Introduction: Breadboard Friendly Tactile Switches

Picture of Breadboard Friendly Tactile Switches

As most of you have experienced, the good old standard tactile switch is really difficult to mount on a breadboard. This is because the pins are so thin. Even with the pins straightened, they sometimes do not make contact, or just keeps on bending trying to insert then onto the breadboard.

Step 1: Parts Needed

Picture of Parts Needed

You will need the following spares:

Tactile switches

Piece of vero board/proto board

Pin headers

2 female headers

Step 2: Making the Base

Picture of Making the Base

Cut a small piece of vero board into a 5x4 matrix as shown.

Step 3: Add the Tactile Switch to the Base

Picture of Add the Tactile Switch to the Base

Insert the tactile switch onto the base.

I like to bend over the pins to ensure the switch is flush with the board.

Solder the switch to the base.

Step 4: Soldering the Header Pins

Picture of Soldering the Header Pins

Cut two pieces of pins, so that each piece have 2 pins.

Using long nose pliers, push the pins flush with the plastic.

Insert the pins into the base.

Use the female headers to keep the pins aligned during soldering.

I used Prestik to hold the assembly during soldering.

Solder the header pins to the base.

The final step is to solder a bridge across the pins and switch connections.

Step 5: Using Your Switches

Picture of Using Your Switches

Simply connect one side of to the switch to the common rails (red or black) of your breadboard. Now only one wire is needed to connect your tactile switch to your circuit.

I hope this was helpfull.



Dan909 made it! (author)2017-10-08

Nice write up, been thinking about various things i can premake to make projects quicker/simpler. I made 4 ment for 5 but tried changing the pins around and just messed the piece up. Thanks.

Eric Brouwer (author)Dan9092017-10-09

Thanks for your feedback.

Hope these switches helps you with development.


jester928 (author)2016-08-04

It reminds me of some circuits that we made at ITT Tech nicknamed surf boards these where simple circuits like voltage regulator, a small amplifier, a basic counter circuit with a 555 timer, and others all of the 'surf board circuts ' plug in to a prototype board for all external connections. We got the idea from an electronic magazine article (I forget the name) I think it's popular electronics. We made them for circuts that we found useful and made these for convenience

AndreasB43 made it! (author)2016-07-16

great, thank you =)

Eric Brouwer (author)AndreasB432016-07-17


TrewRoad made it! (author)2016-07-14

Very elegant. Although I don't often use a tactile switch on a breadboard this makes the option clean and easy.

My picture was chosen after reading the post by RyanC168 but I'm not trying to address his query.

It did remind me that all breadboards are not exactly the same. There is perhaps an 'authentic' design but the alignment of the power/ground strips to the matrix is a common difference. A one-pin header would maybe make the insertion on the breadboard a bit easier but the daughter board/switch will still be slightly skewed.

The Instructable makes a gizmo that is physically nice and stable, off the breadboard as well as on. It will likely be useful with any breadboard, including a 170 tie point 'mini'. If the skewed appearance of the switch is an aesthetic affront, the gizmo works just as well bridging the columns.

My kudos to the author.

Eric Brouwer (author)TrewRoad2016-07-16

Thanks for your feedback. Glad you find this useful.

loptica62 (author)2016-07-06

yes, indeed very nice - I have all sorts of breadboard friendly "things" (like simple switches, leds, pots etc) but it never occurred to me to make one for a tacticle switch .... great work!

Eric Brouwer (author)loptica622016-07-06

Thank you

dmwatkins (author)2016-06-14

Simple and brilliant! Thank you!

Eric Brouwer (author)dmwatkins2016-06-14

Thank you

kenyer (author)2016-06-13

Why didn't I think of this? Great idea.

Eric Brouwer (author)kenyer2016-06-13

Thank you

sebtex (author)2016-06-13

i think its a good idea , i will build it with a build in pull down resistor

Eric Brouwer (author)sebtex2016-06-13

Thank you. Glad you like it.

rafununu (author)2016-06-13

A very good idea indeed !

Eric Brouwer (author)rafununu2016-06-13

Thank you. Glad you like it.

RyanC168 (author)2016-06-12

Can someone explain this better? How do you connect the header and why would that make it so you need only one pin? Are you making a microcircuit in from that single line?

Eric Brouwer made it! (author)RyanC1682016-06-12

I use the 'Active Low' switches with all my projects. This means the one side of the switch must be connected to 0V. Thus I connect one side of the tactile switch to the common 0V rail on the breadboard (black line on edge of breadboard).
The other side of the switch goes to the micro controller input pin. The resistor is used to pull the input pin HIGH (5V) when the button is not pressed. Once the button is pressed, the switch pulls the input pin LOW (0V).

RyanC168 (author)Eric Brouwer2016-06-13

Thanks. Is there a difference between GND and NEG or (-) terminal?

Eric Brouwer (author)RyanC1682016-06-13

Looking from a battery point of veiw, the (-) terminal is marked negative. But in a single-supply circuit, the NEG and GND are the same. It is also called 0V.

RajendraKumarS (author)2016-06-12

Cool Idea! Very cool. I was just breaking my head for connecting switch with the breadboard. You really helped me a lot. Thanks a lot.

Thank you.

fortin (author)2016-06-12

Great idea ! I am definitely going to do that for all my irregular components. I am done trying to fit them with alligator clip cable. Thanks for that !

Eric Brouwer (author)fortin2016-06-12

Glad you liked this. Keep me posted on your creations.

dmhoke (author)2016-06-12

why didn't I think of that ????? :))))

Eric Brouwer (author)dmhoke2016-06-12

I have no idea :) :) :)
But now you can make similar items. Hope to see some of them.

gm280 (author)2016-06-12

This technique works equally well for a lot of irregular components if you are going to breadboard a circuit prior to designing a PC board for the finished proofed circuit.

Eric Brouwer (author)gm2802016-06-12

Yes, I agree. Here's another one...

BeachsideHank (author)2016-06-12

Hmm, this give rise to the idea of also incorporating a debounce circuit as well, thus having a very useful plug- in for circuitry experimentation, nice Instructable, thanks!

Glad you liked it.

About This Instructable



More by Eric Brouwer:ESP8266-01 IoT Smart Timer for Home AutomationInstructables Hit Counter (ESP8266-01)Converting Camping Deep Freezer Into Fridge/Freezer Using AtTiny85
Add instructable to: