earthdog
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Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:24 pm

I have completed my first PI project. It is rather simple consisting of: 6 LEDS, 1 Buzzer, 3 Push Buttons , one Rotary Encoder and one LCD 2x16.

It communicates over the network a PC that runs Microsoft Flight simulator and serves like a general purpose panel.

I am completely noob when it comes to the next steps. What i would like to do is to put all of these in a box and mount them as i like. Also i would like to drop the breadboards but i think that going to PCB is huge step forward.

The problem is i don't know where to start :)

I imagine that i could have a PCB that accepts the 40pin connector from PI and then connect on that PCB my devices with long cables enough to mount them in the right places in the box.

I need help on where to start and how. Should i design the circuit myself and give it to someone to create the PCB or i could buy stuff and with soldering i could create my PCB?

Image

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rpiMike
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:44 pm

If its a one-off you may want to solder onto a prototype HAT:

https://thepihut.com/collections/raspbe ... yping-hats

If you need a larger area veroboard or stripboard may be an option.
Last edited by rpiMike on Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LTolledo
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:48 pm

start with something like these:
3x7 universal thru-hole pcb.jpg
3x7 universal thru-hole pcb.jpg (65.04 KiB) Viewed 1985 times
Univeral proto board double sided 4 x 6 .jpg
Univeral proto board double sided 4 x 6 .jpg (87.59 KiB) Viewed 1985 times

there are even bigger versions of these...

you can also cut it to size... to fit your setup's requirement, just like what I did below:
DAC-POD.jpg
DAC-POD.jpg (147.41 KiB) Viewed 1985 times

doing the wiring is just like what you did on the breadboard, but this time you'll need to solder each connection.
a 40 pin (2 x 20) female header is compatible with the thru-holes...
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
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twostage
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:57 pm

I sometimes use these https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1

They allow you to solder your DuPont cables into exactly the same position as they are in the breadboard. You just hop everything across one at a time and solder it.

twostage
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:59 pm

And your components of course.

earthdog
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:06 pm

Yes it is an one off (or maybe i can build a couple for some friends).
twostage wrote: I sometimes use these https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1

They allow you to solder your DuPont cables into exactly the same position as they are in the breadboard. You just hop everything across one at a time and solder it.
I like this idea as it is closer to what i have already done and will make me understand easier what to do...I think i will create the first one using something like this. I also found this one: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12699

How i would connect them to the pi? Should i sacrifice a gobbler for that or i can put a 40pin connector ?

hal8000
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:07 pm

Can you read a schematic?
You have the components on breadboard so you've either read the schematic and translated
to a breadboard or maybe copied from a photo or Fritzing layout.

PCB's are non correctable.
You get one chance at designing the layout and if its wrong youve wasted your time
and money. You also need to know the size and orientation for each component.

the easiest way is to use veroboard or a prototype board as in previous post.
A veroboard is exactly like your breadboard except the strips are longer and you
need a 1/8in drill or veroboard cutter to break tracks.

If you want to go the PCB way then you need to install a schematic drafting program
that can create a layout in gerber format. The gerber format contains the correct hole
sizes for all components and pads. Kicad is the standard linux program for drafting
and can produce a gerber file. It also works on windows.
Companies like [urlhttps://www.pcbway.com/] can produce your PCB direct from the gerber
file.

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FTrevorGowen
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:56 pm

Because I've been soldering "things" for several decades I rarely (if ever) have used "plug-in" breadboards and tend to use solderable "stripboard" , "proto-boards" and pi-specific breadboard-like pcb's. FWIW, you may find the examples I've posted (some) details of within my "Pi" webpages of interest - starting here: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_p ... Boards_Etc.
Hope they give you "food for thought" :)
Trev.
Still running Raspbian Jessie or Stretch on some older Pi's (an A, B1, 2xB2, B+, P2B, 3xP0, P0W, 2xP3A+, P3B, B+, and a A+) but Buster on the P3B+, P4B's & P400. See: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_pi/raspiidx.htm

earthdog
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:59 pm

FTrevorGowen wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:56 pm
Because I've been soldering "things" for several decades I rarely (if ever) have used "plug-in" breadboards and tend to use solderable "stripboard" , "proto-boards" and pi-specific breadboard-like pcb's. FWIW, you may find the examples I've posted (some) details of within my "Pi" webpages of interest - starting here: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_p ... Boards_Etc.
Hope they give you "food for thought" :)
Trev.
You certainly did!!! I am heading over there to check out and learn a few things..

