Breadboards are great and so are protoboards that are based on breadboard layouts. Well most of the time . They both have problems when you need to use IDC connectors, dual row headers or any other component that has 2 rows of connectors on a 2.54mm (0.1″) grid. The problem is due to the fact, that you need the connectors on each row to connect to a different terminal strip or protostrip. This cannot be done because each set of terminal strips/protostrips is separated by a 0.3″ (7.62mm) gap.
This prototyping board addresses this problem by having an area on one edge of the board, specifically for IDC connectors and dual row headers. The rest of the board is based on a standard breadboard layout which makes it easy to transfer your designs from a breadboard to a more permanent form. Because of its form factor, it can be stacked with other small, medium or large protostack boards.
Based on a Breadboard Layout
This board is based on a standard breadboard with a few of our own improvements.
- Power busses are pre routed on the board
- Power busses go from edge to edge and do not have any gaps
- Power busses are available in the gap were DIL components usually sit. This provides more flexibility for component placement and allows for more options for connecting power to components.
Screen Printing on Topside
Screen printing on the board top clearly shows power busses and connection points. Positive power rails are marked in solid white while the ground rails are marked with a white outline.
Connection Strips on Top and Bottom Edges
Most Protostack protoboards have sets of 3 connected pads on the top and bottom edges. These are used to interface each board with the adjoining board above/below or to interface the board with an external system. These strips can also be used as regular breadboard style connection strips.
Standard Protostack Form Factor and Mounting Holes
Protostack large boards have a standard size with 6 mounting holes on the top and bottom edges. This allow the board to be stacked with other small, medium or large boards using hexagonal spacers.
You can read all about board stacking here.
Lead Free HASL Pad Treatment
Hot Air Solder Levelling (HASL) is a process where the board is immersed in a molten tin-copper alloy then levelled with a hot air knife. This prevents the copper pads from oxidising makes it easier to solder.
All holes are plated with copper then treated with the lead Free HASL pad treatment. This increases the surface area for the solder and capillary action improves solderability. The end result is a stronger more reliable connection.
Quality FR4 Board Material
We use quality FR4 fibreglass board material unlike the paper based phenolic material that is found in many prototyping boards. Fibreglass reinforced substrates have a much higher strength that paper reinforced boards and are more resistant to cracking or breaking.
The FR4 material is usually a light grey/green colour. A red lacquer-like layer is applied using a silk screen but this isn’t just about making the board look good.
For the non-solderable copper tracks the solder resist helps to prevent oxidation. The solder resist also help prevent bridging between 2 adjoining pads.
Dual row and IDC Support
On one edge of the board there is an area specifically designed to support dual row devices.
|Number of Holes||
-30°C to 125°C
|Rated Current||Power rails: 6A|
General connection Strips: 3A
|Mounting Holes||6 x 3.175mm (0.125")|
|Component Holes||1674 x 0.9mm (35mil)|
|Board Material||1.6mm FR4|
|Pad Treatment||Lead Free HASL|
|Copper Thickness||1oz per sqr foot|
|Track Width||Top - Power rails only: 50mil (1.27mm)|
Bottom: 60mil (1.52mm)
|Notes||Rated current is based on many factors including acceptable temperature rise and ventilation. When calculating rated current, we assumed:
Voltage rating was calculated in accordance with IPC-9592B