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Breadboarder’s Perfect Protoboard

BreadboardProtoboardPileWright Hobbies has started selling the perfect prototyping board for breadboard lovers. The Protoboard 400’s pad arrangement and connections match those on a 400-point solderless breadboard.  The pads in each row are connected together on either side of a 0.3 inch gap. A pair of power rails on each side match those on a normal solderless breadboard as well. The 0.3 inch gap is not wasted or empty space like on the typical solderless breadboard. They are connected along the board to create another set of power rails.

Wright Hobbies sent 5 sets to uCHobby as part of the sponsored giveaway program, one prototyping board and one matching solderless breadboard in each set. I plan to keep one set but the other four will be given away with a comment contest.

Details on the contest and a close up of the new prototyping board after the jump.

pb400-1 With this board we can finally move some projects off our breadboards. Making them more durable and permanent. Build up a test circuit, get the layout and even test it on a solderless breadboard. Then transfer it one part at a time to this prototyping board.

Comment Contest!
We have four sets to give away, two winners will be selected at random from the comments and two will go to the best comments as determined by us. Winners will be announced in about a month, early June.

How would you use this prototyping board? Got a neat project idea or maybe an existing breadboard you can finally tear down to move it onto one of these board?

Posted in Contest, Development Tools, Parts, Review, Workshop Tips.


15 Responses

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  1. Jack says

    My job is to repair radar systems in the Marine Corps. These systems are connected with a variety of cables, but there’s one particular model of cable (we use about 50 of them) that goes bad all the time. Unfortunately, this particular type of cable has about 50 data signals running through it. Additionally, nobody ever thought to design a system for testing these cables, and due to the fact that they are daisy-chained as many as 7 cables long, every pin of every cable in a bad chain has to be tested to determine the culprit. That’s a good 350 or so pins, currently tested via multimeter. Absolutely tedious.

    My solution: use Multiplexers/Demultiplexers in a circuit to quickly test cables. Simply connect the two ends of a cable to the test case, press a button, and a test signal will be sent down every line. Any signal not received will be displayed on a simple 16×2 LCD.

    If you send me one of these awesome boards, I can realize this test device, and hopefully convince the Marine Corps to build more for each of our Radar locations. Of course, they won’t pay me for for making this, so it’s almost like charity.

  2. Steve Chamberlin says

    I’d like to use one of those boards to assemble a minimal Uzebox: an open-source hardware game platform using an ATmega644.

    I prefer that style of board to the style where every hole is separate. Soldering a wire on the rear side for every single pin-to-pin connection is a real hassle, although it does give you the most layout flexibility.

  3. Dennis Finegan says

    My Arduino arrives tomorrow. I was hoping to breadboard items then solder them up once they work properly. This sounds like just the thing. I am especially interested in RF circuits, just having received my ham radio license. LCD screen frequency readout seems like a good idea.

  4. SiliconFarmer says

    That’s a nice board with 1-to-1 correspondence to protoboards. I suspect the parasitics would even be similar, for those like @berni with sensitive analog circuits.

    What we need is a single-sided, cheap $1 version, like the board @ladyada pointed to, but with the protoboard connectivity this board has.

    Anyway, I’d use one to build a hardened version of my AVR-based Smart Meter reader. It monitors the LED blink from my new Smart Meter and sends the data via Zigbee to my PC for graphing. DIY Google PowerMeter.

  5. Daniel says

    I can throw my breathalyzer circuit on one of these, and finally have a permanent project.

  6. marku says

    I’d built an ir receiver with this for my internet radio which i’m developing

  7. Charles S. says

    I would love to add that to my newly scrounged HD44780 compatible 16X2 LCD screen, and an arduino for a MPG gauge, and more for my Fiero. I am about to submit an article about the scrounging of an old 4 line phone from a small business. If I get this from the comment contest, and the arduino for submitting an article, then most of the parts will be free. Yeah!

  8. Grey says

    WOW… That’s just what I’ve been looking for, thank you!!! Also, might make me make proper sized wires on the breadboard, as then they can get transferred directly to this board (as opposed to finding any old wire that’s too long, loses one of its legs from over use, or them ending up on the floor, not to mentions making it difficult to figure out what goes where when it looks like a drunk-birds-nest !)

  9. Kris says

    I would make an adapter board to make a EEPROM pin compatible with a EPROM. In one of my classes, we are using a EPROM to store the code for a microprocessor. Every time we need to re-program the EPROM, we have to wait 15 minutes for it to erase under UV light. I want to replace the EPROM with its electrically erasable counterpart, but I can’t find any EEPROMs that are pin compatible with the EPROM that we are using. I want to make an adapter board that plugs directly into the ZIF socket and routes the signals to the EEPROM making it pin compatible with the EPROM. I would do it using a couple of 0.1″ headers, an IC socket, and wire wrap everything together.

    This looks like a great product, much better than those protoboards that I get at Radio Shack.

  10. Ivanserch says

    I´ll use to do a Wii nunchuck controller with I2C. You can control robots, laptop, …

  11. Berni says

    Now that’s something i never seen before. I find it a pretty neat idea since the breadboard layout is pretty useful.

    But i seam to have a habit of only testing parts of a circuit on a breadboard and then just making a whole PCB. But if its a not so serious project i just breadboard the thing.And after some time it gets disaembeld when i run out of breadboards or i need the parts quick.

    One warning tho about very sensitive analog circuits. They may behave totally different when transfered to a PCB, because a real breadboard has small capacitances between the rails that sometimes make the analog circuit work properly on the breadboard but fail on a PCB when they are gone. I can tell you that because i had that happened with some IR distance measurement sensors i built for a robot. I could make a article about it if you wana see (Its a simle cirucit with one opamp and one 555 that will meshure very acuratly up to 30cm but its possible to get many times more range)

  12. James Haskin says

    I would use them for making an Arduino/Boarduino based Drumometer with multiple 7 segment LED displays and a piezo transducer.

  13. ladyada says

    I just got 25 of these for $25:
    http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=12348+PB
    they are not as nice (no plated holes) but damn they are cheap! i use them all the time once im done breadboarding

  14. Shawn Vincent says

    I’m trying to build a sub-$100 CNC milling machine with scrounged parts. With the wealth of old electronic devices thrown away in our society, I think upcycling them into useful tools is critical.

    I would use the prototyping board for building motor controllers for this device — I’ve got a couple of them on my breadboard now and have been thinking about offloading them. Ultimately, the CNC machine would mill the boards from copperclad, but in the meantime, this would be awesome. They look like great boards!

  15. Jason says

    I have 3 possible projects for 1 of these puppies. I’m working on a water level sensor and sump pump switch with wireless communication. I’m also building a module to put in my cat’s litter box to “lock” the door when the dog comes near so that she can’t get any, um…cat cookies. The one tha’ts currenlty hogging my solderless breadboard is a device to connect to the serial port of a PC and program custom messages into a standard persistence of vision fan that are commonly given away at trade shows.