Shane Trent recently shared some recommendations for MOSFET transistors in SOI8 packages that will switch to saturation with ordinary logic level signals. The two transistors he mentions are inexpensive, offer low on resistance, and would seem to be perfect for prototyping, except for one detail. Off the shelf SOIC8 breakout boards such as this one from Adafruit are designed for small signals and modest power supply currents. The N channel part Shane recommends can handle enough current in pulse mode to demonstrate the Adafruit board traces as fusible links. On the other hand, anything beyond a small number of amperes is asking trouble with a breadboard. (For higher power situations Shane’s article also describes interesting transistors in TO220/251 packages.)
After kicking some ideas around a simple breakout board was designed to cover both low-medium and high current use cases. A handful will be coming from OSH Park within the next couple weeks. Here are top and bottom views of the board:
Assuming it has no CAD or fabrication bugs, this board will handle any SOIC8 FET with the pins 1-3 for Source, 4, for gate, and 5-8 for drain. The resistor R1 connects the gate to the source to avoid accidental triggering from high Z or open circuit situations. A value of one megohm should be sufficient. The pads are for an 0805 size resistor. The bottom three pads are for standard or right angle male header pins to go into a standard breadboard. The upper pads are sized for 16 gauge wire to allow high current connections to the source and drain.
Some assembled and bare boards will be brought to the July 13 TriEmbed meeting at NCSU. If the first version is defective we’ll use them to play tiddlywinks. As soon as the board is shown to have no defects the design will be published to the OSH Park “Shared Project” area on their web site.