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Set of CLI utilities and soldering schema convention for UNIX/Linux terminals
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Set of tools for working with matrix/perf/strip Boards in UNIX/Linux console environment.

Put the fun back :D


At a certain moment I found, that I needed a method to automatically flip / mirror boards I was drawing in my sketchbook - thus, this project was born :)


  • genboard - generate either a matrix/perfboard or a stripboard; execute with -h argument for a quick help
  • flip - flip the board from right to left (like turning page) or upside down; reads from standard input
  • colorboard - color the board, reads from standard input. REMEMBER - this utility adds colors, and colors are ASCII escape sequences, i.e. it might lead to confusion if not aware
  • wiring - show only soldering points and wiring between them
  • soldepads - show only soldered pads and mark pads, which can be drilled off with ':'

Examples of Usage

This command flips the boards upside down and colors it

./flip <boards/talking_electronics | ./colorboard

The following command flips the boards from right to left (like turning the page of a book) and colors it

./flip -h <boards/talking_electronics | ./colorboard

And this command get an advantage from UNIX pipes and does flipping + mirroring:

./flip -h <boards/ | ./flip  

Show only solder points and wiring between the points:

./wiring < boards/ | ../flip -t | ../colorboard


Rules of Drawing the Boards

Actually, there is only one rule to follow - you can draw your matrix/strip boards in any way, but keep them as understandable as possible.

Type & Size of the Boards

Matrix/Perfboards & stripboards are the only supported types. Evidently, all routing should be done on the backside, preferably without jumpers. Personally, I try to avoid jumpers at all costs, but sometimes it just impossible to provide a compact layout without them, thus symbol j was introduced.

Control signs

The following signs are employed:

- | \ / - wire point-to-point connections
. - non-soldered copper pad/strip hole; strip is continuous in this place
o - soldered copper pad with a component lead; might be an IC leg
* - several connection wires soldered without component lead
# - component space
l - # + wire connection is routed under component vertically
~ - # + wire connection is routed under component horizontally
% - # + wire connection is routed under component diagonally top right - down left
& - # + wire connection is routed under component diagonally top left - down right
@ - soldered positive lead of anything/anode
c b e g s d - collector, base, emitter, gate, source, drain
: - copper strip/pad is cut/drilled out here
V v T - Positive power rail, negative power rail and common wire, usually soldered as connector pin
< > - input/output pins
j - jumper connection
= - continuous copper strip

Boundaries of the Components

Usually, boundaries and direction - thus placement - of a component are recognized by placing hashes # between solderable terminals. Some components, like opamps, or cermet pots, can be also outlined by hashes; if the boundaries are clearly marked, than normal wiring symbols can be used inside hashed region to depict a wiring under component nicely and correctly.

For example, here is a cermet 3-terminal pot with 2 leads soldered together:

o +-o-
#  /#

This art shows the placement of component, and that two out of its three pins are soldered together. If connecting wire crosses the border of the component without solder joint, isn't better to use &.

Not-so-easy Cases

If the connecting wire goes under component, usually it's enough to use &. However, it's not always the case. For example:

o o
o o

Usually, it's enough to enclose & between hashes, but this time it's not possible. So, in order to handle this situation the " symbol was introduced to explicitly specify the diagonal placement of the component.

Another example:


In reality, it was a diode, with the connecting wire going right under and along the component, thus making impossible to use hashes. Happily, there is nothing around to confuse us, and it's relatively easy to "decrypt", how the component should be placed. In more difficult situations the & or " symbols should be added.

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