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Fun With Perf Boarding


Perf-Boarding LED Projects


What the heck is a Perf? It is an abbreviation for perforated and that is exactly what this type of circuit board is. It is a sheet of either fiberglass or synthetic resin bonded paper with a grid of small holes that allows you to assemble a circuit on.

That's pretty much the non-technical version. I'll get a little more technical down below.




Perf Boarding

A perf board is often used to prototype circuits. Components like Resistors, Capacitors and LEDs are put together on a circuit type board that contains lots of holes in a square grid usually spaced 2.54mm (0.1") apart. This is the same spacing used in most IC's, (Integrated Circuits) which allows you to mount them on sockets or just right on the board and then solder them together by using either point to point wiring or, as with some copper clad perf boards, connecting the copper traces or tracks in order to make a complete circuit.


Another method is to use wire wrap sockets for point to point wiring.





Perf Soldering
Soldering the leads together on the trackless perf board requires that you bend leads together and solder them in groups, then connect the groups together with insulated wire. With the circuit trace type perf board you cut the traces in whatever path is necessary to connect all of the circuit together. The methods used are similar to PCB soldering. The main point is still the same, make sure the two surfaces are hot enough to melt solder. Never use the soldering iron tip to melt it.



Old Projects

Here are some examples of some projects from 20 years ago that I played around with. I can't believe I still have them around. Can you say "Pack Rat"?

At this point I would like to point out that my projects look a little bit better than this one to the right. Back then I was more concerned with performance than style. Sure made it hard to troubleshoot though.



An Alternative To Perfs
If you don't have a perf board handy or you just want to build a small circuit, such as an LED Flasher Circuit, you can use an IC (Integrated Circuit) socket and build the circuit right on it. It's simple and if you use a wire wrap socket, it gives you lots of room to solder. Here are a couple I put together a while back. They are just like the one's on my LED Flashing Circuits Page.



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