Flower ProtoBoard-MEGA shield
We always thinking about what would an ideal platform for most any given project look like. Which protoboard is needed by every electronics enthusiast? How can we make a innovative on the traditional protoboard? After thinking about the function of the protoboard, we created the Elecfreaks Protoboards-Flower serials. We hope you like it as much as we do.
Now let's introduce this product to you. Flower 2.2 is a Arduino MEGA compatible proto shield. This is a very simple but handy, double sided perf board. Standard 2.54mm(100mil) spaced holes for DIP component soldering. Great for quickly prototyping stackable circuits.
The really neat thing about this board is every pad like a flower. That is why we named it flower serials. Because of this unique pad shape,the Flower protoboard has some new features compare with traditional protoboard. You can solder SMT component. Include 0402, 0603, 0805，SOT-23 and so on. It is hard to use point-to-point wiring on traditional protoboard, and very waste solder. But now, you can do it easily on our flower protoboard. Even needless to practice. After testing we found that point-to-point wiring on Flower protoboard requires only less than half of the solder on traditional protoboard.
- Flower-shaped pad
- Arduino MEGA compatible
- Standard 2.54mm(100mil) spaced holes
- 1mm Hole size
- Black PCB
- Easy to use point-to-point wiring, need less solder
- Dimension: 88 x 53(mm)
- Arduino MEGA compatible
- Solder SMT component
- DIY circuit
- 88 x 53 mm
The projects and application examples.
Bill of Materials (BOM) /parts list
All the components used to produce the product.
If you have questions or other better design ideas,
|v1.0||Initial public release||data|
Since we have released the flower protoboard, we received a lot of suggestions. Thank you for the improvements. In order to give you a more in-depth understanding of our Flower serials, we will give you a brief description of the evolution of the Flower family history. I hope it will give you more ideas and imagination.
We always thinking about what kind of protoboard is the most convenient to us.What we can improvement the traditional protoboard? We found that it is hard to use point-to-point wiring on the traditional prtoboard. It is needs lots of practice and solder. Very waste solder. Beside，it is hard to solder SMD devices on traditional protoboard. However, SMD devices are very popular nowadays.
Therefore, we aimed at such applications and put forward a new protoboard requirements.
- At first, it must be compatible with the traditional protoboard, Including all the features and benefits of traditional protoboard.
- Secondly, it must be able to solder some SMD devices.
- Finally, It must fit for beginners, easy enough to solder and wire. Maximize saving solder. We think that is flower protoboard’s biggest innovation for protoboard.
In accordance with this requirement, we have produced the first protoboard. As the following picture shows that we tried two different pads, one is the flower-shaped pad, the other is a square pad.
The flower protoboard has been largely achieved our requirements, you can solder SMD components easily.
However point-to-point wiring is not optimism, it is still need a lot of solder.
As traditional bread board, AB solder joint is destroyed when you solder BC joint( between point B and point C). You need to solder AB joint again, and it may destroy the another joint at this time. Solder again and again, not only troublesome, but also a waste of solder.
So this is our first failed version. In our analysis, maybe the reason of wiring difficult is the long distance between the pad. So we decided to make improvements in the next version.
This version, we shortened the distance between the pads, increased pad area of the petals, and eliminated the square pad.
It easier to wiring between pads and solder SMD devices. But there is still a fatal problem. The solder often flow to other ‘petals’ when you wiring. Finally, becoming very thick solder. It did not achieve the purpose of saving solder.
So we decided to continue the development of the next version. After analysis，We found that the reason of solder flow to orther ‘petals’ is one more cirque in the middle of flower pad. The cirque is indeed a seemingly insignificant factor, but it cause the failure of the PCB.
We learned the lessons of the version 1 and version 2 failure. Maximum reduce the distance between the pad, remove the center cirque. And test 2 layers PCB and single layer PCB. We finally get a satisfactory results.
Flower v2.2 protoboard is based on version 2 and learned the lessons of previous 3 versions. It has been fully able to meet our original intention to develop new protoboard.
As the following picture shouwn that it just need a very small amount of solder when use point-to-point wiring. AB and BC joints are independent of each other. So, you can avoid destroying AB joint when solder Bcjoint. This obviously makes the wiring easier.
There are some good suggestion to Flower ProtoBoard, and here we want to share with you which we have added to Our Plan. If you have any suggestion for improve ProtoBoard, share with us. Anything is welcome ! Once your suggestion add to you improve list, we will send a simple to you for Gift.
