Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The start

So this post today is the official start of building the project. This step is simply prepping the veto board / strip board for components. As stated in the layout (which I will be referring to quite often) you need 13 cuts and 4 links. But before we do any of that you need to cut the strip board to the right size. I did cut it 2 holes bigger just for safety.

So I bought some stripboard from  my local electronics store. I got a big sheet so I can buy once and use this for multiple projects.

Once I got the stripboard, we need to find what dimensions to cut. I printed out the layout on paper so I just have to glance down and check. I would definitely suggest printing it out.

As choice tool for cutting tool I used a small hand saw for quick and pracition cutting. Technicaly you can use any cutting tool like an exacto knife, but this is much quicker in my experience.
So count the rows and columns and mark it with a sharpie. In this case it is 16x13. Not much more to say, just cut till the two points connect.

You might notice that the side are kinda rough. I filed my sides down for aesthetic purposes. You can do so if needed, but not necessary.
As I mentioned, I did cut it 2 rows too big, not a problem, no worry cutting! Anyway, this might cause confusion, so I traced out 16x13 in sharpie. This will help me track the positions of components.
 Since stripboard is just a fancy way of saying that each strip is connected, to fit everything in the smallest dimensions we do need to make cuts. Basically the cuts separates the track so no current passes. On the layout, the cuts are marked with red dots. Copy the positions of those red dots on the stripboard.
  It is important to double check if you have the right positions.

What I did is drilled the black holes with a slightly bigger bit than the size of the holes. Once you drill all of them, you will notice that there is still some copper connecting the the strip. Grab an even bigger bit and drill on the copper strip side until the point when there is no copper connecting the strip. You do not need to drill all the way through, this might cause complications when soldering.

Half way done the prepping!!!

Now for the links. Links connect different strips together so current can pass through multiple strips. Common linking is to the ground. The material I used for the links are just snipped off component leads. Any type of zero resistance conductor will do, but component leads are simple.
 It is good idea to prebend before placing the links in. This will save unnecessary force.

At this point it's a good idea to check if everything is in the right place before you solder.
Once you know that you are completely sure that everything is in the right place, let's get soldering!
I could go all day about proper soldering techniques, but there is plenty of that on the internet. One thing that I do and has helped me in a wet sponge. This cleans the soldering iron tip without burning anything. It's also goo for removing extra solder from the tip.
This is my first experience with stripboard, so I want to do a test run and see how good my soldering skills are. Turn's out I'm pretty good! The soldering skill test really gave me the confidence to move on. I would strongly suggest to practice your soldering skills before attempting to do this project.

If you are ever unsure if you have made any solder bridges, run an exacto knife across the 2 point to be extra sure off the separation.

As the last step in the preparation of the stripboard, we are going to check to see if there is any solder bridges. The way that I do this is to have an LED circuit that is broken and to let the current pass the two wires need to connect. Some multi meters have a function similar to this, mine does not. But this will still tell me if there is any solder where it should not be.

The LED is from a different project. So now I can go around the board and check the connections. If the LED lights up, there is a connection and if it doesn't, no connection. You don't need to do this step throughout the whole project, but I do suggest it for this point so you can track what you did wrong (if it doesn't work) you know that in must be with the soldering of the components.
This is an extra little step that can help in the long run.

Now your board is ready for components!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section below

No comments:

Post a Comment