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DIY Stompboxes => Building your own stompbox => Topic started by: aefpv on March 01, 2021, 03:30:28 PM

Title: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: aefpv on March 01, 2021, 03:30:28 PM
I have done several kits and a couple of perfboard circuits. I am getting the itch for another project and considering an attempt at stripboard. I have been less interested in etching a PCB, but maybe I should be more open minded. I am curious to know what method do most people  prefer. Stripboard or perfboard?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: EBK on March 01, 2021, 04:27:20 PM
Stripboard, personally.  I like knowing that there are no wires on the back of my boards, which I feel makes the build cleaner.  I also enjoy the puzzle of creating new stripboard layouts.  And, if you hate puzzles, perfboard lets you avoid them, I suppose.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: iainpunk on March 01, 2021, 04:33:28 PM
good question
i prefer perf over strip, it has a few advantages:

1- you aren't confined to lines, you can go in every direction
2a- the lines of strip make it that people design signal flow paths that go criss cross over the board, because you can make odd long connections.
2b- easier to debugg, you can generally follow the signal flow of a pad-per-hole easily, since you can lay it out sort of like a schematic drawing
3- strip-board has parallel conductors with isolation in between (copper track and air/pcb in between) this is also how capacitors work! strip-boards have lots of parasitic capacitance, which might cause all kinds of trouble.
4- easier to design layouts on because you keep components that are connected close together, in contrast to strip, where you can plop the components all over the board, confusing yourself AND you are tied to the stripes, making the puzzle harder.
5- bad breaks in strips are a common culprit when it comes to debugging, and its kind of hard to find, if you aren't too experienced
6- less likely to f#ck up, 9/10 debugging threads that feature either type of board are vero/strip-boards, perfboard is way less common when it comes to debugging, although its just slightly less popular in use.

the downsides are:
1- there are less layouts freely available on the web
2- vero/strip is slightly easier to solder, don't need to bridge pads.

Eric, jumpers can be avoided on perfboard just as easily as vero, its just a matter of design tactic/skill, i refuse to use jumpers on my perfboards, and they are generally on the component side, its quite messy indeed when there are wires on the solder side.

cheers, Iain
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: garcho on March 01, 2021, 06:05:57 PM
there are more choices out now than perf or strip/vero, like these:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/A1OYEkhb%2B5L._AC_SL1500_.jpg)

They're by some company called Electrocookie, there are others that make the same thing. I really like them because they actually have a copper eyelet for each hole, not just drilled F4. They're laid out exactly like a breadboard, with rows of 5 pin buses and power rails on the sides. They're very convenient for one offs.


There are other non-breadboard designs too, like these:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71mGxl1y0AL._AC_SL1200_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71qqIEAICcL._AC_SL1200_.jpg)

Those are by Busboard Prototype Systems, pretty khaki name but they make great products.

The copper on the boards made by the cheapest brands won't take much heat before peeling away from the board.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: BJM on March 01, 2021, 06:25:00 PM
Hi,

I'm building a pedal now with doube sided perf board. Not neccesarily to solder part on both sides, although it's handy sometimes, but because I found a shop in NL that sells them cheap and in different sizes  :)
(https://i.postimg.cc/CRNxZdr7/425958600.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/CRNxZdr7)
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: iainpunk on March 01, 2021, 08:20:10 PM
Hi,

I'm building a pedal now with doube sided perf board. Not neccesarily to solder part on both sides, although it's handy sometimes, but because I found a shop in NL that sells them cheap and in different sizes  :)
(https://i.postimg.cc/CRNxZdr7/425958600.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/CRNxZdr7)
in Nederland?
which one, i want to get some supply's anyways, might as well get some extra perf board

cheers, Iain
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: GibsonGM on March 01, 2021, 10:12:35 PM
+1 for perf. I REALLY need to start etching boards - I never have.  No excuse...I work way harder than I should because of it!  :)
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: Big Monk on March 01, 2021, 11:09:42 PM
+1 for perf. I REALLY need to start etching boards - I never have.  No excuse...I work way harder than I should because of it!  :)

Given the cost of having PCBs manufactured these days, I canít fathom why anyone would want to etch their own boards.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: davent on March 01, 2021, 11:32:14 PM
+1 for perf. I REALLY need to start etching boards - I never have.  No excuse...I work way harder than I should because of it!  :)

Given the cost of having PCBs manufactured these days, I canít fathom why anyone would want to etch their own boards.