The Suggestion from Ross, thanks ross.
Q: ‘ if the holes are plated through and connect with the flower pads on the second side? ’
A: Yes, the holes are plated through and connect with the flower pads on the second side. So it can not be point-to-point wired on double side. In fact, if this board can be accepted by everyone, we intend to launch a series. Double side flowers and holes not plated through is in our plan. You can double side wiring on that board.
The Suggestion from Andrew, thanks Andrew.
Q: ’ some way of supporting the weird pin spacing of the L298 h-bridge motor driver would be a -wonderful- addition. ‘
A: That‘s really a good suggestion. Your feedback will be included in our Flower ProtoBoard serise list.
Also Suggestion from Andrew, thanks Andrew.
Q: The key would be to be able to support more than just the L298 (the package is called a Multiwatt package, if I remember right); there are a few other IC devices in that (or similar) packages; many such are made by ST and other companies, and include other kinds of motor drivers and controllers, as well as audio amplifiers and others.
If it were possible to set up a “staggered” line of these holes along the edges – however you do it – you could allow for devices with different pin amounts, as well as for connecting up multiple devices (for instance, someone might want to prototype a stepper driver board or something, maybe for a RepRap machine – and want to use multiple L298 ICs to do so; in my case, I could see wanting multiple L298 ICs, one per motor with each IC being used in “bridged” mode for 4 amps of current capability).
I say put them at the edge for a reason: It is also difficult (for some wacky reason) to find multiwatt heatsinks (or profile aluminum to cut your own); by putting them at the edge of the board, you could open the possibility that the ICs could be bolted to a metal case, or a larger heatsink, in such a manner that may not be possible if the ICs were in the middle of the board. That’s just my opinion and idea of course; may your engineers would have a better idea…?
A: Your suggestions really inspiration to me. Placed a row of ‘Multiwatt package’ at the edge of the board is a good ideal. It will easy to place heatsinks. But it still have some problem. You will hard to wrie. So maybe place package in the middle of the board, and customize the heat sink by us is a better way. If so, we can set aside the position of the heat, and it wil easier to mount.
We are looking forward more idea from you !
Flower Review From Wilbert van Wees
His review as below: ”
On the blog from Elecfreaks I read about their new Flower 2.2 protoboard for the Arduino mega. The protoboard had a new style of solder pads which could be used for troughole and SMT components. The connecting multiple pads should also be easier and should take less solder. If you were willing to write a review you could get a free board. As I liked the innovative design I quickly requested a sample board. A couple of weeks later I got a message from the mail man that I could collect a package from the post office. ......
Flower ProtoBoard Technical Discussion At AVRFreaks
Nard said : Guys, let’s have the technical discussion and suggestions here.
- 1. It’s a giant step forward in pad-shape in years. See the attached “various” picture
- 2. 1206 shape is doable but 0805 is better. SOT23: a 45 degr orientation has been suggested, but I’d rather use orthogonal orientation. But that’s a matter of taste. SOT223 is easy to use.
- 3. The SOIC area: we AVRfreaks need 4 more pins to use a 90PWM3. See picture.
- 4. Tracks from header-holes to pads are very thin: 0.2mm ? I’d prefer a wider track.
- 5. Ross suggested a non-plated through version: I understand the why, but the “price” is loss of ruggedness. Maybe this suggestion helps: use a 3mm spiral steel drillbit, put it on a hole of which you’d like to get rid of the plated through hole, a few turns by hand suffice. Of course the four leaves of the flower are no longer interconnected but a small blob of tin will re-establish that connection.
- 6. Arduino-shields are a market but so are Eurocards: 100x160mm. No competion to eachother, just an extra market segment. As a price indication: I pay €2.50 for a plated through, square pads Eurocard, FR4 material. A slightly higher price for a Euro-flower card would be acceptable.
...... More http://www.elecfreaks.com/2580.html
Flower Review From julien gingras
First impression: Best proto board I have used. I attach a picture (took with my phone and my microscope sorry ill try to retake it with my camera)
I have made few jumpers to test the "flower pads" work pretty good they are close enough to never have to put a big blob of solder. And they are far enough to be able to solder 1 pin of component without the solder go all over the flower.
I did solder few components too, SOT-23 work very well, same goes with 0402 which have the perfect spacing between the flowers.
