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Building Blocks

It has been quite some time since I’ve built an electronic circuit on a breadboard, the kind where you press component leads into sockets on the board. A drawback of that device is its inability to accept surface mount components, which are all the rage today. So when I spied a package of SchmartBoards in my inbox one morning, I immediately realized that the prototyping community had taken another step forward, and had solved the problem of working with surface mount components. Schmartboards are pre-traced pc-boards that are connectable like building blocks. You can build circuits block by block and then connect the blocks together to form a functional board. Since the boards are pre-traced, the need for wire jumpers is minimized as opposed to breadboards or even wire-wrap boards. The package I received, though, did include a fair amount of jumpers. The product is targeted at electronic engineers, engineering students and electronic hobbyists. A combination package sells for $49.95 and includes 12 boards with a 2” x 2” grid and another 12 with a 2” x 0.5” grid. The boards come in various designs with lots of plated-through holes and places to mount different types of ICs. There are also a couple of headers and a bunch of jumper wires. Components need to be soldered to the building block boards. The company gives away six of the packages described above each month.You can find out more information about Schmartboards,as well as sign up for the contest at E-mail your comments to me at [email protected]

Company: Penton Media

Product URL: Click here for more information

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