To know how to use a perfboard, you must know what one is. A perfboard is a board used in creating electronic circuits. A perfboard will allow for you to create a custom electrical circuit. Remember, working with electrical components can be tedious work, but go slowly. You don't want to rush and short your whole circuit out.
To use the perfboard properly, you will need:
- soldering gun
- components to use for the circuit
- diagram for your new circuit
- Create your circuit. To use a perfboard, you need to first, build your circuit. Mark were each component is going to line up on the perfboard. Take note in how they will connect to one another in sequence. This way you can see how big of a board you will need.
Lay out your circuit with all the parts needed. Using a diagram, lay out all the components beside your perfboard. You want to make sure all the items your going to need will be there before you cut the perfboard. If you cut the perfboard to small, you may have to build a second perfboard to continue with the project.
Cut the perfboard. Make sure that every lead has a hole and all components will fit comfortably on the perfboard without touching. This is important. When you create your circuit, each component will take a number of holes. Each lead should have a hole, and there may be extra holes depending on the size of your components.
Learning your perfboard. To use the perfboard, you need to find which of the sides have a little copper ring around the hole. These are solder pads, and are the bottom of the board. Your solder pads are what will be used in the final step to complete the project. They are made of cooper for good adhesion of the solder and will hold your components to there places.
- Put the circuit together. Use the perfboard by laying out the circuit on the board. With the components on the top and the leads pushing thought to the bottom where the solder pads are located, insert each component into the perfboard. Take your time as to keep the circuit in order and not have any leads that are to early on the circuit or cross over another part of the circuit causing a short. Now twist the leads together from component to component in order of the circuit to make a mechanical connection for the circuit. This serves two purposes, the first is to hold the components in place, while the second allows for the testing of the circuit before you solder down the components to the perfboard for a permanent connection.
- Remember to test. Once completing the lay out of the circuit, it is always good to test the circuit before you solder. If the circuit does not perform as needed, now is the time to find out. Using helper arms, a plastic stand with gator clips to hold the perfboard, suspend the perfboard so the leads of the components are not touching anything. Attach your power supply and watch the circuit work. When the circuit performs correctly, use the solder pads and solder gun to secure the connection. Solder your leads so they make the proper connections and trim the extra length of lead. The perfboard is now ready to be installed.
The perfboard is a handy tool in building a new electrical circuit. It is important to remember that this is not a pre insulated board. Any improper leads or sloppy soldering can cause a short in the circuit. Do not apply a power source without checking for crossed leads, and that all components in their proper location. Once done, sit back and watch the wonder of your creation.