Perfboard or veroboard for an on-board preamp ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by NickRich, Oct 31, 2016.


  1. NickRich

    NickRich

    Oct 13, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    Hi guys,

    I'm about to make Bajaman's 2 band Stingray Preamp using either perfboard or veroboard.
    BajaMusicmanStingrayBasspreamp.png

    I found various layouts : [1] [2]

    This is gonna be my first DIY circuit built, so I have a coupe of questions for you guys :
    • Is veroboard safe to use for an on-board preamp ?
      • Does it need to be sealed with something in order to avoid short-circuits on the copper strip side ?
    • Is perf board that much an hassle for this kind of project ?
    • What do you use for your traces/jumpers ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  2. Why wouldn't veroboard be safe?

    You can use either one. It all comes down to your preference. Personally, I hate perfboard because it's too much of a hassle to make traces.
     
    NickRich likes this.
  3. NickRich

    NickRich

    Oct 13, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    I'm wondering if it is possible to have short-circuits with something inside the bass.
     
  4. Crater

    Crater

    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Of course it is, especially if your control cavity is lined with shielding foil. I've never built a bass preamp, but I've dealt with something similar when building effects stompboxes either by lining the bottom of the enclosure with an insulating material like thin cardboard, or by keeping the bottom of the circuit board from contacting the enclosure by using a couple of square pieces of double-sticky foam mounting tape.
     
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  5. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I've used veroboard with no issues. As was said previously, put some insulation between the shielding and the board and there should be no problems.

    Perfboard also works. It's just makes a lot more work for you. Fortunately, a lot of projects now publish veroboard layouts. So if they offer one, it's easier to just use that.

    If you use veroboard, you don't need to worry about traces. They're already there. All you're going to need to do is cut a few traces and solder a few jumper wires as indicated in the layout. Add your components and you're set to go. Piece of cake! :thumbsup:
     
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  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    FWIW, there's a much easier and more elegant third option: PCBs for DIY clone 2-band Preamps

    Order fulfillment has been dodgy for at least a few years now, but near the end of the thread it looks like some options are opening up.
     
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  7. NickRich

    NickRich

    Oct 13, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    I've looked at this option but I'd rather build the preamp myself and etching looks messy :)
     
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    So you're going to build your own opamps and capacitors too then, right? Or_wink.gif

    Yep, etching is something I've never messed with and probably never will. OTOH, contracting out that work is trivially easy these days. I built up one of the Uncle Fluffy boards, changed many component types and values, and then just rolled my own version:

    PWMM2B_v1_1_stuffed.jpg

    But lots of people love doing Veroboard or perfboard builds, and it's a time honored way to get your feet wet, for sure. I rocked a perfboard onboard pre in my #1 bass for many years myself, but haven't built anything that way for quite a while. I think I'd probably pot the board if I ever did another onboard pre that way, FWIW. I'm just getting to that point with my PCB based ones, actually. In any case, that's a great sounding preamp design and I had a lot of fun working through a few different versions before I eventually moved on to my own thing.
     
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  9. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    For the layout you posted I'd use perfboard. Just bend the component leads to shape and solder for traces.
     
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  10. Yes, and that is a risk with every kind of PCB. It is your responsibility to ensure that the PCB is mounted and/or insulated properly, regardless of what material you use to make it.
     
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  11. FWIW, the schematic is what you've posted. Those links show "layouts".

    I wouldn't bother with perfboard. If you don't want to be tied down to strips, then use something like this. You'll get a little doughnut of copper under each hole. This will make it easier to take the part legs out to make tracks.

    Stripboard (Vero) is ideal for this type of circuit. Especially since there are already stripboard layouts floating around.

    Personally, when I want to roadtest a small circuit like this and I'm too impatient to design a board and then wait for a small run of pcbs, I usually use this sort of stuff. Having those busses is really handy, especially for your earth and +9V rails. Also this stuff in particular is cool because you get 4 holes either side of the busses. This means it's easy to connect 3 parts straight to a single leg of your opamp. With a small circuit like this, unless you are really pushed for size, you can pretty much just solder in the IC socket, then start loading the board without much forethought at all.

    I've etched many boards over the years, but none since the cost of small runs has come right down in the last few years. It is an interesting process, but messy, expensive, and tedious drilling all those holes. But you are right, it's really not worth bothering with these days. And yeah, with a tiny circuit like this it's really not worth designing or printing a board. Even if you are really pushed for space, if you put the resistors on end, you should be able to get a protoboard circuit just as small as a printed (through-hole) pcb.

    Yes. Use heatshrink, like this.
    heatshrink on proto.jpg

    You can then use double-sided tape to mount it in the bass. If you take wires from both ends, and then use cable ties, a little board can simply float with the other wiring neatly cable tied in place.

    If your bass doesn't have shielding tape or paint, you can also put a layer of copper tape over the circuit (after the heatshrink of course). Then just solder an earth wire to it. If you do this, the board will have to be secured properly. If it was to come loose and float around in the cavity, you run the risk of earthing a pot or jack terminal or something.

