Veroboard

Last updated
Veroboard
VEROBOARD sample.jpg
Veroboard piece
Product Electronic component
InventorTerry Fitzpatrick
Company Vero Electronics Ltd
CountryUK
Availability1960 - present
Current suppliers

Vero Technologies Ltd http://www.verotl.com/

Pixel Print Ltd (N. America) http://www.veroboard.com/

Veroboard is a brand of stripboard, a pre-formed circuit board material of copper strips on an insulating bonded paper board which was originated and developed in the early 1960s by the Electronics Department of Vero Precision Engineering Ltd (VPE). It was introduced as a general-purpose material for use in constructing electronic circuits - differing from purpose-designed printed circuit boards (PCBs) in that a variety of electronics circuits may be constructed using a standard wiring board.[ citation needed ]

Stripboard

Stripboard is the generic name for a widely used type of electronics prototyping board characterized by a 0.1 inches (2.54 mm) regular (rectangular) grid of holes, with wide parallel strips of copper cladding running in one direction all the way across one side of the board. It is commonly also known by the name of the original product Veroboard, which is a trademark, in the UK, of British company Vero Technologies Ltd and Canadian company Pixel Print Ltd. In using the board, breaks are made in the tracks, usually around holes, to divide the strips into multiple electrical nodes. With care, it is possible to break between holes to allow for components that have two pin rows only one position apart such as twin row headers for IDCs.

FR-2 is a NEMA designation for synthetic resin bonded paper, a composite material made of paper impregnated with a plasticized phenol formaldehyde resin, used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards. Its main properties are similar to NEMA grade XXXP (MIL-P-3115) material, and can be substituted for the latter in many applications.

Electronics physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter

Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age.

Contents

The first single-size Veroboard product was the forerunner of the numerous types of prototype wiring board which, with worldwide use over five decades, have become known as stripboard.[ citation needed ]

Prototype early sample or model built to test a concept or process

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming. A prototype is generally used to evaluate a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users. Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one. In some design workflow models, creating a prototype is the step between the formalization and the evaluation of an idea.

The generic terms 'veroboard' and 'stripboard' are now taken to be synonymous.[ citation needed ]

History

Veroboard Patent. 1959 VEROBOARD PATENT.jpg
Veroboard Patent.

By the mid-1950s, the printed circuit board (PCB) had become commonplace in electronics production.[ citation needed ]

Printed circuit board board to support and connect electronic components

A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate. Components are generally soldered onto the PCB to both electrically connect and mechanically fasten them to it.

In early 1959, the VPE Electronics Department was formed when managing director Geoffrey Verdon-Roe hired two former Saunders-Roe Ltd employees, Peter H Winter (aircraft design department) and Terry Fitzpatrick (electronics division).[ citation needed ]

Saunders-Roe Limited, also known as Saro, was a British aero- and marine-engineering company based at Columbine Works, East Cowes, Isle of Wight.

After the failure of a project to develop machine tool control equipment, the department remained operative as a result of success with the invention and development of the new electronics material - Veroboard.[ citation needed ]

Invention the act of inventing something

An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering and product development process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or product or a new process for creating an object or a result. An invention that achieves a completely unique function or result may be a radical breakthrough. Such works are novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field. An inventor may be taking a big step in success or failure.

New equipment using PCBs was displayed at the 1959 Radio and Electronics Components Manufacturers Federation (RECMF) Exhibition held in The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London. [1]

The usual configuration for most of the PCBs of that time had components placed in a regular pattern with the circuit formed by maze-like conductive pathways. An interesting alternative, proposed by Fitzpatrick after visiting the RECMF Exhibition on behalf of VPE, envisaged a standard circuit board carrying straight-line conductors on which the components could be suitably dispersed and connected to the conductors to produce the required circuit.[ citation needed ]

A patent application was immediately filed May 25th,1959 and the invention was developed for Vero by associates Winter, Fitzpatrick and machine shop engineers.[ citation needed ]

Production

Production of the proposed new product, Veroboard, was undertaken by the VPE machine tool department.[ citation needed ]

Bought-in sheets of 1.6 mm (0.06 in) copper-clad SRBP printed circuit material were cut to give 122 mm x 456 mm (4.8 in x 18 in) size boards with the individual boards then being machined to form the final product according to the original Veroboard specification. [2] A multiple milling cutter tool, which comprised a bank of side-and-face cutters with suitably shaped cutting teeth, was fabricated - to be used in removing part of the bonded copper on each board leaving 21 conductive strips. [3]

