How to prototype circuits cleanly (Manhattan style)


For me, condom
speed of construction is the ultimate goal for prototyping circuits. This often involves perforated prototyping boards with components and wires flowing everywhere giving an impression of a clump of hair. It got the job done, however, it was increasingly difficult to troubleshoot with each additional kludge and even harder to have somebody else understand the board. Even if they had the schematics. Some time ago I was pointed to an excellent article by K7Q0 describing Manhattan Building Techniques. The style involves taking a copper clad board and gluing smaller pieces of copper clad board to it to mount components on. Techniques are discussed to make this mounts for single point connectors to more complicated dual in-line connectors. The overall result is that the circuit looks much cleaner and is easier to diagnose. A secondary benefit is that the circuit typically includes a ground plane and the possibility of power planes for reduced noise. The chief downside is that the prototype board takes longer to produce, however, this may well be justified.

( manart.pdf )

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