    Copper on proto.jpg

    For jumpers across the top of the board, hang on to the cut off legs of resistors and caps. You can also buy tinned hook-up wire.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
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  12. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I would use a veroboard over perfboard for something like this. Much easier to change components if you want to tweak it.
     
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  13. CGremlin

    CGremlin

    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    It's not too bad. I make my own PCBs using ferric chloride (yes, I take the spent stuff to the proper disposal facility) and FR4 (fiberglass) boards, and if you take the proper precautions and use gloves, there's practically no mess at all and minimal hazards. Once you get the basic process down, you can expand to using solder masks and end up with some really professional-looking results. There are some minimal costs to getting started, though.

    Having said that, Veroboard has the traces already on the board, so it's just a matter of cutting what you don't want and adding jumpers where they're needed. If you're concerned about shorting stuff out, you can apply a non-conductive varnish to the plated side or drill some holes and put standoffs on the board. I'd probably go with that over perfboard just because there's less work involved.
     
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  14. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth

    Dec 23, 2006
    SoCal
    Not to derail the thread, but I've used the Uncle Fluffy preamp and really liked it. However, I'm always interested in trying new things. From a sound or operation standpoint how do you feel your design differs from the Fluffy?
     
  15. @NickRich : I'd use whatever's the most compact layout – vero or perf. I do like/prefer pre-fabbed PCBs though, thus far — I'm a newb to soldering/pedal-building.

    There are some cool PCBs available at OshPark if you don't want to acid etch your own (I don't, not yet, if ever); somebody may have put up a stingray preamp there (you may need to get creative with your search to find it). You have to buy three at a time, though it should be easy enough to find a couple of friends to build the other two up or sell them on TB's GASsifieds.

    Vulcano FX: How do you get the DIY fever? (MusicMan Stingray 2-band Preamp)

    OSH Park ~ Bajaman Preamp Mk II



    Do you use Osh Park? Ahhh yes, local to you (found a post on the Brit Bass-board about the pre above).

    I'm looking forward to that open source preamp mentioned in the Breeder thread!
     
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  16. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I've never built a stock one, so I can only speculate based on my computer modeling. My version of the MM2B appears to have a bit more gain (optional), more rolled off sub-bass, less bass boost at full song, a lower treble peak frequency (especially with non-MM pickups), better cable driving capability, and probably a lower noise floor and less distortion. I eliminated all the electrolytic coupling caps and all the tantalum caps in general, all in favor of film ones, spec'ing polypro wherever feasible. The perceived benefit of that is mostly tighter value tolerances, but I tend to hand test and match parts where desirable anyhow. I also use a much more common 500K reverse audio taper pot in place of the 1Meg stock value, and V-V pots in front of the preamp, with no post-preamp master volume. Current consumption is a little higher, but still quite low. Parts cost is considerably higher, but still pretty modest. And to be honest, I think it just looks a little nicer.

    My other designs are all 3 banders, and are completely different in pretty much every way except for the opamp family I use for most of my builds.

    Nice catch on those links. I want to check out that SMT one a bit more closely. Someone posted the UF version with better graphics than the shared one at OSH in the long thread in the Bazaar section here BTW, but it apparently needs one minor revision for input cap polarity.

    Yep, I've used OSHpark for dozens of things by now. They rarely take more than 12 days to get my orders to my mailbox, customer service was excellent the only time I needed it, the product is a high quality US made one, and maybe most importantly, there are none more purple. Yel_wink.gif

    I really enjoy seeing how other people skin this cat BTW. Building battery powered stuff is not something I've ever done a whole lot of, and clearly my approach tends towards overkill in many ways. For me a lot of the attraction is in building modeling and board layout chops, without the high buy in cost inherent in my rack preamp and integrated amp builds.

    It seems to be on track, hope to get it wrapped up in the next few weeks. As for many DIY builds, sourcing pots in workable physical formats is a fairly substantial obstacle, especially if you're not into burning money.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
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  17. NickRich

    NickRich

    Oct 13, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    Wow guys, you deliver ! Thank you all for the information.

    It's really nice to see that OSH Park web site, but for my first project I think I'll try perfboard or veroboard. I'm still not decided because perfboard around here cost 1.50 CAD versus 12 CAD for a veroboard.

    And no @Passinwind , I won't build my preamp. Poor frenchy me lost in translation. ;)
     
  18. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I was just messin' with you. You'll probably learn a lot more by not starting with a PCB build, especially for your first attempt, but if you end up getting the bug you may want to jump into that too eventually.

    I used to be fairly fluent in French, but the Quebecois variant always roughed me up a bit when I'd visit up there back when I lived in Vermont. Or_wink.gif
     
  19. NickRich

    NickRich

    Oct 13, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    No "arm" done ;)

    Just need a poutine and then you'll understand Quebecois very easily.
     
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  20. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    When I lived in Ontario they just called that chips and gravy, LOL.
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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