Good perfboard supplies?

I need a pair of 8x4 inch (or larger) bits of double-sided, copper clad (all square pads) perfboard.

I’ve looked in the usual places (ebay, amazon, verotl) and it seems to be hard to find or very expensive.

I’m looking for cheapness not quality. Does anyone know a good place to get this stuff, or anything that would be a good alternative?

Here’s a 2x2 inch piece fairly cheap - maybe you could custom order something from him?:

Here’s an 11 x 8.5 cm piece:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Tin-Plated-Double-Sided-PCB-Board-11-x-8-5cm-/220656284653?pt=BI_Electrical_Equipment_Tools&hash=item336023b3ed

The only problem I think for both of these boards is that neither meet your “square pad” needs (any particular reason the pads need to be square?)…

Also - what do you consider cheap for a piece of double-sided 8x4 inch perfboard with pads-per-hole? Do you need any ground/power planes or bus lines? Do you need plated-thru holes?

I actually think he means 1 pad per hole. Not necessarily square.

Ah, my apologies. Yes Jeremy is right, I meant “square pads” to indicate that I don’t want stripboard. I wasn’t aware that circular pad types existed. To be honest, circular ones would be fine too.

Am I right in thinking that these boards have one side insulated from the other (no “vias”)? I haven’t been able to lay my hands on anything like this even in my local shops in town (Maplin sucks these days).

Ah, my apologies. Yes Jeremy is right, I meant “square pads” to indicate that I don’t want stripboard. I wasn’t aware that circular pad types existed. To be honest, circular ones would be fine too.

Ah - ok; I was thinking by “square pads” you wanted square-shaped pads around each hole, instead of circular shaped pads. I would imagine that the need would be for more surface area for bonding of solder or such, but that raises the price of manufacturing the board.

However, your explanation of individual pads as what you need suffices.

Am I right in thinking that these boards have one side insulated from the other (no “vias”)? I haven’t been able to lay my hands on anything like this even in my local shops in town (Maplin sucks these days)

Some do, some don’t - generally, those that have what appear like a “via” are called “plated-thru-hole” or “plated-through-hole” construction; those that don’t (that just have a pad around each hole, one on each side) generally aren’t noted as such; in other words, if the holes are connected, it will be noted in the description that it is of “plated-thru-hole” design; if they aren’t, generally there won’t be an indication.

PTH construction, by the way - while being more expensive, can be a preferred board, simply because the solder for a joint will have much more contact area and form a much stronger joint more resistant to flexing and other mechanical stress. However, your layout of parts when doing a double-sided design would have to be carefully considered to prevent problems, of course - whereas on a non-PTH board this wouldn’t be an issue.

To state my needs in detail…

The only reason I want perfboard is so I don’t have to drill a million perfectly equidistant holes myself :slight_smile: I’m going to push 192 pairs of turned-pin SIL pin sockets through the board. It needs to be double sided because routing it all on one side of copper is impossible.

No ground planes or any other planes required. No buses, no rails, no fries with that and no milkshake. :slight_smile: Imagine the kind of double-sided coppered perfboard that cavemen would use - that’s what I want. But either it doesn’t exist or my googling skills have abandoned me.

80 holes wide, 30 holes high (more or less) is what I need to fit all my SIL sockets on there.

But either it doesn’t exist or my googling skills have abandoned me.

I’m sure something of the right size exists, or can be manufactured - it likely comes down to being able to find it, and whether you can afford the cost.

You still haven’t noted what you consider “cheap”? Also - are you only looking for one board, or multiple (or many?)…

Cheap would be $20 or less. I need only 1, but 2 would be nice in case I screw up and break the first one (I’m a ham-fisted cretin).

The distributor list at the Vero website might be worth a look http://www.verotl.com/veroboard.

I know it is not elegant, but in the past I have used two single sided boards back to back with the traces at right angles to get a double sided board.

You might try contacting these guys and explaining your needs:

http://www.veroboard.com/

I don’t think they are an “official” company - but they might have something that would work…?

Another option would be to get in contact with one of the sellers on ebay that seem to sell a lot of PCB designs - for instance, this guy:

http://stores.ebay.com/MeasureExplorer

I have heard (but I haven’t ever purchased from) is a good seller; he might have something, or could get you what you need - it might be worth browsing his site/store - and getting in contact with him.

