From Breadboards to Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
Typically, most people are introduced to the
breadboard during their first tutorial in electronics and use
it to build their first electrical circuit. The components have
long leads that are easy to insert into the breadboard and
are called through hole (TH) or dual in-line package (DIP)
components. For a time, pretty much every electrical
component that was sold could be used with a breadboard
for a temporary setup or soldered together using a
perforated circuit board for a permanent solution.
You could buy the latest technology in a TH or DIP
configuration and use it in your project. However, as
technologies advanced and demand for more compact
designs increased, parts were made smaller and the TH and
DIP configurations were dropped, leaving the part only
available in a surface-mount (SM) configuration (Figure 1).
Surface-mount components have been a great advance
and allow devices to be built smaller and smaller. The only
drawback is that you have to use an adapter board while
prototyping with a breadboard. This isn’t a major problem
with many companies already selling SM sensors or
components in a breadboard-friendly format, with the
Electronics is a wonderful adventure. At first, everything is covered with
arcane symbols, but then you begin to decipher the symbols and crack the
code. You blink your first LED. You continue gaining skills and advancing.
So, what will you create next? Your first SM printed circuit board, of course!
By David Dorhout
34 May 2014
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke
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