Many different approaches can be used for constructing circuits, including point-to-point wiring, breadboards, wire wrapping, printed circuit boards, and more. Each of these approaches provides the ability to make the needed connections for a circuit to work and provides the mechanical support needed for the components. Some approaches are good for prototyping and others can work very well to support the everyday operation and handling of the circuit.
A working circuit requires protection from both the elements and
intruding fingers as well as proper connectors so that the circuit can be connected and disconnected from power sources and external components. This packaging can be commercial electronic enclosures, 3D printed boxes, bent sheet metal, or even parts encased in plastic. Critical to the success of this packaging are the connectors and use of the correct connectors for the task.
In this chapter we will introduce a basic approach to prototyping circuits, some important considerations on printed circuit boards, and how to package a circuit for use.
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