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Electronic manufacturing industry PCB/PCBA knowledge
Guide to stripboard

If you’ve ever tried creating an electronic circuit, you’ve likely encountered a ‘stripboard‘. Stripboards are an essential component in the electronics world, playing a crucial role in prototyping and testing circuit designs. Being able to understand and utilize a stripboard is a vital skill for any electronic hobbyist or professional. As such, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to delve into the details of stripboards, including their types, uses, and more.

Table of Contents

What is a stripping board

Stripboard, a name you will hear frequently in the electronics industry, is a type of board covered with holes and pre-made tracks that run in one direction. These tracks are typically made of copper, allowing for efficient electrical conductivity. The holes are meant for the insertion of electronic components, which are then connected via the copper tracks to create circuits.

What is a stripping board
What is a stripping board

The stripboard is an incredibly flexible tool, allowing for a variety of circuit designs. It’s especially useful for those who want to prototype quickly and iteratively. They provide an excellent means for testing and debugging circuit designs, as changes can be made by simply unsoldering and moving components as necessary.

The design of a stripboard contributes significantly to its functionality. Its copper tracks run in a single direction, creating rows of interconnected holes. This design is similar to a bus, facilitating connections between components and enabling the creation of complex circuits.

However, the stripboard also comes with its challenges. The single-direction copper tracks mean that creating connections in the opposite direction or in a non-linear fashion requires careful planning. This can involve using jumper wires, which are small pieces of wire used to create connections between separate tracks, or carving breaks into the tracks using a sharp tool or specialized cutter. Nonetheless, with practice and patience, these challenges can be readily overcome.

What are the three types of breadboard

1.Solderless Breadboard: This is the most common type, particularly for beginners or quick prototyping. It doesn’t require soldering instead, it has a grid of holes into which components can be inserted and removed without soldering making it a temporary and reusable solution for building circuits.

2.Stripboard: Also known as veroboard, it’s a permanent solution for circuit building. The components are soldered onto the board, creating durable and long-lasting circuits.

3.Printed Circuit Board (PCB): This is a more advanced type of board. It features printed or etched copper traces and is often used for the mass production of electronic devices.

Why use a stripboard

Why use a stripboard
Why use a stripboard

●Easy Prototyping: Stripboards allow for fast, simple prototyping of circuits before transitioning to more permanent solutions.
●Ease of Use: With stripboard, you can physically see the connections between components, which aids in troubleshooting.
●Affordability: They’re generally less expensive than PCB, making them accessible for hobbyists and professionals alike.
●Versatility: Their design permits various circuit configurations, accommodating a wide range of components.
●Durability: Since components are soldered onto stripboard, they can handle more wear and tear compared to solderless breadboards.

What is the difference between veroboard and breadboard

Veroboard, another term for stripboard, offers a more permanent solution for circuit designs. It requires soldering, meaning once the components are attached, they’re not meant to be removed or repositioned.

On the other hand, a breadboard, specifically a solderless breadboard, is designed for temporary circuits. It enables the easy insertion and removal of components without the need for soldering.

What is the difference between veroboard and breadboard
The difference between veroboard and breadboard

Breadboard and Veroboard: A Deeper Dive

A breadboard and a Veroboard serve similar purposes but in different contexts. As we’ve mentioned earlier, a breadboard is ideal for temporary circuit building, allowing you to quickly test and modify circuit designs without the need for soldering. This makes breadboards the go-to choice for beginners or when you’re in the brainstorming phase of a project.

Veroboard, on the other hand, is a more permanent solution, requiring the components to be soldered onto the board. The advantage of a veroboard is the creation of a more durable and reliable circuit, as the soldered connections are less prone to issues like loose connections or components. This makes Veroboards ideal for when you’ve finalized your circuit design and need a long-lasting build.

Despite their differences, both breadboard and Veroboard can be invaluable tools in the electronics world. Breadboard offers flexibility and ease of use, perfect for prototyping and experimenting, while Veroboard allows for the creation of robust, permanent circuits, ideal for final products or long-term projects.

stripboard

What is the difference between stripboard and perfboard

Both stripboard and perfboard are used for creating permanent circuits, but they differ in design and usage. A stripboard has parallel copper tracks running across one side of the board, connecting the aligned holes together. This design allows for quicker and easier circuit building, albeit with less flexibility.

Conversely, a perfboard doesn’t have pre-made tracks. Each hole is isolated, providing greater flexibility for complex or custom circuit designs. However, it requires more work to establish connections between the components.

How do you use a stripboard

How do you use a stripboard
How do you use a stripboard

Using a stripboard involves several steps:

① Design Your Circuit: Start by planning your circuit. Sketch it out and decide on the placement of components.
② Place Your Components: Insert your components into the holes on the stripboard, ensuring they align with your design.
③ Solder the Components: Once everything is positioned correctly, solder the components onto the board.
④ Cut the Tracks: To prevent unwanted connections, use a track cutter to break the copper tracks where needed.
⑤ Test the Circuit: After everything is soldered and cut, it’s crucial to test the circuit to ensure it works as intended.

How do you solder on stripboard

Soldering on a stripboard is a straightforward process.

●Start by heating your soldering iron.
●Position the component you want to solder onto the stripboard, ensuring its leads pass through the appropriate holes.
●Apply the heated soldering iron to the joint area—where the lead and the copper track meet—then apply the solder.
●Once the solder melts and covers the joint, remove the solder and the soldering iron, letting the joint cool and solidify.
●Be sure to solder all connections securely to ensure a functional and reliable circuit.

How thick is a stripboard

How thick is a stripboard
How thick is a stripboard

Stripboard can vary in thickness, but the industry standard is typically around 1.6mm. This thickness balances durability and usability, ensuring the stripboard is robust enough to handle soldering and component insertion, yet thin enough to be easily manipulated and cut when necessary. It’s always recommended to check the specific product description before purchase, especially if your project has particular size constraints.

Conclusion

In summary, stripboards are an invaluable tool in the world of electronics. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, understanding stripboard and its counterparts can significantly augment your ability to prototype and develop electronic circuits. From its affordability to its versatility, a stripboard’s unique advantages make it an indispensable resource on any workbench. We hope this guide has given you a deeper insight into the stripboard’s role in electronic prototyping and design. Happy soldering !

FAQ

Stripboard is a type of board covered with holes and pre-made tracks that run in one direction. These tracks are typically made of copper, allowing for efficient electrical conductivity. The holes are meant for the insertion of electronic components, which are then connected via the copper tracks to create circuits.They provide an excellent means for testing and debugging circuit designs, as changes can be made by simply unsoldering and moving components as necessary.

Solderless Breadboard
Stripboard
Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

●Easy Prototyping
●Ease of Use
●Affordability
●Versatility
●Durability

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