Because it's fun and no constraints on how i do things, now minimums, no particular required software, use whatever best serves my needs. No waiting for manufacture and delivery, i can print the photoresist and etch a board in a half hour.

Designing pcb's and etching my own designs is one of the parts of the process i enjoy most, that and enclosures.

If i need a quick little one-off-board i'll use stripboard, easy to use, perf board laying in the wire, multiple connections on a single node and if you want to, need to change a single component, can be a major hassle. I use to use perfboard for small things but after i tried the stripboard stopped with the perf.
dave
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: BJM on March 02, 2021, 04:42:59 AM
in Nederland?
which one, i want to get some supply's anyways, might as well get some extra perf board

cheers, Iain

Hi Iain,

vanallesenmeer.nl. Not specialized like Musikding or Banzai (although they do sell some Hammond enclosures and footswitches too :) ), but they have a lot and ship small parts by "brievenbus post". Beats ordering resistors and capacitors from Germany.......

Rgds,

Bert
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: anotherjim on March 02, 2021, 08:17:55 AM
I prefer perfboard with single copper pads, although I don't bother with the fancier double-sided thru-plated types. Never seen the need as it'll only make reworking harder -  need to suck the solder out. It is easy to lift pads off but that isn't a real problem - you can still make it work.
On the subject of rework, I have to learn to resist the temptation to bend components wires out to form tracks. It makes for quick work to do that until you need to excavate it out to make a change.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: duck_arse on March 02, 2021, 08:44:30 AM
I used to use veroboard, but always hated them. the long strips suck the heat from the iron as you try to solder a joint, and I always ended up with gallons of solder in every joint, pilled miles high. and those bloody track cuts. and the fly-wires all over, 'cause resistors are always bent 5 holes [well, in theory].

but then I tried pad per hole, plated thru perf boards, and have never looked back. the plated thru tends to wick the solder, the plating makes it take quicker, so you need only tiny amount of solder, in and out [well, in theory]. mind - I lace my boards with copper strands instead of bent component leads, and do H O U R S of layout diagramings before starting to solder ......

also - pick a pre-sized board size, and fit your circuit to it. a challenge for the puzzlers. and - I can do whatever I like with it, stack it three high for cordwood, etc. the perfboards, that is.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: BJM on March 02, 2021, 10:28:59 AM
Quote
also - pick a pre-sized board size, and fit your circuit to it. a challenge for the puzzlers. and - I can do whatever I like with it, stack it three high for cordwood, etc. the perfboards, that is.

If you really want to puzzle..... use double sided board with amp style jacks (the ones that dont stick out of the enclosure) on the bottom and rest on top  :)
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: amptramp on March 02, 2021, 11:20:19 AM
A big +1 for the prototyping boards that garcho mentioned.  All my stuff is done on that.  There are versions that have card edge connectors and dedicated I/O pads as well.

There is another type of board I have not seen in a while: X-Y board.  This is a vero board with strips at right angles on opposite sides.  I have seen people use it.  They then turn into the type of people who would take a rifle to the top of a bell tower and start picking people off, one by one.  I have seen people do complicated layouts with no jumpers, but take away their firearms when they get finished because this kind of layout turns you crazy.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: noisette on March 02, 2021, 02:35:05 PM
Self etching is easy to do, but drilling all that holes, with a complicated circuit maybe 100+, is what really gives me grey hairs.

