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Berfboard 2.0 PSupply, a breadboard like protoboard with a power supply

by: May 11,2021 140 Views 0 Comments Posted in PCB Design Tutorial

PCB Design Tutorial KiCAD

Summary:       A prototyping board designed to have connections similar to a breadboard with a built-in power supply.

Berfboard was originally a prototype board that had designed to have connections similar to a breadboard but then I had an idea of combining a power supply into it. The power supply can provide +5V or +3.3V which would be ideal for certain Arduino or Raspberry Pi projects. Having a built-in power supply would make it much more convenient as you would just need a DC power adapter or a +9V battery to power everything up instead of adding additional wires for power and connecting it to an external power supply.




Circuit


I designed the schematic and PCB in KiCad because it’s free and open source.

The circuit is actually fairly simple as you can see below. However, using a simple voltage regulator circuit has its limitations but it gets the job done. I will try adding a buck converter circuit in a later revision.


PCB Layout


 

It took a while to do the PCB layout but eventually, I came up with this. I didn’t connect the power strips directly to the power rails, so you’re gonna have to solder a wire or something to connect it. The reason I did this was to give the user the choice between which voltage they would want to use when prototyping their circuit.


PCBs and Stencil


I got the PCBs made with PCBWay which is a well know professional circuit board manufacturer based in China, you can learn more about them over at http://pcbway.com. The turnaround time was about 3-4 days because of the red soldermask and 10 days for the shipping, about 2 weeks which is not bad during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PCBs and Stencil I ordered came in a box that kinda provided enough protection during shipping. The PCBs were packed in this bubble shrink wrap thing and the stencil was sandwiched in between two pieces of wood which seem to have been used in the PCB drilling process.

Overall the PCB quality is pretty good and I didn’t find any mistakes. For the stencil, it had nice rounded edges and looked alright. So yeah I would definitely recommend them if you need to prototype a PCB design or get a stencil made.







Assembling the board


Now that I had all the parts it was time to assemble the board !


 


1. Applying the solder paste


I used this Realife lead-free solder paste that I got for about $6 or $7 from Banggood.



Since I don’t have a stencil frame holder, I made this jig using the extra PCBs and some masking/paper tape. Not a perfect solution but it does get the job done.



I then used an old bus pass to apply the paste.




To get better results I would suggest you use a metal spatula or something similar.


2. Placing the parts and soldering them


Using my trusty tweezers I carefully placed the SMD components on the board and soldered them using my 858D hot air station as you can see in the video.



3. Cleaning the board


I just dumped the board in the ultrasonic cleaner ( the liquid inside is alcohol, not IPA but that’s what I could get my hands on since IPA is rare here ) and let it do its thing.


 


Final Board


After assembling the through-hole parts, I put it back in the ultrasonic cleaner to remove the flux residue. I was pretty satisfied with the results and tested whether it was working or not. As expected it worked. Now I just gotta find a project where this can be useful.



Want the board design files and schematic ? No worries it’s open hardware, you can get it from here https://github.com/Chromico/Berfboard-2.0-PSupply .

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