Introduction: Breadboard Adapter for the Raspberry Pi

Picture of Breadboard Adapter for the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a great little board just ripe for hardware hacking and the quickest way to build hardware is on breadboard.

So we are going to build a small adapter that will connect the signals from the RPi Expansion Header to your breadboard.

You can find some of my earlier Raspberry Pi projects on my blog which is here :-)

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

We don't need much in the way of parts or tools to build the adapter:


1x 26-W IDC Box Header 2.54mm
2x 13-W Pin Strips 2.54mm
1x piece of Veroboard / Strip Board
1x 26-W Ribbon Cable with 26-W IDC Headers


Sharp Knife or Scalpel
Small Screw Driver
Vice or helping hands
Soldering Iron
Multimeter or Continuity Tester

Step 2: Cut Veroboard / Stripboard to Size

Picture of Cut Veroboard / Stripboard to Size

The first thing we need to do is cut our piece of veroboard / strip board to an appropriate size.

I cut mine so it had 6 holes across and 15 holes long. You can use a hacksaw, sharp knife, scalpel or cutters to reduce the strip board. I used a cutter and pliers. 

Once we have our strip board cut to size, we take a sharp knife or scalpel and carefully cut the tracts down the center of our strip board.

Step 3: Solder IDC Box Header

Picture of Solder IDC Box Header

Once we've cut our strip board to size we can solder the 26-w IDC box header to it. 

It's easier if you use something to hold the strip board will you try to solder it. I used a drill vice, but anything that will keep the strip board steady will do.

Fit the 26-W IDC Box Header to the strip board and place into vice. Start off by soldering the four corners of the IDC Box Header. Once done solder the rest of its pins.

Step 4: Fit Pin Headers

Picture of Fit Pin Headers

Because the I'm only using single sided strip board, we need to adjust the pins of the Pin Headers so they can be soldered to the strip board and still have sufficient pin length to make a good connection with the breadboard.

To do this you gentle push each pin through the plastic holding it until the end of the pin you're pushing is flush with the plastic. A small screwdriver is good for this.

Fit the adjusted pin headers to the strip board and solder them into place. 

Step 5: Test

Picture of Test

It always makes sense to check your soldering to make sure there are no short circuits. You can visually check it and use a multimeter set to resistance  or continuity to buzz out the board.

Step 6: Get Hacking !

Picture of Get Hacking !

If you're happy with your soldering and there are no shorts or other issues, you're now ready to connect a breadboard to you Raspberry Pi.

Use a 26-W IDC Ribbon to connect you RPi and breadboard adapter


russ_hensel (author)2015-03-15

Just a note to let you know I have added this ( a year ago ) to the instructable:

Comprehensive Guide to Electronic Breadboards: A Meta Instructable


Take a look at a bunch of ideas for using breadboards.

Gelfling6 (author)2014-03-27

Well Done! I've been using a set of pins I pulled from an old 16-bit graphics board I rescued from a hospital surplus hardware store. (machine was a 386SX based, used an old graphics capture board I couldn't find software for anymore, but had 3 80-pin array connectors, I took the longer side of a 26-pin section, and did a sloppy double-90 degree bend to the pins, just enough to get to the center rows of the breadboard. This method, would make a far cleaner connection!

thegrendel (author)2013-04-08

Not a complex project, but very useful.
This is the sort of thing the Pi was designed to inspire.

nerd7473 (author)thegrendel2013-10-05

you got that right

Francois Ste-Marie (author)2013-08-11

Thanks for the 'ible. I was just about to do the same thing and was wondering how to solder the headers so that they would not be too short. I had never though of simply pushing the pins further ! Thanks for the tip :-)

mohamedmahdy (author)2012-07-26


About This Instructable




Bio: Too many cool projects and not enough time.
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