0603 solder well you have to rotate it a little to make it on the pads else it get over both holes
SOT-23-5 I know its not made to fit there but with a little work it fits, I did solder on 4 flowers and lift the pin 2 and solder it to a pin in the flower down of it (not clear on that photo)
SC-70 have to be rotated but fit pretty well.
Thru-hole thats perfection made for it even big diode pin fit in the hole
I like to have to make jumper (with little solder) instead of cutting trace on other proto board. I also like the fact its 2 sided so track and be under component without any problem.
The only thing that is not perfect are the left holes there I solder a bottom header, I couldn't solder it on top because of the jumper to the flower make it impossible for the header to be flat on the pcb, maybe having a little 100mils trace between the hole and the pad would fix this. But I also understand there are plenty of holes made for header on top and right side (which is dual row +1 :D) and those holes are more for wires.
another feature that "could" be usefull is having a version with holes in the flowers not plated that way top and bottom would be seperated and could densify component.
Very good product good job
P.S. The packaging was good too a bubbled enveloppe and another bubble package inside couldn't be damaged in shipping.
FlowerPad Review from Foxx D’Gamma
I started my adventures in electronics back in 1989, when I was just 8 years old with a great deal of help from my uncle, who was taking college courses in Electronics Engineering. Through the years I have come to enjoy the many aspects of all sorts of engineering in general. Being able to fool around with the variable concepts to change the outcome of a circuit has been a passion for many people and a profession. One thing I have come to learn is piecing the different components of a circuit design together. Taking your idea and doing a rough schematic, then into the prototyping phase, and eventually a final project that does something tricky, fanciful, fascinating, practical, or downright silly. Working with various prototyping techniques from breadboarding to home-etch PCB methods of all sorts, to prefabricated perforated boards, wire wrap, even a combination of making modular boards that plug into my breadboard designs to save time and space. Not much has changed over the years, until ElecFreaks came by with their brilliant Flower ProtoBoard Design.
The earliest methods of prototyping involved “wire spiders” or jumpers of wire all over the place, which soon evolved into wire wrap. Using prototyping board we can make solder trails as our main circuit paths. Of course back in “the old days” this was great, but by today’s standards where you have people making home made PCBs with an ink pen, etching in acid, and flowing the solder on their stove using an old junk frying pan. Crazy, but it works out very well. Here is a picture of a project I worked on not too long ago (2009) which is a typical wire-jump prototype. Nothing too special, as you can see I had to use a few through-hole jumps. This may look a mess to a novice but with all modesty this was something simple.
You think that is a mess? This is what a traditional wire-wrap board would pan out to look like. Have fun fixing an error on something like this, let alone find it, diagnose it, and reverse it.
With the ever shrinking footprint of components one thing as a hardcore hobbyist I have heard the most complaints about is surface mount devices (SMD) and their ever shrinking packages. I recall a time SOIC was a major headache for many people. With some circuits, especially high frequency radio projects (like wifi and other microwave bands) you have no choice but to use SMD which means you have to crate a custom PCB that suits the layout and proper RF needs. ElecFreaks looked at the new-age footprint of smaller components, and the lack of progress made on prototyping board creating something that has evolved into a well needed bridge to fill the gap, their line of Flower Prototype Boards.
Their name “Flower Board” comes from their clover-like PCB pad design. Unlike strip-board or common through-hole prototyping board, they created a way to also use SMD components on top of the existing layout for traditional through-hole techniques. They also chose to have a dual layer design which is often overlooked by many prototype boards which only allows you to solder your components onto one side. I don’t know how many times I have had to waste space creating a wire bridge or needing to make a spiders web of wires jumping all over the board in order to make the connections for a circuit. There are a few different techniques you can use but having the ability to use SMD, Through-Hole, as well as dual layer all on one board, is a much needed improvement!
Being gifted by ElecFreaks with samples of their Flower Protoboards my head quickly filled with some interesting ideas, but first I needed to settle on which techniques to use. Before we begin on technique lets look at the build quality. Even though the pitch spacing itself is very small, only 0.1mm, the pads are robust enough to anchor your components to the board without fear of them being torn off. Using SMD the pad alignments are accurate enough for anything a sane person would want to use. One may think that using through-hole components there wouldn’t be enough pad surface to solder on to, but the Flower Protoboard “petals” are close enough where a quick solder bridge forms and your pad is in fact just as strong if not stronger than typical run of the mill protoboards.
At first I was a little concerned about the potential heat hazard from the overuse of a hot iron lifting the pads off the board but it seems ElecFreaks knows the repeated errors of the novice and compensated by having a slightly thicker than usual PCB. Perhaps they did this intentionally to compensate for heat dispersal, or they wanted a thicker PCB for a more sturdy and robust final product design. In any case the slightly thicker PCB used offers better heat resistance so pads don’t burn or lift away, and it also adds to the sturdiness of the PCB itself. This also allows you to make stackable PCB designs, much like the Audrino Shields, with little worry of your board cracking or breaking while shifting around your various modules.
Looking at the close pitch spacing between pads its easy to see right from the beginning doing a “solder run” technique is easier than ever. With normal through-hole protoboard you have the issue of “solder blobs” forming instead of a nice trail which acts as your circuit traces. This has not been my favorite technique mainly because of the horrible experiences with traditional protoboard, but not with the Flower Protoboard. It’s very simple to make nice clean straight traces without the need for flux. Of course you can also use thin wire to jump around the board as well, and use typical through-hole methods. It is also entirely possible to use wire wrap methods, which is great when working with various I/O and MCU projects, this way you can dynamically change the addressing paths of your I/O pins as needed as your project expands. Instead of having to entirely re-solder or reform a trace you can remove the wire and replace it. I don’t see many people using this technique in general, it would be nice to see a few more Flower Protoboards that allow a wire wrap technique using IC pads, which leads me into their SOIC carrier.
Small Outline Integrated Circuit (SOIC) chips have been the bane of many shaky hands and poor eyesight. It’s nearly impossible to use SOIC on traditional protoboards. Unless you use an SOIC to DIP package adapter, in the past there was no way to directly use a SOIC chip itself on your protoboard. The Flower-SOIC can carry any SOIC package from 8-Pin to 28-Pin which covers quite the array of MCUs (AVR and PIC of course) so you can roll your own Arduino or the like.
One thing that you notice early on with the Flower Boards is that they are not bare copper like many other brands. All of the pads are pre-tinned with solder, even through the via holes themselves which allow you to very easily solder to the boards, even without the use of flux. Even if you don’t have much use for SMD components these boards are very easy for anyone to use right from the start. They are not plagued with the typical nuances that come with a traditional prototype board. Usually it takes a bit of experience to get a good grasp of “proper” or “conventional” layout, mainly because of the limitations of earlier boards and their build quality. Often times I have burned pads, broken or chipped boards, had solder walk or crawl across to neighbor pads creating shorts or incorrect connections gone unnoticed. With the Flower Board you can be much more liberal with your layout and designs. These boards have me rethinking and reinventing new ways to get my gizmos out of my head and into my hands.
SMD has never been easier to handle, without the use of additional breakout boards.
Works with almost any size SMD you would work with.
Thick PCB design makes for sturdy and solid builds.
Double side access giving twice as much available space for components.
Similar PCB Shape and style as Arduino Shields.
Excellent build quality.
No “Solder Crawl” when working (usually).
The not so good:
Boards can be a little too thick, not fun trimming them down for smaller projects or carrier boards.
Very hard to unsolder SMD components, especially when using solder-tracks to form circuits.
Unlike many Arduino products you can’t piggy back another board on top evenly.
These boards are great! If you like to handle an iron and get your spark on, these boards are for you! This is a huge evolutionary step forward for homebrew, hobby, and prototyping. This is something we needed a long time ago, and it’s finally here. I expect ElecFreaks to continue adapting their boards to suit our needs, and with how friendly they are towards suggestions, comments, and respectful critique, I can only expect the boards to improve more and more as time goes on. Components will continue to get smaller and smaller and I am sure we will all adapt new techniques to combat the scale issue, and with a concept and vision like what ElecFreaks has brought our way I don’t think we have too much worry about. Bring out the QTFP and BGA, roll out the solder balls and whip out that frying pan. We have solder smoke to make! Our ideas won’t build themselves but with some help they will solder-flow a lot easier now.
How to buy
Click here to buy: http://www.elecfreaks.com/store/flower-22-protoboardmega-shield-p-378.html
Other related products and resources.
This documentation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 Source code and libraries are
licensed under GPL/LGPL, see source code files for details.
Links to external webpages which provide more application ideas, documents/datasheet or software libraries