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Do you use perfboard? Other Modular Audio Processors
Old 1st September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Do you use perfboard?

Just wondering if when you guys are doing a diy project if you use perfboard as the circuit board. I was reading and watching videos about how to make a real circuit board, but it seems way involved, and needing all this equipment that I don't have.

I'm wanting to start getting into making diy stuff. I've wired a guitar before, and I'm competent at soldering. The main things that confound me before I even get started are the above issue, and also the issue of the chassis. I don't get how you get the holes in the chassis to perfectly match up to the pots on the circuitboard and other stuff. Also not quite sure how you make the holes in the first place. It seems like another daunting thing you'd need fancy equipment for.
Any suggestions or advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Old 1st September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

no its horrible and way too easy to create solder bridges accidently and its a schematic layout is way different to perfboard layout,

i use breadboard that has the same layout as perfboard for prototyping sometimes but it has the advantage of not needing soldering, i'd rather just etch the pcb quickly, but I am single and young, if i was married I would imagine the wife would not be too happy about the chemicals.

for cases if its for a specific project like the ones on prodigy then people often a batch of cases with the wholes pre-punched this is definately the preffered options as they will have marked the writing on as well, theres frontpanel express.

i am building a 2 channel 1U eq unit and am about to by the case, this one i'm going to do myself, but i have access to lasercutter/engraver and drill presses.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #3
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nucelar's Avatar
 

I use perfboard all the time for prototypes. Some circuits have been working for many years. I use the one that has 1 solderpad for each hole, not the one that has rows connected. then you can sort of imitate the "real" PCB layout if you have one, of course take extra care not to bridge pads.
If you solder the pots directly to the PCB, it will be much more difficult to match the holes exactly in the chassis. I always connect them via cables.
There are special tools to make holes in the chassis, but it can be done with standard metal drills. Start with 3mm or less and work your way up.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Peterson Goodwyn's Avatar
 

For small projects like headphone amps and guitar pedals, I use perfboard. For something more involved, I would use a PCB, especially if they're being offered by someone.

Lining up chassis holes perfectly is difficult, that's why a lot of people choose fly wires to panel-mount devices instead of mounting them on the PCB. Most chassis for audio have .125" thick aluminum front and back panels, so you can take even a dinky 9v power drill to them. For non-circular holes you have to get creative, but I wouldn't recommend taking on that complication for your first project.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #5
Here for the gear
 

perfboard is fine. I prefer double sided plated thru hole vectorboard--expensive stuff, but it's worth it. I do a prototype of every single circuit i've ever designed (production or otherwise) on perfboard. I recommend getting some nice perfboard, teflon tubing, busswire, quality hookup wire (belden is good), a really good manual desoldering pump, a pair of good needle nose, a pair of good tweezers, a pair of good snippers, or course a good iron (a simple weller is great), solder braid, and a dremel--then go to town, you can do anything!

breadboard is fine too as well as stripboard
Old 2nd September 2011
  #6
Everything is prototyped and built on Vector .062" perfboard, the plain stuff without any copper. It allows you to build stuff without pcb fabrication. Sonically, it can be better as component point to point wiring is done, no copper traces are used. Following the expected pcb layouts is recommended for anything going to production.

The prototype Rode mics, Basson Sound amps and Rhodes Mk7 were all built using perfboard and some were used at trade show demos too. Many are still working today.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
Just wondering if when you guys are doing a diy project if you use perfboard as the circuit board. I was reading and watching videos about how to make a real circuit board, but it seems way involved, and needing all this equipment that I don't have.

I'm wanting to start getting into making diy stuff. I've wired a guitar before, and I'm competent at soldering. The main things that confound me before I even get started are the above issue, and also the issue of the chassis. I don't get how you get the holes in the chassis to perfectly match up to the pots on the circuitboard and other stuff. Also not quite sure how you make the holes in the first place. It seems like another daunting thing you'd need fancy equipment for.
Any suggestions or advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
not for 40 years now
great for a one off
would not do a pc board unless building a lot of something

i had a large peg board board with spring clips you could pull up and put a lead in then let it clamp back down on it
really fast for quick tests before pegboarding and soldering
Old 3rd September 2011
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the info, I'll come back and refer to this thread as I get further along in my project. My ultimate goal is to make a really nice discrete mic preamp. I think I will start with a simple guitar pedal.I recently bought this book called "getting started in electronics". If anyone has any other book recommendations, please share. Thanks!
Old 3rd September 2011
  #9
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2N1305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
Just wondering if when you guys are doing a diy project if you use perfboard as the circuit board. ...and needing all this equipment that I don't have.

...and I'm competent at soldering. The main things that confound me before I even get started are the above issue, and also the issue of the chassis.
Do you have roughly 100$ to invest in this hobby?
If so then get a basic drillpress and a basic digital caliper. This will help you measure distances to holes and drill them accurately without worrying about a wobbling hand drill. Simply place a small piece of 1/2" thick wood under your perfboard where you want to drill, and go right through. Once you do it, you'll get the hang of it. You'll want to use it on everything you can drill ahole in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
I don't get how you get the holes in the chassis to perfectly match up to the pots on the circuitboard and other stuff. Also not quite sure how you make the holes in the first place. It seems like another daunting thing you'd need fancy equipment for.
Any suggestions or advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
as I mentionned the equipment isn't so daunting and in case you're wondering how to make those printed circuit boards yourself, all you need is some simple software (eagle, pcb express, etc), a laser printer and some tecniks press 'n peel blue toner transfer. This rocks. And it's simple.
Oh a clothes iron too. Mine sees more use from making PCBs than ironing... clothes...

