1.15 Circuit construction

Application and advantages/disadvantages of the following circuit construction methods:
  • prototyping board (breadboard)
  • printed circuit board (photo etched)
  • stripboard (veroboard)

Mounted electronic components

Here are some STC electronics kit, made from acrylic, labelled and joined together with standard cables.

Examples from jjmelectronics
These are components mounted in a frame and are joined together the crocodile clips or jumper leads when connected to a power supply these can be used to examine basic electronic concepts and how components behave when connected together.
Using Omega Electronics component kits, we can begin to investigate how circuits work, the relationships between different components.
Complete the experiments on the worksheet below, and complete your notes buy answering the questions and drawing the circuit diagrams for each of your experiments. If you cannot remember the circuit symbol for a component, check in you books or the component jigsaws on this website.

Task 1
Complete the following worksheet, making notes and taking photos.


Breadboards only serve as a temporary assembly space and are used to make up temporary circuits for testing or to try out an idea.
No soldering is required so it is easy to change connections and replace components. Parts will not be damaged so they will be available to re-use afterwards.
Conductive paths in the board are hidden below the sockets. These sockets contain metal sleeves which connect components to conductive paths. Component pins may be inserted into these sockets to enable interconnectivity between two or more components.
The photograph shows a typical small breadboard which is suitable for building simple circuits with one or two ICs (chips). Larger sizes are available.

The red lines on illustration A below shows how some vertical columns and horizontal rows are internally connected. When power is applied to the breadboard current flows along these internal connections. When components are placed onto the breadboard it is important to observe how the current flows to ensure you circuit works properly. See illustration B

A finished breadboard project may look something like this example of a Schmitt trigger photogate with a separate emitter and detector
Converting a circuit diagram to a breadboard layout is not as straightforward because the
arrangement of components on a breadboard will look quite different from the circuit diagram.



Task 2

Using the following worksheet complete the task of building a number of circuits using breadboards, LEDs and a 9 volt supply.



Using Yenka to model circuits here is the link to the website: http://www.yenka.com/technology/
Download the free home edition, and try out the following tasks.

Task 3

Using Yenka to draw the four circuit diagrams on the Using Breadboards worksheet.
Here is a video to get you started:

Task 3
Download the following worksheet and create a presentation about Circuit Construction and Health & Safety

Veroboard / Stripboard

Veroboard, or stripboard, is a circuit prototyping board somewhere between solderless breadboards and printed PCBs. It allows you to make a more permanent circuit, which has more reliable connections than with breadboard, but without the expense of etching or ordering printed PCBs. It consists of strips of metal on a side of a board and a grid of holes spaces 0.1" (2.54mm) apart. This means you can solder most types of non-surfance mount ICs, resistors, capacitors etc onto them.
Track side of veroboard
Component side of veroboard

To customize the veroboard before soldering components such as IC's you need to use a track cutter to break the continuous copper tracks
For more information go to the following links: