Newbie question about printed circuit boards

I know this is probably an extremely basic question, but I just can't figure it out: on a standard breadboard, you have rails on each side that go the entire length (up and down), so you plug power into one hole, all the holes in that column have power. And in the middle, the connections are by row, so you plug something into hole 1, and hole 4 is on the same circuit (except when you cross over the middle divider).

On a standard printed circuit board, is it wired the same way? If I bought something like this https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8811, how do I know what holes are connected to what? I was always under the impression that I could buy a basic PCB and solder my wires, and it would function pretty much the same way that a breadboard does.

How does this work?

Thanks!

It's a good question, because there are several types of protoboards. That one in particular I believe is sometimes called pad-per-hole, meaning each pad is individual, not connected to any others. Then there is stripboard, and there are others (one example here) that closely correspond to the solderless breadboards.

'Standard PCBs' tend to be specific circuits.

Protoboard entirely depends on the board. Usually you'll find one of two things. 1) Each hole is independent of the others. This is what you linked. However you can easily use solder bridge to adjacent pads or the ground plane, either intentionally or unintentionally. 2) They have some custom setup. I've seen ones that are build similar to breadboards from Radioshack. You can usually tell by examining where the copper (Either Copper colored or silvery (tinned)) connects to each other.

There are all kinds of variations

http://www.futurlec.com/ProtoBoards.shtml http://www.dipmicro.com/store/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=519

I like the Velleman ECS 1/2, Island of Holes board http://www.vellemanusa.com/products/search/?q=eurocard It's 80x100mm, very high quality, and same size as what the free hobby version of Eagle allows - so if your prototype can fit on this, there's a good chance you can make it fit on a similar size double-sided PCB. You can certainly find cheaper cards, but you won't get the quality of these - evenness holes, quality/durability of the plated pads, finish of the board material.

[quote author=Jack Christensen link=topic=196490.msg1450073#msg1450073 date=1383242974] It's a good question, because there are several types of protoboards. That one in particular I believe is sometimes called pad-per-hole, meaning each pad is individual, not connected to any others. Then there is stripboard, and there are others (one example here) that closely correspond to the solderless breadboards. [/quote]

This is exactly that I needed! Thanks!

mirith: 1) Each hole is independent of the others. This is what you linked. However you can easily use solder bridge to adjacent pads or the ground plane, either intentionally or unintentionally.

I have a problem getting them to bridge intentionally, but I have round solder pads -- the SparkFun square pads should be much better. For round pads, the solder likes to ball up on each pad and doesn't like to spill over to it's neighbor. But, my soldering iron is not temperature controlled so I might be getting things too hot. And I'm using flux-core solder, maybe flux-free solder would help in this situation.

I'm not a fan of bread-board style protoboard. Yeah you can copy your breadboard layout straight over, but breadboard layout is messy! It takes up a lot of space too. Perfboard is much more compact and ends up being neater because of it.

One thing I like to do with perfboard is lay a piece of straight (stretch it to make it perfectly straight) bare solid wire along an entire row on the bottom pad / solder side, and tack it to single pads at both ends to make a ground or VCC "bus". Then I can just tap in to the bus anywhere convenient with a component through a hole on the bus row. Much less hassle than making big long strings of solder bridges and less likely to toast components with the excessive heat that requires. Aligning the bus with an Atmega328's PDIP VCC/GND pins is convenient, except the bus has to cross over itself under the chip (WHY Atmel?! Why did you do that!?). I use insulated wire for the crossover, obviously.

On the top / component side, pieces of wire taken from Cat5 Ethernet cable are cheap and work well to connect distant components. Leave the insulation a little long as it shrinks when heated during soldering.

(WHY Atmel?! Why did you do that!?)

If you look at Table 1-1 in the datasheet, showing the Ball Grid Array pinout, you see that Vdd and AVDD are on opposite sides of the chip, more than likely to keep digital noise out of the analog section as much as possible.

Another option for breaboard assembly is wirewrap.
Easy to do, easy to make changes as you tweak the design, easy to fix mistakes.
I believe it is also faster. But, that’s probably a matter of practice too.

You can get tools, sockets, wire here:
http://www.king-cart.com/phoenixent/product=SOCKETS+WIRE+WRAP+DIP+%26+SIP/exact_match=exact
Wire stripper is built into the wirewrap tool handle. Just need a little pair of cutters, and thin needle nose pliers to hold the wire as you twist it on and keep all the slack from getting pulled up tight against pins when you go around a corner.

If you have trouble making solder bridges, or just don't like that they don't look very nice, one approach is to leave the leg of the component un-snipped and bend it over so it touches the adjacent hole, or the leg of the component in the adjacent hole. Once you solder the adjacent hole, the leg will act as the bridge, then you snip the remainder off. You can do the same thing with wire, by stripping an extra 1/4" or so of insulation off the wire. Of course, this only works with long-legged components like resistors and capacitors, not with ICs and such, but it's a good tip nonetheless.

joshuabardwell: one approach is to leave the leg of the component un-snipped and bend it over so it touches the adjacent hole,

Genius!

tylernt:

joshuabardwell: one approach is to leave the leg of the component un-snipped and bend it over so it touches the adjacent hole,

Genius!

I wish I could take credit for inventing it...

tylernt: Aligning the bus with an Atmega328's PDIP VCC/GND pins is convenient, except the bus has to cross over itself under the chip (WHY Atmel?! Why did you do that!?).

Probably because the pins usually are connected in parallel and it is more practical then bridging supply pins from one end to the other, and particularly as it facilitates having the essential bypass capacitors as near to both supply terminals as possible. Presuming at least double sided boards will be used, it is not anticipated to be a problem.

tylernt: On the top / component side, pieces of wire taken from Cat5 Ethernet cable are cheap and work well to connect distant components. Leave the insulation a little long as it shrinks when heated during soldering.

Do note the recent warning that "wire ain't wire" and Cat5 cable may not be copper but copper plated aluminium wire which is dodgy when soldered.

Paul__B:
Probably because the pins usually are connected in parallel and it is more practical then bridging supply pins from one end to the other,

Oh, I don’t begrudge them putting VCC and GNDs on both the “top” and “bottom” of the PDIP. I can live with that. I just wish they’d keep VCC and GND on the same side left-right so I don’t have to do this ugly crossover:

crossover.JPG

When the chip is mounted on a PCB that is generally not an issue.