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TraxMaker and Stripboard

:: EPE Chat Zone ­:: ­Radio Bygones Message Board :: » EPE Forum Archives 2007-2009 » Archive through 14 March, 2007 » TraxMaker and Stripboard « Previous Next »

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boris
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Username: boris

Post Number: 164
Registered: 05-2005


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Posted on Monday, 05 March, 2007 - 05:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi.

I use CircuitMaker2000 to draw and simulate circuits. TraxMaker is an autorouter packaged with CircuitMaker and I would like to setup TraxMaker to route Stripboards.

Anyone tried this? Any ideas?
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
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cpemma
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Post Number: 29
Registered: 02-2006

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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 12:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I came across a method for Vutrax but haven't seen anything for Circuitmaker, which I much prefer. May give you some clues.

http://www.vutrax.co.uk/san206.htm

I use Stripboard Magic, many failings but it's an easy way to try arrangements.

One I've not come across before (but it showed on my google for the Vutrax link) is Lochmaster, not expensive at 39 euros, but it doesn't look to have the auto-placing features of Stripboard Magic. I'll try the demo.

http://www.abacom-online.de/UK/html/lochmaster.html

(Message edited by cpemma on 09 March, 2007)
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obiwan
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Post Number: 1573
Registered: 12-2005

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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 02:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not to put those products down or anything, but a good point to point method using wire wrap wire would get you up and running in about the same amount of time, and give you a much more compact board too.

I did it that way for years, and still use it on occasion, although it's getting harder because of my eyes.
Do Not Hit The Fly That Lands On The Tigers Head.
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grab
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Post Number: 443
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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 10:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Somewhat more expensive though - every component (including resistors and capacitors) needs wire-wrap pins. It's also not very robust unless it's solidly mounted in a box - one bent wire-wrap pin and you can kill everything. The big bonus of stripboard is that it's as solid as a PCB.

Having said that, if you're not sure about your circuit then wire-wrap gives you an easy way of undoing things and retrying.

An alternative might be that point-to-point solder-wiring system. Never used it myself, but it seems like you solder the coated wire directly at each point, and the coating just burns off where you solder. Do the same at the other end, and cut the wire. Don't think it ever really took off, but it might be worth a look.

Graham.
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joe
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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That point-to-point solder system was by Vero..
They sell (or sold) combs that you fit in the strip board copper side holes - typically in the holes under the body of IC's. They allow for nice and neat routing of the wires.

The only major problem I found was "debugging" boards. The wire seemd to only be sold in Red and on fairly complex boards you end up with this mass of red and it's a pain to trace where things go.

They also sold a vero-wire pen. It was pen shapped with a spool of wire at one end and a fine nib that the wire feeds through at the other. Made routing quite quick and simple. With a vero pen, tweezers and a scalpal blade to cut the wire, I got quite fast.

I don't know if it's still available as I've not seen it in any of the cats for ages.
Do one thing each day that scares you – work here !
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winston
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Post Number: 20
Registered: 02-2007

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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 12:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Drifting off the original topic - but when I do something with point-to-point wiring on tri pad board, I prefer using transformer wire, the orange colour stuff. I strip it just by running the free end into a blob of molten solder, then "surface mount" it by re-melting the blob of solder holding the IC socket pin or component pin, and run the now stripped and tinned end of the transformer wire into the blob.

It's good for circuits with lots of wiring, since you can get quite a high wiring density entirely on the solder side of the board.
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zeitghost
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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I found one of those Veropen things the other day in a box of junk... still had a full spool of wire on it too.
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grab
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Post Number: 444
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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 03:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eek. If you're doing point-to-point wiring (soldered or wire-wrapped), really *don't* use those wiring combs. Sure, they make your board look nice and neat. But the result is point stresses on the wire at the corners of the wiring comb, and wires don't like that.

Similarly with wire-wrap, don't try and lead your wires along neat horizontal and vertical paths around the chips and stuff. The edges of wire-wrap pins are sharp - they're designed to be, so that they dig into the wrapping wire and make good connections. If you route your wire with a nice neat 90-degree bend around the end of an IC or whatever, the sharp edge of that pin is going to be digging into the wire's insulation, and it won't take long to hit the core.

Remember, point-to-point wiring *should* look messy! If you've made it look tidy, maybe you've done some god-like choice of component placement, but more likely you've compromised the reliability of your circuit by bussing wires together.

Graham.
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joe
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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 04:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Graham,

I sort of see what your saying but must disagree on the use of the combs.

If you use pure point to point (straight line), you have wires passing over IC pins and joints that you then can't get to, and then you have to start moving wires out of the way to reach joints and that causes wires to break and insulation to damage. Also, if your not carfull, the insulation can rub off if it passes over sharp joints, like those left when component leads are clipped.

Like any wire system, if your rough with it, it's going to fail but for all the boards I've made using that system, I never had problems with stressed wires.
Those combs were a god send for creating high destity boards.

For standard digital work I never had problems with cross-talk or stray signals.

My only beef with the system was that for prototyping it was a bugger to figure out where things went as all the cable is the same colour.
Usually a problem late at night when I made a mistake and then couldn't find it in the morning.
But it was a massive leap forward from using 10/0.1 hook-up wire for high density boards.

However, with the availability of cheap and large breadboards, I feel that the vero system is now defunct and I've not needed it for several years.

Joe
Do one thing each day that scares you – work here !
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obiwan
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Post Number: 1574
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Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Any of those methods would also work. But I always just used wire wrap wire, and soldered right to the components and chips (sockets). Sounds like a lot of work, but it's not really.

Just strip off a bit of insulation, wrap it around the pin or component lead once or twice and solder, the route the wire, measure it out (by eye ball), and cut and strip some more and do it again.

I used a pad per hole board with plated through holes from Vector. That would be the biggest expense, but you can use something cheaper.

Of course, if there's more than one wire going there, you have to leave it unsoldered.

But I've made many many boards this way and all have worked out just fine. And you can do them pretty quickly too.

When I worked at AT&T, I did plenty of boards like this for things like trade shows and test equipment prototypes and stuff like that.

Never had a single problem resulting from the method.

But of course, what ever floats your boat.

I know it sounds a bit off topic, but just trying to offer an alternative to strip board. With strip board, it seems you're pretty limited in how small you can make a project.
Do Not Hit The Fly That Lands On The Tigers Head.

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