I prefer single pad vero because you can cram more stuff on it than stripboard, but you have to totally plan everything because debugging is a nightmare.
Stripboard is good for building little improvised layouts.
In my small world at least. ;D
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: aefpv on March 04, 2021, 01:07:33 PM
Thanks to everyone to replied. These are some great suggestions and products that I have not seen. Time to get building!
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: CodeMonk on March 04, 2021, 01:23:00 PM
+1 for perf. I REALLY need to start etching boards - I never have.  No excuse...I work way harder than I should because of it!  :)

Given the cost of having PCBs manufactured these days, I canít fathom why anyone would want to etch their own boards.

I find designing PCBs to be somewhat therapeutic.
Also, its nice to know that if you want to have boards made, you can use the same layout and know that it will work because you already built the prototype.
You want to wait  weeks to find out you did something stupid, like missed a trace?




Self etching is easy to do, but drilling all that holes, with a complicated circuit maybe 100+, is what really gives me grey hairs.

I prefer single pad vero because you can cram more stuff on it than stripboard, but you have to totally plan everything because debugging is a nightmare.
Stripboard is good for building little improvised layouts.
In my small world at least. ;D

I like designing. Kind of therapeutic.
Etching is easy.
The drilling part can be a HUGE PITA.
Especially if it has a parts count like a Big Muff.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: garcho on March 05, 2021, 11:26:30 AM
I got a dremel "drill press", it made drilling the holes in etched boards a breeze, it was almost fun. I say it in pass tense because I think I'm all done with etching.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: deadastronaut on March 05, 2021, 12:05:22 PM
i just made a vero board project, havent done one for years...

now i know why i hated it in the first place....annoying stuff.

never tried pad per hole perf....maybe one day..


ive made my own boards in the past which is great, but like others have said the drilling and the nasty fr4 dust

is a real turn off...

as for getting pcbs made, yes yes yes....i can wait a few weeks, no rush .  8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: davent on March 05, 2021, 01:28:50 PM
After having a nerve severed during brain surgery and then another surgery for nerve re-assignment lost up close depth of field vision because the right eye vision's obstructed, couldn't see when the drill bit and pcb were even close so came up with this and drillng's a breeze.

A Dremel and drill stand, a regular drill press for it's press table, USB endoscope, lap top and some free software, had to buy the endoscope.

https://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=105520.msg950670#msg950670

(http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc305/davent/IMG_5636_zps5fa00d8e.jpg)

Old phtotobucket account pictures i can still see fine...

dave
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: rutabaga bob on March 05, 2021, 03:25:30 PM
Did a few vero years ago; meh.  All perf now, either pad-per-hole or plain drilled phenolic.  I donít fool with the fiberglass stuff.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: matmosphere on March 05, 2021, 03:27:57 PM
Both are fine and pretty easy to work with in my opinion. I generally pick one or the other based on a couple factors.
Tagboard effects is a great place to get Vero layouts, endless projects there. Effectslayouts is pretty much just a good now for perf.
Personally I would rather use Vero most of the time, unless things get to large. Then I might switch to perf just to keep the size down. if there is a ton of off board wiring I'll go with perf if there is a layout that uses board mounted pots.
If I'm making my own layout I generally use perf because, for me, it takes less thought.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: iainpunk on March 05, 2021, 08:01:19 PM
i soldered some perf yesterday, i finally build my Bazz Fuss and Harmonic Percolator based project. i forgot one capacitor on the layout i drew, but fount that i could just put it on, there was enough space on the board left, this would be harder to do on vero, because you have to work with the tracks that are mostly occupied already.

cheers
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: davent on March 05, 2021, 08:05:05 PM
i soldered some perf yesterday, i finally build my Bazz Fuss and Harmonic Percolator based project. i forgot one capacitor on the layout i drew, but fount that i could just put it on, there was enough space on the board left, this would be harder to do on vero, because you have to work with the tracks that are mostly occupied already.

cheers

Veroboard holes are large enough you can easily slip a few different leads into one hole.
dave
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: anotherjim on March 06, 2021, 05:07:38 PM
Another thing I like about perf, is if I use SIL turned pin socket strip for ICs, I can fit parts in the holes under the IC. Using 0.4W metal film resistors, the Vref divider can go in there. For links between the sides of an IC, I can fit links across in that space too.

