They often say that you should pick a case before you design PCB’s, so that you know where it will fit, and how. I believe I have found a very cheap, DIY case, that you can go and pick up from your hardware store.
Insert, the 1 Gang Electrical Box. Typically used for housing electrical connection in your walls, these cases are about 0.24 a piece. Lids for them run an additional $0.60, bringing the total cost of this case for your microprocessor to under a dollar. I picked up the case and lid from both Home Depot and Lowes. Home Depot has a blue 1 gang box that has a little more flat space at the bottom. Both cases have punch outs where you can have your wires come out, perfect for a robotics project 🙂
I’ve been a big proponent of getting PCB’s designed, particularly with Kicad. But doing hobbyist electronics shouldn’t be about making the prettyist PCB wiring with the optimal spacing and clearances. It should be about getting your prototyping board with wires out, wiring it up so your project works. Once it works, you can expect it to continue working.
Documentation is important (especially if you want to come back to it), but your main goal is to accomplish your project without going broke.
You may make mistakes, so if you make them, try to make them as cheaply as possible. That is where my interest is headed right now. I’ll try to post more often now, maybe even daily, just to keep me focused on what I’m working on, and to share my ideas 😛
One last comment: RadioShack Prototype board Fits in this case http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102845 as well as DipMicro’s 70mm x 50mm http://dipmicro.com/store/PCB-UNI7H. If you get the grey 1 gang box from Lowes, RadioShack’s protoboard won’t sit flat on the bottom unless you take out a tab. Or you could do as I will do, and mount it to the top 😛