New in the Maker Shed: Perma-Proto Boards

Have you ever had one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments? I had one the first time I saw Adafruit’s Perma-Proto Boards. What they’ve done is to take the idea behind breadboard perf-board and raise it to the next level. Lets say you spend hours (or minutes) building the above Mintduino circuit on a breadboard and decide it needs a more permanent, more robust home? With Perma-Proto Boards all you have to do is relocate the circuit component by component, wire by wire, solder it up, and you’re set! The Perma-Proto board retains the number / grid system and power bus markings you’re familiar with to make the transition easy.

Perma-Proto Boards are sold in packs of three and are available in three different sizes so you can match them up to your breadboard. The super thick, heavy-duty boards feature gold plated holes and traces to prevent oxidation and mounting holes for secure attachment. This “Cadillac” of perf-board is now available in the Maker Shed.

20 thoughts on “New in the Maker Shed: Perma-Proto Boards

  1. Oh, come on. The gushing is putting me off. I doubt Adafruit is saying they invented this, and you are making them look bad. You are about 30 years late to the bandwagon, Radio Shack was selling PCBs with the protoboard pattern around 1980. Lots of us have obviously been doing just as you describe for decades.

    Sometimes I just build a circuit right onto the PCB because they are handier than all hand-wiring on a perf board.

    1. Oh, he didn’t initiate the gushing.

      “Then we thought about how people actually prototype – usually starting with a solderless breadboard and then transferring the parts to a more permanent PCB. That’s when we realized what people would really like is a proto board that makes it easy!

      This proto-board is the PCB you always wish you had, but never realized it! We took the basic layout of a half-sized breadboard and turned that into a beautiful PCB.”

      It’s a higher-quality protoboard than the Radio Shack ones we’ve all been using for decades, to be sure — but it’s advertised as though it’s something completely new, and as you say, that’s off-putting.

    2. Hey guys, there’s a specific reason I designed it this way. I’ve used a lot of perf :)

      We’ve been using radioshack boards for a long time, but anyone who has used them knows that the copper traces are sometimes not tinned – so if you dont use them fast they oxidize. The PCBs are made of cheap paper phenolic, not FR4. They don’t have have full rails on both sides (usually only one rail). They don’t come in half or quarter size (the ones we’ve used the most are long type). They certainly don’t look nearly as good as these and of course, they are not double sided, so you can only place parts on one side and if you rework them they basically disintegrate. These boards have the exact same layout and numbering as a solderless breadboard. Compare this to rat shack perf and you will see the quality difference.

      The vector board that @erik scott linked to is $33 just for comparison.


      1. No one is questioning the quality. You’ve definitely done it much better than the Radio Shack boards, which have not changed in quality (that I can tell) in 3 decades. And they still match the old style of Protoboard with only one power/ground rail on each side.

        I just don’t like that the article makes it sound like you invented the idea (which obviously -you- are not saying that you did). Or that he doesn’t know this has been done before, or not done any research.

  2. Elektor electronics published a very similar board many years ago. Probably the best electronic magazine in the world. ( I’ve been a reader since 1978). A European magazine Elektor has and continues to teach about the leading edge of electronics

  3. actually is a obvius idea that I don’t know why the greatest companies that make pre-perfored pcb’s dosn’t do it first; all they have are seudo pre-perfored board that don’t have the same configuration that a protoboard

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I am the Evangelist for the Maker Shed. It seems that there is no limit to my making interests. I'm a tinkerer at heart and have a passion for solving problems and figuring out how things work. When not working for Make I can be found falling off my unicycle, running in adverse weather conditions, skiing down the nearest hill, restoring vintage motorcycles, or working on my car.

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