After its successful KickStarter Campaign the MonkMakes Protoboard is now available as a kit.
So, What’s the Idea
As an electronics hobbyist, I like to prototype my projects on solderless breadboard and then transfer them to something more permanent when everything is working right. I have never been completely satisfied with other protoboard designs and decided to address what I saw as their short-comings.
MonkMakes Protoboard is designed to make the creation of one-off projects and prototypes as simple to make as possible by:
1. Using the same layout as 400 point ‘half’ solderless breadboard (inspired by Adafruit’s Permaproto boards)
2. Adding component footprints on the side of the board for connectors and a relay that don’t fit straight onto breadboard. These are unpopulated so just add the parts you need for a particular project.
3 Adding component footprints on the board for a linear voltage regulator to add a power supply (if you need it)
4. Add longer breadboard rows at the bottom of the board for modules that use 2×4 or 2×5 pins such as the ESP01 or NRF24 modules.
5. Solder jumpers to allow supply rails to be connected to power supply (if you want)
As well as being a good place to solder up the final design, I have also found it useful to stick a solderless breadboard onto one protoboard with a full set of components to be used for the solderless breadboard phase of the project. That way I can prototype without the need for any soldering, using jumper wires to connect to the screw terminals, audio jack etc.
Here is what I did when I was making an energy monitor for my solar panels using a Spark Core.
First off, I turned one of the MonkMakes Protoboards into a solderless prototyping board by soldering on all the connectors and sticking a self-adhesive solderless breadboard onto the protoboard. This board can then be used each time I have a new design to prototype.
The next step is to build the design.
The audio jack is used to connect the CT sensor that measure the current and two screw terminals are connected to an AC transformer.
Once it was all working, I just transferred the solderless breadboard design to a second protoboard to make the design more permanent.
This is super-easy to do because everything is in the same place and could just be transferred from the solderless build to the soldered protoboard.
This board is ideal for use with any project that you could start with a 400 point solderless breadboard. So that means pretty much any project. Its great for projects that use an Arduino Pro Mini or even for making an off-board Arduino.
Here is the schematic for the board, so you can see just how the power supply, relay etc are connected.
Buying components can often be quite time consuming and annoying. So here is a table for product codes for some popular suppliers where you can get the ‘side components’.
|Supplier||DC Jack socket||100uF Caps||7805||3.5mm Audio skt||3.5mm screw terms||5V Relay||12×1 Header skt|
|Multicomp MJ-179PH||Multicomp MCGPR16V107M6.3X11||L7805CV||Cliff FC68131||Camden Boss CTBP3051/2||IMO SRM-1C-SL-5VDC or OMRON G5LE-14 DC5||Fischer BL1.36Z|
|Farnel||1737246||9451080||9756078||2518188||2527545||1094018||9728856 (cut to size)|