sorry, techniks: Information

cheers,

2N1305
Old 3rd September 2011
  #10
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2N1305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
Thanks for the info, I'll come back and refer to this thread as I get further along in my project. My ultimate goal is to make a really nice discrete mic preamp. I think I will start with a simple guitar pedal.I recently bought this book called "getting started in electronics". If anyone has any other book recommendations, please share. Thanks!

a wise purchase. (see my other posts where I lend high praise to this book)


Do you know of Ohm's law, voltage nodes law (Kirchoff's law) and the difference between AC and DC? (please no jokes about the band)

Last edited by 2N1305; 3rd September 2011 at 02:41 AM.. Reason: added info
Old 3rd September 2011
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2N1305 View Post
a wise purchase. (see my other posts where I lend high praise to this book)


Do you know of Ohm's law, voltage nodes law (Kirchoff's law) and the difference between AC and DC? (please no jokes about the band)
I know about ohms law, not the other one. I'll make sure to read further into both of these laws and their implications. I know of the difference between ac and dc but not really what they're for and why you would want one or the other. I'll have to read more into this subject as well.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #12
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2N1305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
I know about ohms law, not the other one. I'll make sure to read further into both of these laws and their implications. I know of the difference between ac and dc but not really what they're for and why you would want one or the other. I'll have to read more into this subject as well.
The voltage law is simply how voltage adds together in a circuit, on the different nodes of a circuit.
example:
Knowing that if you hook a resistor to the battery + side, you still measure the battery voltage from the resistor's other side to ground, because the circuit is open, and there is no voltage drop in an open circuit.

read up on it, you'll have a MUCH better understanding of how to build circuits when you know the fundamentals. Well, you already know Ohm's law so that's good! wouldn't hurt to know the resistor colour code, too. I doubt you're going to use surface-mount components.

cheers,

2N
Old 3rd September 2011
  #13
Old 3rd September 2011
  #14
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funnily enough, i've been given a "kit build" to look at that someone can't get working, probably would have been a bit easier for them with a pcb.
Old 4th September 2011
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2udio View Post
Cool man, that looks really intense, what is it? I see you've got some pcb boards in it as well. I thought of another idea, which is to find someone who has a laser printer, drill and the stuff necessary to make a circuit board, and pay them like 10-20$ or something to make it for me if I give them the schematic.
Old 4th September 2011
  #16
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2N1305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
Cool man, that looks really intense, what is it? I see you've got some pcb boards in it as well. I thought of another idea, which is to find someone who has a laser printer, drill and the stuff necessary to make a circuit board, and pay them like 10-20$ or something to make it for me if I give them the schematic.

..yeahh,.. but that's, I hate to say it, not the way you're going to learn how to do it yourself. Let me put it this way: it's easier than baking (succesfully) a cake.
At least use perfboard.
Old 4th September 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
Cool man, that looks really intense, what is it? I see you've got some pcb boards in it as well. I thought of another idea, which is to find someone who has a laser printer, drill and the stuff necessary to make a circuit board, and pay them like 10-20$ or something to make it for me if I give them the schematic.
ok here's how i do make PCB's.

laserprinter HP1320 (i was lucky we just replaced all printers at work so i had a choice of printers to choice from and see which worked)

print on glossy photo paper.

isopropyenol and wire wall to clean copper clad board

iron the copper clad board

place the photo paper on it

iron it.

place in lukewarm water.

peel paper of board carefully don't force it.

if your pattern hasn't transfered clean it off with isopropynol and wire wool and do it again (happens less and less now)

spounge on ferric chloride, I don't emmerse it, the reason being if you get a tiny portion that doesn't transfer the toner you may have to "reinforce" the line with a pernament marker and you get more control this way spounging the ferric on so you can concentrate on the areas that need copper disovling.

rinse with cold water!

i sometimes waste photo paper, but never waste copper clad board.

etchning a small PCB works out at around a £1-2 and is much cheaper than having a one off made by a company, obviously for a production run you'd be crazy to etch them yourself this way.


p.s. i apologise for my terrible spelling!
Old 5th September 2011
  #18
I don't recommend DYI pcb's at home for two reasons:

First, enviromentally, it's a disaster to wash those poisons down your drain. PCB manufacturers in California use closed systems, every drop of water and chemicals are collected and sent off to hazardous waste facilities. That makes California too expensive to have them made here anymore.

Those poisons enter your water table and collect in your drain pipes, it's all a big cancer waiting to happen. Don't pollute your town unless you collect all the water and chems for disposal first.

Second reason: PCB's are cheap, really cheap. You can have proto's made for as little as $25. They will look good, test good and you won't poison your town.
Old 5th September 2011
  #19
Gear Nut
 

I've decided to go with the perf. The things I want to make seem to be simple enough that I don't think I'll have much issue. Some guitar pedals, but the main project I want to do is a helios 69 without the eq, just the preamp.

I have the schematic for a neve 1073... Sheesh! That thing is ridiculously complex! The helios is like kindergarten in comparison
The other thing I want to do is make a Transformer isolation box for my 12ay7 preamp.
Old 7th September 2011
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I don't recommend DYI pcb's at home for two reasons:

First, enviromentally, it's a disaster to wash those poisons down your drain. PCB manufacturers in California use closed systems, every drop of water and chemicals are collected and sent off to hazardous waste facilities. That makes California too expensive to have them made here anymore.

Those poisons enter your water table and collect in your drain pipes, it's all a big cancer waiting to happen. Don't pollute your town unless you collect all the water and chems for disposal first.

Second reason: PCB's are cheap, really cheap. You can have proto's made for as little as $25. They will look good, test good and you won't poison your town.
+1 to what Jim said here.

For books, I would recommend everyone get Art of Electronics. And I occasionally reference Microelectronic Circuits and Handbook for Sound Engineers as well. You shouldn't need more than these three books for most audio projects. Everything else is further down the rabbit hole.
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