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Raspberry Pi GPIO Experiment Board Improvements

First Mods
First Mods

Here are the first set of mods & improvements to the RasPi Experiment board. Instead of the solder-point experiment space, I have added a standard mini-breadboard, even though it’s a little too long to fit on the board properly.

In the DIP breakout, is a MAX232 TTL-RS232 interface IC, useful for interfacing directly to the Pi’s UART, made available on the GPIO breakout. I will be hardwiring the MAX232 IC into the GPIO port, & fitting headers to the relevant pins on the IC breakout to make interfacing to the Pi easier.

All the MAX232 requires to operate are a 5v supply & 4 1µF capacitors.

The new TO220 device next to the breadboard is a TIP121 darlington power transistor.This is rated at 80v 5A continuous. Useful for driving large loads from a GPIO output.


More to come soon!

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Rare Veroboard Design Tools – Stripboard Magic

Stripboard Magic

Stripboard Magic is a Windows application for designing PCB layouts on stripboard (aka prototyping board, aka Veroboard). It was released by a British company called Ambyr which ceased trading a long time ago.

The interface is a quite primitive and a little strange but the program is functional even on Windows XP. It also works great under wine in Linux, at least with version 0.9.38 and above as this is all I have checked. It should probably work on older versions too. I haven’t tried it on Vista though.

It can be a handy program when called upon and I have successfully used it a few times when throwing together random small circuits. Due to the interface I would imagine it to be a bit clumsy for very large circuits. The biggest gripe I have with it is the inability to change the orientation of components on the board, so some circuits tend to be slightly larger than they need to be.

I downloaded a copy of Stripboard Magic 1.0 back in the 90’s and recently just found it lying about on my computer. As I would consider it to well and truly be abandonware and as it seems to be a little sought after by some hobbyists I have provided a link to download it below.

[download id=”5624″]

Here are some screenshots showing the schematic view (top) and board layout view (bottom):



Stripboard Designer

Another hard to find app these days is Stripboard Designer, mirrored here for people who wish to use it.

[download id=”5626″]

[download id=”5628″]