Company signs KH Distributors to supply high-tech electronic design aid to SA designers

6 October 2004 News

Schmartboard, a company which manufactures a new type of tool to help engineers, students, and hobbyists create electronic circuits, has signed South African electronics distributor, KH Distributors, as an agent to distribute its products.

Schmartboard has just begun to add international distributors. According to Neal Greenberg, Schmartboard's VP sales and marketing, "We have received numerous e-mails from people in South Africa who have wanted Schmartboard. We are happy to finally find a partner to make Schmartboard available to people in South Africa and other countries on the African continent."

The Schmartboard solution allows one, in a matter of hours, to put together a board and instantly make modifications as one needs. With Schmartboard one does not have to order a custom PCB initially or deal with wire-wrap boards. Schmartboards are pre-traced printed circuit boards that are connectable like building blocks. The company calls its patented system: 'Electronic Circuit Building Blocks'. They allow one to build electronic circuits on a Schmartboard block by block, and then connect the blocks together to form a functional board. Because the boards are pre-traced, the need for wire jumpers is minimised, as opposed to breadboards or wire-wrap boards. Schmartboard also supports both through-hole and surface mount components.

How it works

1. Select the boards that you will need for the project. A detailed description is available on the Schmartboard website. Tip: Print out a mechanical drawing for each of the boards you will be using, and map out the placement of components and connections before doing it.

2. Solder the components to each board. Tip: Segment your project into blocks to take advantage of the pre-routed traces on Schmartboard, this minimises the number of wires needed on each Schmartboard.

3. Connect the boards together using the mechanical bridges. The two slots on each side of the Schmartboard fit the notches on the bridges.

Figure 1. Two Schmartboards being connected with a bridge
Figure 1. Two Schmartboards being connected with a bridge

4. Connect the wires: Wires and male headers are included in the combination and multipacks. Use the headers to connect the wires.

5. Test and make modifications: Modifications can be made simply as needed. Tip: Glue can be used to make the board more rigid once satisfied with the final configuration.

Figure 2. Top view of the connected Schmartboards. A dab of glue can be put on top where the bridge shows through to make board rigid
Figure 2. Top view of the connected Schmartboards. A dab of glue can be put on top where the bridge shows through to make board rigid

Why is it better?

Schmartboard gives some reasons: Engineers can easily spend weeks on new layouts, wait 1-2 weeks for a PCB, spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a prototype, then only to find out they need a revision. Then, they can do the process over again, and perhaps over yet again. Students and hobbyists can spend weeks trying to use wire-wrap boards. Putting wire jumpers in between every component is tricky, and trying to troubleshoot the resulting birds-nest to find a short or bad component is difficult indeed.

Using Schmartboard is the 'Schmart way' says the company, where in a matter of hours, one can put a board together and instantly make modifications as one needs. It is no longer necessary to order a custom PCB or deal with wire-wrap boards, and this also is with a very low investment cost.

Schmartboard is committed to helping engineers, students and hobbyists develop electronic circuits faster, easier, and less expensively than previously possible.

For more information contact Mohammed Waja, KH Distributors, +27 (0)11 854 5011.


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