PlusBoard Gives Makers a Combination Breadboard and Stripboard
Tom Spendlove posted on November 28, 2017 | 1234 views

The engineers at PlusBoard were frustrated with the state of maker equipment. When transferring projects from a breadboard to a stripboard they disliked the fact that layouts were different between the two. Once a project was transferred to the stripboard it could only be tested by soldering. Checking connection between pins required a meter, and variable power required its own power supply. Their solution to these issues is PlusBoard, a prototype board that combines the benefits of a breadboard and a stripboard. The team is currently running a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch the first round of boards.

The pinouts for PlusBoard are the same as its stripboard, so the two can be built at once and then the stripboard pulled up and soldered. Using a 5 Volt microUSB connection and PlusPower feature, projects can be powered with a power bank or laptop, and the voltage adjusts between 3.3 and 30 Volts. An LED display shows the number of Volts for troubleshooting. PlusBoards are also compatible with Lego bricks for building the board directly into a brick project.

The dimensions of the PlusBoard are 96 x 80 x 12 millimeters. The board has a max power rating of 25 Watts and a max output current of 2.0 Amperes. Load and voltage regulation are both +/- 0.5 percent. Short circuit protection and a seven segment voltage indicator are also features of the board. The strip itself is an 80 millimeter square board held in by the brick dimples when placing the components onto the board. The standard reward from this Kickstarter campaign includes five strips, and more can be purchased later.

After working with makers to find the best and worst experiences involving breadboards and circuit transfers, PlusBoard was shown off at Hax Shenzhen, the World Maker Group, and the Community Lab at United World College in Singapore. It’s great to see more people actively working to bring better tools to makers. I’ve experienced the frustration of building a nice project on a breadboard and then being unable to transfer it properly to the final board, and it’s nice to think that won’t happen again. Another feature I like is the Lego connections showing not just at the top of the board but also on the bottom surface. The ability to build in two axes is a definite bonus when building a brick object around a board. The campaign curiously ends on December 25 at 4:00am, and first units aren’t expected to ship until August 2018.

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