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Design & Technology Resources
©2011 E.Clarvis
It is important to prototype circuits before manufacturing to ensure that materials are not wasted and so circuits can be developed and modified. There are three main methods of prototyping electronic circuits...
Advantages

• A wide range of components are available in the program
• Components do not have to be stocked or bought in order to simulate circuit
• Circuit diagrams and PCBs can be simulated
• Virtual instruments (voltmeters etc) can be connected up without having to own them
• Both Simple and complex circuits can be simulated
• Easy to make component changes

Disadvantages

  • Sometimes a circuit may simulate correctly but when actually built it doesn’t work
  • Specialist and programmable components (eg PICs) can not always be simulated
Prototyping Methods
Computer Simulation
Breadboard / Protoboard
Advantages

• Board and components can be re-used
• Specialist components such as PIC chips can be prototyped
• Chances are, if it works on breadboard then it will work when built on a PCB
• Easy to make component changes

Disadvantages

• Can be difficult to prototype more complex circuits
• Components must be in stock
Advantages

• Specialist components such as PIC chips can be prototyped

• Chances are, if it works on stripboard then it will work when built on a PCB

Disadvantages

• Can be difficult to prototype more complex circuits

• Components must be in stock

• Components and board cannot be reused
Stripboard / Veroboard