copper and scratch its pins into the strip. Use a Dremel
drill (a drill press helps big time) and create the required
number of holes from the copper side.
Next, you will have to make opens between each pin,
but leave enough copper for proper soldering. You may
want to remove the first solid copper strip towards the
hole strips to prevent any shorts when soldering the wires
on to the header. Do not use solid wire with IDCs or for
anything “off board.” If the board needs work, just flexing
the solid wire to get underneath can cause it to break
Before soldering any device, ensure the copper clad
side is fresh and bright. If it is dull and oxidized, use an
ultra-fine grit sandpaper to restore it. Strip board is tricky
to desolder as the drilled traces tend to lift if too much
heat is applied. To avoid this, always use a wet solder tip
to conduct the heat quickly when soldering or
It is always tempting to bridge over adjacent traces or
pins that require connecting when the opportunity arises.
Do not go down this road! If rework is required, you may
unsolder a connection without realizing it, which will
result in wasted time and possibly never getting the board
running. If you need to connect adjacent traces, use a
bare wire on the component side bent for this purpose.
With more experience, you can leave the small piece
of insulation on, but the solder heat has to be perfect
because too much will cause the insulation to melt off.
There is little metal available to wick away the heat. You
may want to make an access point using a raised loop of
wire for monitoring power or signals. Vero sells premade
loops with colored beads if you want to get fancy. On
that note, you may want to use an inexpensive through
hole component bender for a more esthetically appearing
To keep a nice finished edge when cutting Vero
board, always score both sides and align the break with a
square table edge; then snap it off. Scoring only one side
can result in an uneven break, creating two unattractive
pieces of board.
VS .100 idCS
It is desirable to use screw terminals for power and
any critical measurements since .100 IDCs are not
designed for high current. You will find that a typical
screw terminal block has pins slightly larger than the Vero
A tip here is to use a drill bit just a size or two
larger than the holes; attach it to a Xacto™ knife tool
and hand drill each hole to the desired size.
The mating connector to an IDC header requires a
special crimp tool to connect stranded wires to it. A
work-around is to solder wires directly to the IDC
connector. It should be noted that even with the crimp
tool available, there are cases where it is advantageous to
solder wire directly to the connector. It takes a fine
conical solder tipped iron, and you must be careful how
long you apply heat and solder. Too long of a time could
result in melting the connector or worse … filling up the
cavity that accepts the header pin, rendering the
A technique I like is to have a drop of solder on the
tip. Contact the top of the metal insert inside of the IDC
connector, then add a small amount of solder after
contact, and remove. Then, tin the wire and use a wet
solder tip to join it to the tinned metal insert.
The use of a handheld auto wire stripper with a strip
gauge will keep the stripped wire portion consistent,
resulting in a cleaner looking finished product.
Some techs like to use strip board layout software
sites available online. I have never used them, but you
may want to when first starting out. It may help to just
review some layout examples to get going on your own
For serviceability, it is great to have all the
connections to the Vero board removable, although this
might not be practical in some applications. The .100
IDCs are great for LEDs (use integrated LEDs if possible),
pushbuttons, connecting logic levels, and to aid in keeping
the Vero board removable from all of its wires. IDCs
should be avoided when small voltages are used or
measured as the contact resistance can cause problems.
HigH Current deViCeS
High current devices can be accommodated by
BenefitS of working
witH Vero Board
• Improve your design, hardware, and soldering skills.
• Valuable experience when you want to design PCBs.
• Meeting time constraints that don’t allow for a PCB
to be designed.
• Creating an add-on circuit to an existing PCB that
• A valuable skill set whether a hobbyist or tech.
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