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I bought this stripboard on Ebay. It said "Veroboard" so I had thought it would be with some sort of tracks:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281342062542

Turns out there's copper around the holes but there's no actual copper tracks. I wondered if maybe the holes are connected in a layer below or something (especially since there seems to be row numbers), but it doesn't seem to be the case or maybe my voltage tracing skills just suck ;)

My question is then, what is the point of making a board with copper around the holes, when there's no actual connections anyway?

Picture of board

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You bought perfboard, not stripboard. \$\endgroup\$ – Roger Rowland Jan 25 '15 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK product description said veroboard so I guess that's why I was confused :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Morty Jan 25 '15 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Never mind, it's still useful - the wiki I linked to probably tells you all you need to know. \$\endgroup\$ – Roger Rowland Jan 25 '15 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Vero makes many kinds of boards. Not all of them are stripboard. What you got is called "pad per hole" board. The copper pads provide a place to anchor (solder) component leads and the wires that connect them. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Jan 25 '15 at 13:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Veroboard® is a brand name, not a product description. Plus that looks really really ropey. Looks like it was drilled by a child in a sweatshop. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jan 25 '15 at 14:03
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It's useful because, with an abundance of plated-through holes, it's easy to securely mount through-hole parts, such as leaded resistors, capacitors, LEDs, etc, and DIP ICs. Once the parts are mounted, it's straightforward (if tedious) to run wires to make connections as needed, and the pads make soldering the wires that much easier.

There is a tradeoff here. With no strip connections in place, you can't just plug things in. What you get it return is the ability to make compact layouts with low interconnect resistance, since you don't need to deal with the predetermined strips. For any degree of high speed, you'll get better performance with what you've got than a stripboard would give. It's not as good as a multilayer PCB, particularly one with a ground plane, but with care it can come very close.

Likewise, if you're doing anything that requires higher currents, more than, say, 100 to 500 mA, with perfboard it is straightforward (and again, tedious) to use larger gauge wire as necessary.

If you do much perfboard work to prototype circuits, you'll be much better prepared to consider layout concerns if you ever graduate to making PCBs.

Although it is, to be honest, a pain in the butt to have to solder/desolder mistaken connections, rather than just pull the wire out and plug it in elsewhere. And you can't reuse perfboard nearly as easily as you can stripboard.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ They're not plated through holes - just holes in copper pads. No plating. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jan 25 '15 at 14:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, so it's the really cheap variety. All of the above still apply, it's just that the tedious factor (if you want to run wires on both sides) just went up a notch or two. \$\endgroup\$ – WhatRoughBeast Jan 25 '15 at 14:46

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