I finally built the first prototype circuit on a perfboard.
For those who want the method, here's how I do it :
- first, I draw the layout in Designspark (free PCB software) with 2.54mm spacing everywhere. I try to draw a single layer circuit, with minimal bridges on the top layer.
- when I'm happy with the design, I print both sides on paper (bottom side mirrored). They are my templates.
- I glue the top template on my perfbard, and punch every hole
- I solder the bridges on the top side, and then the components / pin headers
- when it's done, I solder the bottom layer tracks, following my mirrored template.
Here is the result, not too bad for something built on a single rainy day (template PDFs are in the project files).
Now, I'm looking for someone to show me how to export a working gerber from Designspark...