One thing to note about MeasureExplorer’s boards is that they are not only “PPH” (pad-per-hole), but that they also have connecting traces in a grid pattern (or other pattern) between holes; you’re supposed to remove the traces where you don’t need lines (definitely not what you want). Still, an interesting prototyping PCB style…

[edit]As an amendment: MeasureExplorer sells several different prototyping PCB styles - some a double sided, some are single sided, some with adjoining traces, some without. I think all of the double sided PCBs are plated-thru-hole designs. Regardless, you’ll note that these PCBs all look to be custom made - so maybe if you ask him nicely, he can either make up one (well, the design - you would have to order many to make it worthwhile) for you for a fee, or he could point you to an existing design, or maybe someone else or some other company who could help. [/edit]

Jameco has some decently priced boards but they are single sided. I was going to mention (as someone did above) bolting 2 back to back.

5.5" x 8" board, 3906 holes for $11.95
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_206587_-1

I searched “proto board pad per hole”. Here is the link…
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDrillDownView?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&freeText=proto%20board%20pad%20per%20hole&search_type=jamecoall

P.S. These do in fact have square pads…

Imagine the kind of double-sided coppered perfboard that cavemen would use - that’s what I want.

Sir, you didn’t state if you required plated through holes or not with that order?

Lefty

Pretty much all the double-sided pad-per-hole boards I can recall were glass, plated-through, and expensive.

I came across this ebay vendor when I was shopping for deals on stripboard, and I think they had some pad-per-hole boards, too. Unfortunately, they’re on vacation for the next few days, and ebay won’t run searches on them right now. But you might want to check them later, if you’re not in a rush.

I’ve had some unhappy experiences with non-plated-through double-sided boards. If you really want to wire on both sides, I suggest using wire-wrap sockets, and spacing them above the board a mm or two, so you can solder directly to the pin. It’s an ugly kluge, but it beats finding out after the fact that you have bad connections buried in the rat’s nest.

Pretty much all the double-sided pad-per-hole boards I can recall were glass, plated-through, and expensive.

I agree, Victor boards ($$$) come to mind. Most of the inexpensive pad per hole boards, both single and double side, I’ve seen on e-bay do not have PTHs. I’ve not been real happy with the few I’ve tried, easy for the pads to lift off with too much soldering heat or too much mechanical stress. The pads are just glued to the base material.

Lefty

Someone on this forum suggested www.dipmirco.com and I have since been ordering from them. What attracted me most was the price :slight_smile:

I have also ordered from mpja.com, allelectronics.com before.

Thank you everyone for your kind responses. I have checked out all your links and I’m still having trouble.

I have refined my requirements a bit, in as much detail as I can muster…

  • 8 by 4 inches
  • double-sided
  • pad-per-hole (any shape pads will be fine, although square is marginally preferable)
  • plated-thru-hole doesn’t matter
  • no ground plane

I need this shipped to England, but there’s no rush.

Again, I’m grateful for everyone’s patience with this disorganised Brit’s random requirements.

I never imagined that hardest part of electronics is actually sourcing parts! This makes designing curcuits feel easy! :slight_smile:

Regarding the “putting 2 single-sided stripboards back to back”… I think in doing so, the combined thicknesses will be too deep for my SIP socket pins to reach through to the far side of copper. The boards I have seen are 1.6mm thick including copper.
Plus the two boards would have to have opposing strip orientation for the same aspect ratio.

It never rains…

I’m starting to think it would be worth using up a whole weekend just doing it the hard way and p2p wire wrapping all the pins on a bit of bare perf. The horror!

p2p wire wrapping all the pins on a bit of bare perf. The horror!

Or, to reduce the “horror” level, get some pad-per-hole, and solder some of the pins from each socket to provide mechanical strength.

Is Vector still around, making the “Slit-n-Wrap”? That’s a really nice tool for doing bussed WW connections.

I’ve managed to get a bit of a bargain on 4 bits of single sided circular padded perf for less than £6, so I’m going to have to just man up and spend a couple of days inhaling 40% lead solder and fibreglass dust.

Wicked.

Thanks everyone for the help. Great forum and a great dev platform. I’m glad I took up electronics as a hobby - very fulfilling.

Cheers!

I hope you at least invest in a 1 pound facemask…

The currency, of course, not the weight system…