For any parts I forgot, I'll use any convenient unused holes and link if necessary with Kynar wirewrap wire on the component side.

Even with stripboard builds, the Kynar wire can be invaluable as it can pass thru track cut holes. It's also thin enough to share holes with most component legs.

Stripboard traces are wide enough to drill larger holes if you have too.

Perfboard can have extra in-between holes for those parts with pins outside the 0.1" matrix. I try to align with as many existing holes as possible and mark the extra positions. I start the hole by wiggling in a scriber point and use a jewellers hand pin-chuck to drill. Don't whack it with a centre punch!

Wide & flat lugs on PCB mounting components can be produced by drilling in between holes and gently pulling the drill over at angles to join the holes together. I fit the shield/mounting lugs of audio transformers this way.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: Mellotron Man on March 09, 2021, 05:12:00 PM
I THINK I prefer Perf Board. I'm in the process of making a couple of units using 0.1" Veroboard, and it is bloody awful. Even with multi-core solder, I'm having a helluva job getting the solder to stick. Also, in some cases, the copper peels away from the fibre board.
I used to work in a Defence Electronics company in Edinburgh, and at the time, they used double-sided PCBs with Thru'-plated holes (TPHs), and they were a joy to work with. They were tinned, which made soldering wires & components to them a piece of cake. Sure, sometimes the track lifted when there was an excess of re-work, but the TPHs held it down. On a range of low-quantity products, the company knocked out hundreds of proto-style PCBs, some of which were given to me. See the attached photos. The top photo is the component side, and the lower photo is the solder side of the same PCB.

(https://i.postimg.cc/qzV8jrGw/Blue-Fox-IFU-PCB-Component-Side.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/qzV8jrGw)

(https://i.postimg.cc/18yD1K2N/Blue-Fox-IFU-PCB-Solder-Side.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/18yD1K2N)

The strips of spills at the bottom are for 96-way Hypertac or Soriaou socket where the PCB under test plugged in.

I'd love to lay my hands on Perf Boards like this, but with a higher density of strips to plug in more components!
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: Sesh on March 10, 2021, 04:34:09 AM
I think either is fine as long as you just work on it and get better. Though I say this only having worked on vero/stripboard.

I've managed to make over 30 pedals on vero this last year with very little prior electronics knowledge. I've just finished a Lovetone Meatball clone and an Earthquaker Grand Orbiter - both semi-large boards. Now I'm going for the gold with a Lovetone Doppelganger, Boss CE-2 /w mods, a Schumann PLL and some other more complex circuits. Pure stupidity, but I love it! I think it's easy to follow the layouts and finish the circuits, especially for smaller circuits like fuzzes, drives and their ilk.

Systematic and thorough hole-cutting and component-populating is a must.
As long as you know the troubleshooting tricks like scoring the strip gap lines with a knife, audioprobing to locate the problematic area of the circuit, reflowing solder for cold solder etc. it's fine.
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: Mellotron Man on March 12, 2021, 06:29:13 AM
I have another proto-PCB that I also "acquired" from the same defence company I worked for. As with the boards I showed before, the 'groups of 3' are linked on one side of the PCB, and there are long strips for power. ALL holes are 'thru-plated'. There is NO copper linking of holes on the other side of the board.


(https://i.postimg.cc/WDtWy234/20210312-110601.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/WDtWy234)
Title: Re: Perfboard vs stripboard. What is your preference and why?
Post by: Electron Tornado on March 12, 2021, 10:11:19 AM
I'll use either vero, or etch my own. Vero is a bit easier in some ways, since there's no etching involved. I don't care for the simple pad per hole stuff. I've been using DIY Layout Creator for vero and etched boards.

When I etch, I don't do the tiny thin lines, I leave a good amount of copper on the board. It gives me some leeway when drilling, and it's less likely to have a trace lift off the board. Here's a trick for drilling holes for IC sockets in an etched board. Get a piece of perf (or vero, or similar), line up the holes over the board where you need to drill. Secure the perf board with scotch tape, and then I use a Dremel drill press. Works great.