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Once I test my prototypes on a breadboard, I have a hard time to migrate the breadboard circuit to a double-sided PCB prototype board like this:

enter image description here

I am looking for a design tool (similar to thinkercad circuits) that helps me to place (draw) my components on a double-sided PCB prototype board and add connector wires. The drawing helps me to print and implement my circuit easier on such PCB prototype boards.

I know there are many free online tools to draw and design PCB board. Is there a similar drawing tool for double-sided PCB prototype boards as well?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think stripboard is much easier to work with rather than these boards which require blobs or wires to join adjacent holes. See my answer to electronics.stackexchange.com/a/395058/73158 which may be of help. There are many software layout programs - some online - for stripboard layout. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor May 4 at 21:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ordering a 2 or 4 layer PCB is pretty quick, why not just draw up your circuit in your ECAD tool then have a board made? Probably doesn't cost much more than those proto boards... \$\endgroup\$ – Ron Beyer May 4 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Transistor, do you know any free program (prefrably online) to design a stripboard circuit? \$\endgroup\$ – Allan Xu May 4 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a shopping question and off-topic for this site. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor May 4 at 22:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RonBeyer, this is for my 10 year old doing some circuit projects during weekends. I was hoping to find some simpler online tools (like thinkercad circuit) to make things simpler for her. \$\endgroup\$ – Allan Xu May 4 at 22:22
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I do these types of layout using Eagle. But any PCB layout software should work.

I set the grid size to 0.1” to match the pitch of the protoboard through holes. At each point the grid lines cross is where a through hole would be on the protoboard. You can then align your components’ pins to match those points.

You then run traces making sure to stick to 90 degree bends. If your protoboard is two layer, you can use both TOP and BOTTOM layers in Eagle, which makes it clear which traces go where.

For single-sided protoboards I use the TOP layer to draw jumper wires. Again, makes it very clear.

This also works for strip/veroboard but you’re obviously limited to horizontal traces. I layout the components and then draw in the horizontal traces where they need to go. This helps show where you need to break the tracks.

It can be a little bit of a faff to setup, but works great once you get going. Using Eagle or similar means you can take advantage of the rats nest tool to make sure you’re not missing any connections.

Update

Pictures always make things better, so here we go:

Eagle Protoboard Layout

This image shows the layout. You can see the grid, with the intersections being the through holes. All the parts are aligned to this. Blue traces are the Bottom layer. Red traces are the jumpers on the Top layer.

In the past I have tried to minimise jumpers etc, but you could spend hours and hours trying to get everything on one layer. Plenty of jumpers give you more places to use as test points!

What is a good idea is to space things out as much as you can. It makes things much easier when soldering, and gives some wiggle room for on the fly adjustments - or for bodging down the line!

Finished board

This second image is the final result. I don't have a picture of the bottom, but it more or less matches the board layout in the first image.

The LED arrangement is slightly different, as I adjusted this on the fly.

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There is a software called VeeCAD that allows you to design circuit on protoboard.

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To add up on the previous comments, I'll share this resource that has saved me lots of time when designing PCBs: SnapEDA. It’s like Google for components where you can find free symbols, footprints and 3D models, and export them to your PCB design software. bit.ly/EngineerSnapEDA

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, Re: "this resource that has saved me lots of time when designing PCBs" (a) The original question is not about typical PCB design; it's about migrating a breadboard circuit to the specific prototype boards shown in the photo. There is no answer to that specific question at the URL you gave. (b) Especially since it doesn't address the original question, this answer reads like an advert :-( That site you mentioned has already been linked in previous, more appropriate, topics. Therefore, unless you can edit this to directly answer the original question, I recommend you delete it. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – SamGibson May 7 at 21:25

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