Keeping track of which pin is which and basic IC tips

I've been messing with these chips for a few days and it's a PITA keeping track of the pins. All the pinout sheets show the top of the chip and I'm working from the bottom so it gets a little confusing. I've considered stickers to go on the top but does anyone have any tips?

For now I'm just drawing upside down/backwards "maps" and working from that.

Someone suggested using wrapping wire for hooking them up to other components and that tip was awesome 8)

Just looking for any tips that would make working with these things on protoboard easier for a noob.


You could print this cheetsheet, cut out the processor you want, and glue it on top.
For buttom view you can print it mirrored and glue it on the buttom.(I think)

Use a fine tip sharpie & make a mark near pin 1.
Gets easier as you do it more.

Thanks. I keep getting lost and have to re count pins, etc. It does seem to be getting easier though.

It's tough keeping up with 28 pins. I can't imagine working with the bigger chips...

Sure 28, 44, not too bad.
What gets you is figuring you had a 14 pin, so you start from 14 & work backwards, then find its 16 pins.

Or 18 vs 20, same thing.

At least with wirewrap its easy to undo & redo on the correct pin. For example, here’s a board I did quick to check out 1284 bootloading.
The female headers are just pressed into socket header strips.
I really like wirewrap, I will hardly ever do point to point wire/solder unless I want a really heavy wire for power.

Apparently I cannot take clear pictures either.

Apparently I cannot take clear pictures either.

Looking at the EXIF information on the pictures, you were shooting at 1/20 for one photo and 1/13 for the other, ISO 640, and f/2.8.

Even though the camera has image stabilization, I am not convinced that at such slow speeds IS helps avoid camera shake. For quick grabs, I suspect just enabling the flash will work, providing you don't have reflective surfaces. I find it is generally better to not not shoot straight on, so if there is a flash bounce back, it doesn't go straight into the camera. Either that or bring up the lights and/or use a tripod.

The higher ISO (due to not enough light) will mean the camera has more digital noise to remove. I tend to view the noise removal as a belt sander, it removes the noise, but as a consequence removes many of the details. For my point and shoot cameras, I tend to prefer the output at ISO 400 or less (ISO 100 or 200 for the older cameras).

For a point and shoot f/2.8 is ok. For cameras with a larger sensor, you run the risk of more of the photo being outside the depth of field that the camera is shooting at.

Depending on the camera and the focal length, you might need to enable macro mode (usually has a flower icon).

Thanks, will try off-angle flash next time, see if that helps.
I have a little desktop tripod somewhere, will have to dig that up.


Those pics are worth maybe 987 words :stuck_out_tongue:

I've looked at wire wrapping and it's hard to believe that it makes solid connections. Interesting stuff!

987 indeed :wink:
Does cost a little more for wirewrap socket strips, or for sockets, but I find it very relaxing actually doing the wiring, and recovering from the odd error. Or making design changes, or additions, etc.

There are these...;jsessionid=E565988007E08E2A63CC911F236DC5EF.jvm1

They left out the really useful ones:
14 pin, 16 pin, narrow 28 pin.