I have found this which i think is a good way to start. Do you agree?

https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/adaf ... x20-header

Image

LTolledo
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:00 pm

if you want to preserve your breadboard layout, there are some boards that "emulate" the appearance and layout of a breadboard:
breadboardproto.jpg
breadboardproto.jpg (223.52 KiB) Viewed 1912 times

and seen on one of my first projects (after a very long lull)
VUmeterproto1a.jpg
VUmeterproto1a.jpg (207.79 KiB) Viewed 1912 times

you wont be able to solder in a 2 x 20 header though.....but a t-cobbler soldered to the breadboardproto will do just fine....
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

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FTrevorGowen
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:13 pm

earthdog wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:59 pm
FTrevorGowen wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:56 pm
Because I've been soldering "things" for several decades I rarely (if ever) have used "plug-in" breadboards and tend to use solderable "stripboard" , "proto-boards" and pi-specific breadboard-like pcb's. FWIW, you may find the examples I've posted (some) details of within my "Pi" webpages of interest - starting here: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_p ... Boards_Etc.
Hope they give you "food for thought" :)
Trev.
You certainly did!!! I am heading over there to check out and learn a few things..

I have found this which i think is a good way to start. Do you agree?

https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/adaf ... x20-header

Image
That's the "modern" equivalent of this: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_p ... oFull.html (for the early Pi's)
Trev.
Still running Raspbian Jessie or Stretch on some older Pi's (an A, B1, 2xB2, B+, P2B, 3xP0, P0W, 2xP3A+, P3B, B+, and a A+) but Buster on the P3B+, P4B's & P400. See: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_pi/raspiidx.htm

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rpdom
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:37 pm

I usually start with a breadboard, then try things out on stripboard and eventually - if I am keen enough - I will design a PCB in KiCad and get it made up by JLCPCB or PCBWAY or similar.

I made some simple breakout boards for practice. The latest version was a 4-layer board, just because JLC were doing a special offer on them at the time.
PCB4.png
PCB4.png (56.7 KiB) Viewed 1864 times
(It looks better than that in real life)
It has most of the GPIOs broken out in numerical order along with 0V, 3V3 and 5V pins. There are pins for i2c and 1-wire (with pull-up resistor), and 3V3 and 5V LEDs.
Unreadable squiggle

lurk101
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 6:48 pm

Does Kicad have an autorouter?

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rpdom
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 6:56 pm

lurk101 wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 6:48 pm
Does Kicad have an autorouter?
Not in the version that I'm using AFAIK. That is a bit of a pain, but it leads to lots of fun (!) with manually routing everything.
Unreadable squiggle

LTolledo
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:44 pm

am using EasyEDA online...
and try to use auto-routing if possible.... but just like rpdom...does the routing manually....giving hours of fun :mrgreen:
KA2284 based DIY VU meter route guide.jpg
KA2284 based DIY VU meter route guide.jpg (71.16 KiB) Viewed 1793 times

once satisfied with the component placement and routes....apply it on the universal board...
another fun filled hours of manual routing and soldering.... :D
KA2284 based DIY VU meter underside.jpg
KA2284 based DIY VU meter underside.jpg (175.09 KiB) Viewed 1793 times

and the completed project.
DIY VU meter KA2284 backview.jpg
DIY VU meter KA2284 backview.jpg (144.34 KiB) Viewed 1793 times
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

JohnsUPS
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:04 am

The process that I follow is very much like what LTolledo has shown.

Once I get things working on a proto board, I'll carefully draw out the schematic. Not only does this document what I've done for future reference, but then I'll build off of it, because I sometimes need the proto board parts for the finished project.

Usually I'm making a one-off project for myself, but in the event that I need to make a few for friends, the schematic comes in handy.

