Many electronics enthusiasts use stripboard to build small circuits and prototypes. Unfortunately, most PCB layout programs do not provide much support for this, so it’s ultimately up to you to figure out the best way to position and connect the components. The LochMaster software tool is helpful in these situations.

This program from the Germany company Abacom has been around for quite a few years, with the last major update in 2011. However, that takes nothing away from its quality and usability. The current version (4.0) runs perfectly under most Windows versions up to at least Windows 8 (we haven’t tried it with Windows 10 yet).

LochMaster is not a true CAD program, but instead a visual aid for the virtual positioning of components on a stripboard in order to determine the best layout. The graphics are very realistic. You can see the shape of each component, and there is even a 3D mode with images of many components to make things look even more lifelike.

Using the program is easy. You select components from the fairly large library (to which you can also add your own components) and place them in the desired positions, and you can enter component designations. You can also place jumpers on the board. The entire circuit can be built using this process. There is a function to make the component side semi-transparent so you can see the tracks on the back side of the board. To examine the copper tracks on the back side in more detail, you can also flip the board over by pressing another button.