Perma-Proto

Using Half-size Perma-Proto 

The perma-proto PCB is a lot like a breadboard. The rows are all linked together, while the columns are not. There's two power rails on the top and very bottom that include ground and voltage (indicated by blue and red lines).

The columns are indicated by numbers (1-30) while the rows are indicated by letters (A-J).

The half-size PCB has two separated centers in the center (A-E and F-J). Getting familiar with these labels will help you install the buttons and manage soldering wires.

Mark Perma-Proto

We need cut the PCB down so it can fit inside the enclosure. Before we do that, let's mark up on the PCB and draw guidelines. 

  • Mark the first row down (including rail)
  • Mark the first column across (including rail)
  • Mark row 26 down (including rail)

Cut Perma-Proto

I used a Dremel with a thin cut attachment to saw the excess pieces off the PCB. I recommend taking safety precausions when doing this.

  • Do it in a well ventilated area (outside).
  • Use safety glasses and a breathing mask.
  • Secure the PCB to panavise jr.
  • Always cut away from you.
  • Clean dust from work area.

If you're not satisfied with the sharp edge, use can use a grinding bit to round off the corners.

Install buttons (Two Action Buttons)

Insert the four 6mm tactile buttons into the perma-proto and form the D-pad. Two 12mm square will be the "A" and "B" buttons. 

Install buttons (Four action buttons)

If you're making the four-button layout, insert eight 6mm tactile buttons to the perma-proto PCB. Reference the photo above to get the correct spots for each button.

Solder buttons to PCB

The buttons should hold in place once inserted into the PCB (if they don't, you can bend the legs to hold them in place). Flip it over so the bottom is face up and secure the PCB to the Panavise jr.

Prep Ground Wires

We need to create short wires to connect the buttons to the ground rail. These wires should be pretty short about 10mm in length. You'll need to create 5 of them. Strip the tips off each wire and tin them.

Solder Ground Wires

For each button you'll need to tin the closest pin to the power rail and the ground pin. Since the rows are all linked together, we can just solder the pins that are closed to each other. The only button that doesn't is that up button (which we'll make a longer wire).

Up Button Ground Wire

The up button for the d-pad is the only button that doesn't use a short wire because its on the top section. We'll need to create a longer wire to connect it to the ground rail. 

Trim legs

Let's go ahead and snip the points legs from the PCB. This will ensure our perma-proto doesn't puncher or scratch any of the other components.

2-Button Layout

OK now we have the perma-proto trimmed, the buttons solder in place and ground wires, we're ready to wire up the PiCable to the perma-proto PCB. 

This is a good place to take a break. The next section contains lots more stripping, tinning and soldering!

4-Button Layout

If you're doing the 4-button version, here's a photo to reference the wired connections. Each button has a wire connected to the ground rail. Note, the PiCable is already wired to the buttons.

This guide was first published on May 14, 2015. It was last updated on May 14, 2015. This page (Perma-Proto) was last updated on Apr 18, 2019.