I want to figure out the best way to solder each terminal of a screw terminal block to a row of this proto board that has square pads. None of the squares are electrically connected. I assume just a wire on the bottom side for each terminal could work but maybe there is a more elegant solution:

Bottom of Board

Top of Board


I ended up using some of the suggested ideas and a few of my own. This was my first time using a square pad proto board and it was relatively easy to use. I routed the wires on the top side and was able to bend the leads over to the locations of the screw terminals on the bottom side. I am still a beginner so it is not perfect but it works:

Top: Top with wires

Bottom: Bottom with solder

In Enclosure: Enclosure

Final: Final

This image helped my thinking of how to do this (not sure the source): Kortex

I thought that this track soldering instructables was helpful: https://www.instructables.com/Track-Soldering/

I also liked some of the boards I found here: How to solder PCB?

  • \$\begingroup\$ youtube.com/watch?v=vAx89WhpZ3k Have a look \$\endgroup\$
    – user76844
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 4:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks okay, but I really don't like the idea of holding the wires in place with soldered bare wire. You can see the yellow wire insulation melts fairly easily. If you must, maybe a dab of superglue or hot glue. For a prototype, AWG 30 wire-wrap wire or solder-through enameled wire works nicely. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 4:15

3 Answers 3


Wire is OK. Often when working with through hole components you can bend the lead of the components that will be touching the connector pins. Bend them over to the pin and solder them in place there. Then you don't need a wire.

Your choice. Typically you have to hold the lead in place while the solder cools. If you don't, it may spring away from the pin and give you a bad solder joint.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @mkeith, this is similar to what I ended up doing but I actually did use wires \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 3:34

If you have copper tape you could cut a thin strip of that and run it down the line of holes.

Its basically the same as using a wire, but flatter.

Once you stick the tape on, you can even punch holes in it (using a small nail or sharpened pencil) to match the hole pattern in the proto board.


When building prototypes like this, you should first stop to consider what signals there will be. In particular, you will have a ground and a supply "plane". Ideally you should centralize all connections these, since it is practical but also because of EMC.

Normally I would use some naked metal wire and lay that one out across the bottom side (solder side) in a straight line across the board, one originating from the Vdd pin and one from the GND pin. Solder it in place on a couple of vias here and there. Keep in mind that the vias are plated on both sides, so they will conduct on the component side too. Then attach all your supply or ground connections from components to that one in turn. Think of it like a tree branch "growing" out of the connector and you get the idea.

All component bodies should be placed on the top (component side). Isolated wires should ideally be placed on that side too, though in some cases you can mount them on the solder side too.

Avoid situations with wires crossing each other, even if they are isolated. This is messy and easy to get wrong, particularly if you manage to heat a wire too much so that the isolation starts to melt away.

Cut off through-hole component pins are awesome for building prototypes: clean up the glue residue from them with isopropyl, then they make excellent naked wires/traces, that you can easily bend into shape before mounting.

Consider early on if the bottom of the board needs to be isolated. In this case 4 spacers should solve that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ theses board have plated holes and square pads on both sides, but yeah it is a good idea to put all the parts on the same side. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 10:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jasen Yes I am aware. The whole reason for having plated vias is to ease prototype building, not to place components on both sides. There are similar lab boards that only have copper on the solder side, but they are give less flexibility. Also, you get crappier solder joints if you don't have plated vias and mount through-hole components there, since a properly soldered component should wet on both sides of the via, to prevent corrosion/oxidation. If you just want to build some prototype junk, that's not important. But if you want to use the board live in the field, it is. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Commented Dec 17, 2020 at 8:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin Lots of great tips, thank you \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 3:35

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