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Looking for a Proto Board

  1. May 28, 2010 #1
    "Speedwire" boards used to be made by an obsolete company called BICC-Vero. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedwire

    These things are basically PCB's with holes on a 0.100" grid loaded with pins that are sockets on the top side for component mounting and insulation displacements forks on the bottom side for wiring. I used them for prototyping about ten years ago and could use one again now that I have a cool new job at << advertising link edited out by berkeman >>

    These things are very fast and versitile for development work but I'm having trouble finding one.

    Anybody out there have one they could part with or know where I can find one?

    Please respond to this post or email me at << e-mail address edited out by berkeman >>

    Best Regards,

    Dan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2010 #2

    berkeman

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    Welcome to the PF. We generally do not allow posting of e-mail addresses in the open forums -- it attracts spam bots. Just use the PM system if you want private messages.

    Also, posting a link to the place that you work on your first post here is a bit too spammy, so I deleted that link.

    Do you have any photos of these prototyping boards? They sound expensive, but interesting.
     
  4. May 28, 2010 #3
    No picture but they look just like a normal proto board with a bunch of holes on a .1" grid. These just have all the holes stuffed with pins that double as sockets for parts and insulation displacement contacts for wiring. I would estimate prototyping with this method is at least 10 times faster than soldering plus it's way easier to rework or add to the circuitry.
     
  5. May 28, 2010 #4

    berkeman

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    What wire gages does the IDC connector take, and how many high can you stack wires in it? Do you know how much these proto boards go for?
     
  6. May 28, 2010 #5
    Search eBay and Radioshack for "breadboard socket"

    Bob S
     
  7. May 29, 2010 #6
    You want Vectorboard. Go to digi-key.com and enter that into the search box. They take credit card orders over the phone or web.

    Not sure about the IDC backside. Check the vectorboard site directly.
     
  8. May 29, 2010 #7

    berkeman

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    Yeah, the IDC backside is the unusual part of this. I've never seen it, and I use lots of different prototyping boards.

    I'm not sure I'd use it necessarily, since most of my prototyping is mixed signal, and requires very good groudning. So I'm partial to ground plane vector borad and hand soldering.
     
  9. May 29, 2010 #8
    If I remember right the wire gauge was 26. You could stack three wires easy, four was pushing it. I'm working in a very dynamic development lab and quick changes are necessary. I can do the soldering stuff but I would rather be able to do things quickly. We have ever-changing valves (hydraulic and pneumatic) to control, depending on availibility.

    I've already looked on EBAY and at the VectroBoards I just don't have the bandwidth to deal with engineering a control system, designing a circuit board, programming the microprocessors, not to mention the parts-procurrment headaches.

    Regarding the proto boards I am looking for and the mixed signal thing:
    The boards were four layer and had inner power and ground planes and worked great.

    Maybe I should just find some pins that would work for me and lay out a board to do what I want...Or maybe I'll just keep on soldering.

    On a side note: How do you feel about split ground and power planes for analog and digital? I've always been a proponent of them but I see the arguments against. Currently I'm using ferrite beads to couple the planes. What do you think?
     
  10. May 29, 2010 #9
    Oh yeah, they cost about $45 back in the day.
     
  11. May 29, 2010 #10

    berkeman

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    The most important layout/floorplan technique that I've found is to use a star ground, with the power supply and any IO in the middle, and the analog & digital sections separated about the center of the star ground. You don't want to share any ground impedance between the analog & digital sections of the board. You can try to use seperated ground planes as well, but the physical separation on different sides of the center of the star ground has been much more effective for me. Especially if there is any RF on your mixed signal board.
     
  12. May 29, 2010 #11

    dlgoff

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  13. May 30, 2010 #12

    berkeman

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    I think the OP has seen a version that does not use WW, but instead uses IDC with WW wire. I haven't seen that, and I wonder if it uses some punch-down tool, or you just push it down into the IDC with pliers or something.

    Still sounds expensive, but maybe pretty useful for quick stuff.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  14. May 30, 2010 #13
    Thanks Don,
    I have used wire wrap before but have found the IDC thing more reliable. I might go for this though if what I want doesn't magically appear.

    Regarding the tool for the IDC: I have used needle noses to attach the wires in a pinch, but there was a tool specifically designed for the task that worked very well. There was an audible and physical snap when you made a good connection.

    Thanks and Best Regards,
    Dan
     
  15. May 31, 2010 #14
    Regarding the star ground thing: I currently have a 3.3V power supply (the good old LM317) in the center of the board with 220 ohm ferrite beads for coupling from the analog to digital. It works pretty well but I am getting a bit of noise from the analog outputs PWM and drawing about 1.6 Amps for each valve. We are now using four hydraulic valves as well as two pneumatic ones. The current is coming from the battery of the vehicle but the noise is coming from the PWM signal. Maybe not a big deal but I'm worried about the noise on the controls wearing out the valves on the hydraulics. That's why I'm looking for that proto board. Something I can experemint with quickly and get into production.
    Thanks again for your help and Best Regards,
    Dan
     
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