As for the construction technique, I use plated through hole boards with one pad per hole on a 0.100" grid. For connections I use 26AWG Kynar wire wire wrapping wire that is soldered (not wrapped) point-to-point. For connections that are anticipated to carry more than about an amp, I use heavier wire, like 22 or 18 AWG. These boards can be had inexpensively. I'll buy bigger boards, then cut them down to the size that I want.
I prefer the FR-4 fiberglass boards like the ones shown here:
https://www.banggood.com/Double-Side-Pr ... mds=search

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3d/86/c8 ... ca2693.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/07/30/c5 ... 2ff879.jpg

LTolledo
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:31 am

forgot to add:
before I was able to use EasyEDA... I used MS Excel (then later LibreOffice Calc) to do component layout and routing....
layouting and routing using spreadsheets.jpg
layouting and routing using spreadsheets.jpg (140.09 KiB) Viewed 1638 times
those were the days.... :D
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

earthdog
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:56 am

Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:34 am

JohnsUPS wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:04 am
The process that I follow is very much like what LTolledo has shown.

Once I get things working on a proto board, I'll carefully draw out the schematic. Not only does this document what I've done for future reference, but then I'll build off of it, because I sometimes need the proto board parts for the finished project.

Usually I'm making a one-off project for myself, but in the event that I need to make a few for friends, the schematic comes in handy.

As for the construction technique, I use plated through hole boards with one pad per hole on a 0.100" grid. For connections I use 26AWG Kynar wire wire wrapping wire that is soldered (not wrapped) point-to-point. For connections that are anticipated to carry more than about an amp, I use heavier wire, like 22 or 18 AWG. These boards can be had inexpensively. I'll buy bigger boards, then cut them down to the size that I want.
I prefer the FR-4 fiberglass boards like the ones shown here:
https://www.banggood.com/Double-Side-Pr ... mds=search

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3d/86/c8 ... ca2693.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/07/30/c5 ... 2ff879.jpg
And you manually solder the 40 pin header to connect it with the PI? I am not so proficient in that and i am thinking that i should get one with presoldered 40pin header.

LTolledo
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:23 am

you will need to learn how to solder, as most electronics prototype project start with universal boards....then move on to final pcb design/making, soldering, testing and deployment...

another option is to "call a friend" or "hire somebody" to do it for you...
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

PiGraham
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:35 am

hal8000 wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:07 pm

PCB's are non correctable.
You get one chance at designing the layout and if its wrong youve wasted your time
and money. You also need to know the size and orientation for each component.
That's not entirely true. PCBs can be reworked to fix errors or omissions, and such edited PCBs do sometimes make it into end products.

Tracks can be cut. Extra wires can be added. Even chips can be added using "dead bug" techniques.
You can also tie in small proto boards with extra circuitry if needed.
It can get messy though.

If you anticipate mistakes you can even include prototyping areas on your PCB to make it easy to add components.

https://resources.pcb.cadence.com/blog/ ... s-of-a-pcb

Also note that there are some very low cost options for custom PCBs, so you can fix your design and get new PCBs.

twostage
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Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:41 am

rpdom wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:37 pm
I usually start with a breadboard, then try things out on stripboard and eventually - if I am keen enough - I will design a PCB in KiCad and get it made up by JLCPCB or PCBWAY or similar.

I made some simple breakout boards for practice. The latest version was a 4-layer board, just because JLC were doing a special offer on them at the time.
PCB4.png
(It looks better than that in real life)
It has most of the GPIOs broken out in numerical order along with 0V, 3V3 and 5V pins. There are pins for i2c and 1-wire (with pull-up resistor), and 3V3 and 5V LEDs.
I like this. Can't quite figure out the detail of the matrix though. Looks useful.

twostage
Posts: 125
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Location: Northumberland

Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 am

Think I've got it. The matrix is 3.3v, gpio, gnd 5v. Right ?

JohnsUPS
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Location: USA

Re: Moving from breadboard to next level and build a prototype

Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:41 am

And you manually solder the 40 pin header to connect it with the PI? I am not so proficient in that and i am thinking that i should get one with presoldered 40pin header.
Yes. the header shown on the board in the linked pics has a ribbon cable from there to the Pi. These days I use my stronger reading glasses when wiring up a board like this :ugeek:

With a little practice, you'll eventually get a feel for soldering and be able to fabricate whatever you need. You may want to consider getting a couple of inexpensive kits, or maybe get some bare proto boards and just solder on spare parts you may have laying around.

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