Breadboard to
Printed Circuit Board

by Jadyn
About me

Hi, I'm Jadyn
I'm 19
I'm a computer science student
I do things...



What are we talking about?

  • How to get from a mess of wires to something useful?
  • Make a PCB design
  • Get your sh**t
  • Build it

You have an idea

Thats good, it's the first step to something fun.

Draw your idea, think of a circuit design.

Don't get stuck on details!

Think of parts you will use

Put it together on paper

You have an idea

It doesn't have to be pretty

[IMG]ugly schematic
You have an idea

But it may be...

[IMG]nice schematic
The fun part

[IMG]breadboard mess

The fun part

Build it

Test it


You made it!
What have I done?

Redraw your current circuit in a program of your choice

  • Eagle (Autodesk)
  • KiCAD (GPL)
  • etc.
What have I done?

Look up the dev-boards you've used

The schematic and PCB design of most dev-boards is publicly available

What have I done?

[IMG]ardunio schematic
The schematic of an Arduino (source:

What have I done?

Look at the parts of the dev-board you used

Maybe you didn't use a certian IC so that it can be removed

This will make it cheaper and easier to solder


There's useless logic level converting here... [IMG]useless LLC

What have I done?

Look at the parts around your dev-board i.e. shields

Do they have any special components on them?

Lookup the schematics and copy them in to yours

WTF is this thing?

MANY dev-boards have weird compontents on them, which you can't order sometimes...

Look them up online, look at the major parts around them.

Find the datasheets, search (i.e duckduckgo) alternatives

Edit your schmatic accordingly (You may need to add a resistor or two. Or change some connections)

What have I done?

[IMG]eagle schematic

Design it!
You have your schmatic ready

Use your software to place the parts on a bare PCB

Place them in a similar fashion to your schmatic
This will make debuggin much easier

In a later stage you can fit them on a PCB-size you favor

Parts on both sides?: yes and no...


You have parts all over your PCB, but they're not connected

Your software will usually tell which parts have to be connected

Or even do the work for you


If you route by hand:

Don't get frustadted if your first try doesn't work

Make use of both layers

It's like drawing, everyone can do it. You just need some pratice


[IMG]eagle board

Get it made

Your PCB design is ready - Yeah

There are some online shops for ordering PCBs

  • dirtyPCB
  • etc.

They usually use GERBER files which you can export from your software

Just order some PCBs in a color and quantity of your choice.

Get the parts

Your PCBs are on the way - You need some parts

There are some online shops for ordering Parts

  • etc.

Lookup and buy your parts at a seller of your choice

Order more parts than you need cause f**kups happen

Wait and drink some mate*
*or tea or coffe or tschunk or what ever - stay hydrated

Your PCBs and parts arrived

You can start soldering now

Take your time

Print out your schematic and design for reference

Start with the smallest and the passive parts

Work your way through all of the parts leaving the most expensive and largest at last


SMD - Surface-mounted device - They are (very) small parts usually used on commercial things.

If you have experience with soldering you can use SMD parts

Choose a size your comfortable with. SMD parts range from a few milimeters to things that you'll never find again

There are useful size charts online or even available as PCBs

You don't have equipment?

That shouldn't be an isssue

You can get cheap but still quite useful soldering kits online

A Hackerspace near you will probably have some nice equipment too

There may even be someone who can help you

You're done with soldering

Visually inspect your PCB

Make sure ther're no unwanted connections (beep them)

Make sure all parts are solderd properly and have good contact


There are two possibilities right now
It works
It's a smoke machine
Don't be dissapointed

Try to find the part that didn't work

Was the part broken already

Is something wrong with the connections

Test individual parts of the circuitry

Replace broken parts

Is there an error on the PCB


Don't be dissapointed

[IMG]Testing a PCB

Everything fixed and tested?
You did it
You made your first PCB - Congratulations
Q & A - Bring your Ideas
Ask all the questions you like
You can also ask me on mastodon: