my opinion, are more hassle than they're worth.
Old 15th November 2009
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Think it probably depends on the size and complication level of the circuit as well.

I built a G7 valve mic on a pcb from the prodigy forum, but ahd lots of issues, and in the end decided to just rip it and start again on breadboard with mostly new components. Worked out great, kind of more satisfying, and also the end result feels more tidy somehow, as the space sharing with board and transformer inside the mic body I used could be maximised this way.

If it's a little circuit, I'd just do it.
Old 16th November 2009
  #4
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mexicola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
Hi

There are so many circuits out there that I would love to do but no one makes PCB's anymore
Lots of pcb's here:

White Market
Old 16th November 2009
  #5
I still breadboard new designs. That way I can rip and repair all day long. PCB traces and pads have limited life expectancy.

By the time I set up an Eagle layout, I'll have that breadboard done and working.

Once the breadboard is happy, THEN I go to the CAD systems. Not the other way around, to much rework. Time is short.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 16th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
JohnRoberts's Avatar
 

The term breadboard refers to the very old practice of putting circuits together literally on an old piece of wood, with brass wire brads or gizmos like Fahnestock clips to hold wire and make connections. For digital circuitry wire wrap pin sockets could be easily wired up and unwired as necessary.

I used to roll my own generic breadboard PCBs with standard IC foot print patterns back when so much of my designs used similar (8p-14-16p) dip IC packages. While lots of my old prototypes were full of discrete components tack soldered to other components in topsy-turvy 3 dimensional spider webs of wires and parts.

I find with my current design work the parts I want to use are too damn small to hand solder to (leads break off too easily and hard to see). I guess i could make some generic footprints adapters, but the packages vary too much. One recent part I am using has a heat sink pad on it's bottom. I have little choice but to make a dedicated PCB adapter for these oddball parts so it is not much more effort to make a first pass at a final design PCB.

If you are working with old school technology, old methods will still work. Lots of the new parts I want to use are only available in SMT.

JR
Old 17th November 2009
  #7
Here for the gear
Breadboards

I and a partner recently designed a mic-preamp for a college design project. We started with breadboards for just about everything (except it was tough to stabilize our discrete opamp b/c of parasitic capacitance and we moved that to a small PCB early on), we even had our power supply circuit (used a transformer/a standard regulated DC supply, +/- 24V and 48V for phantom, this may have been dangerous) on a different breadboard...we just connected them all together. For low-noise design it has its drawbacks because of grounding issues.

Later, everything went to PCB.

Anyway, we learned a ton and I totally recommend tooling around with solderless breadboards for relatively low-voltage circuits. Especially battery powered stuff.

We used (several of) something like this:
Jameco Electronics Electronic Design: JAMECO VALUEPRO: WBU-206-R

-Chris
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