PIC Proto Board
When developing microcontroller software it's essential that mock-ups of the hardware should be 100% reliable. If you can't trust the state of any hardware prototype you build, then it's very difficult to trace any possible software bugs. My first few prototype circuits used a mixture of stripboards and breadboards lashed together with connecting wires and masking tape. After progressing to more complex circuits I found it was advantageous to spend time making a prototype board. In the long run it saves time because hardware gremlin hunting is almost eliminated.
Two examples are shown. The smaller version is ideal for the 16x84. The bigger version can accommodate the larger PICs such as the 16F876 or 16F877. Both have LCDs, RS232 debug ports and configurable pins as well as the obligatory oscillator crystal, supply voltage regulator and reset button. A line of header pins on the bottom edge of the proto board allow connection to a breadboard where extra circuit elements can be added and tested during development - it works quite well.
Making one is easy! Just use the standard PIC circuit requirements and then add what you think may come in handy for your future projects - serial ports, LCDs, seven segment displays, piezo sounders, leds, infared detectors, tx/rx modules, DIP switches, button pads, thermistors, photocells, stepper motors, etc...
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