For a second operation a special tool with 63 hardened punch bits 1.35 mm (0.052 in) in diameter mounted on a solid base block was constructed to repeat-punch a matrix of holes, on 0.2 in (5.0 mm) spacing, through the copper strips and the base board.[ citation needed ]

Many dimensional, material quality, and tooling problems were encountered before finished boards of acceptable quality could be produced in quantity. These machining problems were encountered due to the non-availability, in 1960, of advanced printed circuit board milling and drilling techniques or facilities for chemical milling (etching) the copper strips.[ citation needed ]

In 1961, as production rates improved with experience, Vero Electronics Ltd was formed as a separate company to market the increasing sales of Veroboard.[ citation needed ]

Use

As with other stripboards, in using Veroboard, components are suitably positioned and soldered to the conductors to form the required circuit. Breaks can be made in the tracks, usually around holes, to divide the strips into multiple electrical nodes enabling increased circuit complexity.

1960 VB PRODUCT - comps.JPG
1961 Veroboard unit - components
1960 VB PRODUCT - copper.JPG
1961 Veroboard unit - copper

This type of wiring board may be used for initial electronic circuit development, to construct prototypes for bench testing or in the production of complete electronic units in small quantity.[ citation needed ]

Veroboard was first used for prototype construction within Vero Electronics Department in 1961. The images of a binary decade counter sub-unit clearly show both the assembled components and the copper conductors with the required discontinuities.[ citation needed ]

1961 Veroboard Display Board. 1961 VEROBOARD Assembly.jpg
1961 Veroboard Display Board.

A number of these sub-units were interconnected through connectors mounted on a motherboard similar to that shown in the Veroboard Display image and comprised a very early PCB-based backplane system. Each sub-unit had a digital capacity equivalent to 1/2 byte of data storage - i.e. 2,000,000 would be required to store 1 megabyte.[ citation needed ]

Two forms of Veroboard are produced with hole pitch of 2.54 mm (0.1 in) or 3.5 mm (0.15 in). The larger pitch is and was considered easier to assemble, especially at a time when many constructors were still more familiar with valves and tag strips.[ citation needed ]

The increasingly popular integrated circuits in dual in-line packages would only fit the 0.1 boards. Very soon 0.1 pitch became by far the dominant form. Integrated circuits and the common layout of short parallel strips protruding from the sides of an IC package encouraged the development of specialist boards such as Verostrip. This was a long, thin board with the copper strips arranged transversely, rather than the usual lengthwise. A ready-cut central gap was provided to isolate the sides of the IC.[ citation needed ]

A 1979 Vero Electronics Ltd production drawing shows a special Veroboard product made for RS Components Ltd. [4] The versatility of the veroboard/stripboard type of product is demonstrated by the large number of design examples currently (2013-07) to be found on the Internet. [5]

Update

The advent of the Arduino integrated development environment, designed to introduce computer programming to newcomers unfamiliar with software development, presents a new opportunity to use Veroboard. [6] Arduino development regularly involves the use of 'shields', which plug into the main Arduino board and carry project-specific I/O hardware. However the Arduino design makes this difficult, as one of the four header sockets is offset from the 0.1 in spacing of the others by 0.05 in.

The British company Vero Technologies Ltd currently holds the UK trademark for Veroboard. [7] In the Americas the Veroboard trademark is now held by the Canadian company Pixel Print Ltd. of Vancouver. [8] As of 2018 Pixel print has stopped making veroboard

See also

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Breadboard

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Perfboard

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Vero Technologies Ltd is a UK company located at Hedge End, Hampshire, UK and formed in 2003 after the APW Electronics Group went into administration. The APW intellectual property was sold off to various companies around the world with the prototype and plastic enclosures business being acquired by Vero Technologies.

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Vero Precision Engineering Ltd

Vero Precision Engineering Ltd (VPE) was a UK machine-tool manufacturing company which operated from premises at 7 South Mill Rd, Southampton SO15 4JW.

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References

  1. The Dorchester Hotel has no existing record for 1959 events.
  2. "Veroboard Specification 1960".,Wikimedia Commons
  3. "Side-and-face Mill Cutter".Google Images
  4. "Veroboard product for RS Components" (PDF).,Vero Electronics production drawing
  5. "Veroboard Design Examples".Google Images
  6. Chantrell, Nathan. "'Veroduino'".
  7. UK Trademark 824,961 , Intellectual Property Office website
  8. Veroboard.com. "Pixel Print".