Here's a fun system designed to take care of some of the headaches involved in breadboarding a circuit.

It is is a simple set of template files drawn to scale with real world electronic components.

Using a vector drawing program you simply move the components onto the breadboard template, draw a few wires and print the result (if you're old school you can print the template and use scissors and glue).

Pin the template to your breadboard, place the components and wires, and you're good to go. Better yet if a wire later falls out its easy to pop it back into place.

Looking to skip ahead?

The Component Library can be found here
The Circuit Library can be found here

(shameless plug)
Like the breadboard layout sheet idea and looking to play around with an Arduino? we make a fun kit that combines the two. (in the UK it can be purchased here anywhere else in the world it can be purchased here)

(second shameless plug)
In the UK and looking for an online shop that sells delightfully fun open source products feel free to check out our web store here .:oomlout.co.uk web store:.

Step 1: Software

There are two options for this step. One a little ahead of its time and the other a little past its time.

Option 1 - Inkscape (modern)
Inkscape is an Open Source vector drawing program. Its a little rough around the edges at the moment but it is only getting better, and when looked at in its entirety pretty impressive.

  • Download Inkscape from inkscape.org
  • Install
  • Download the component library in Inkscape (.svg) format on the next step
  • Copy and paste components and move them around (use the arrow keys the nudge is set to 0.1" so you're components will all stay alligned)

Option 2 - Cut & Paste (old school)
Along with the Inkscape format all the files in this instructable are also available as .pdf. What this means is you can download the PDF print it out and then use old fashioned glue, scissors and pen to make your templates. Or you can also download pre-drawn circuits from step 3.
<p>Hi! I'm not sure if you're still maintaining these, but if so, I think it'd be the most useful to include generic DIP packages in the most common formats rather than a bunch of pin-annotated specific ICs&mdash;i.e. generic DIP8, DIP14, DIP16, DIP28, etc., maybe DIP4 for like rectifier chips and optoisolators. You have the DIP16 now, but other chip sizes require editing the graphic.</p>
<p>The Component Library can be found <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/S434ZZ3FVO9MFS8/" rel="nofollow">here</a><br>The Circuit Library can be found <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/SC92AS6FVO9MFS9/" rel="nofollow">here</a></p><p>These links are broken.</p>
4 years later and I say &quot;Thanks for this ible&quot;. I may not use this info directly, but I am sure to get inspired every time that I go back over all of this.
AWESOME!!!!! thank you for creating this instructable! I'm just getting started with Arduino and breadboard stuff. this will help out alot.
That looks good, but I have a stupid question; I know PicAxe chips can be reprogrammed over and over - is the same thing possible with Arduino chips? Second, less-stupid question; Have you thought of producing something similar for PicAxe?
Yeah, the Atmel micro processors in an Arduino can be reprogrammed over and over.
Don't they have a limit...like to a few thousand read/write sessions?
Yeah, I think it's like 100,000 writes. So you'll never kill the chip.
Only 100,000 Writes? Ouch...that is very little, A standard Memory stick is Several billion
What? You will never surpass 100,000 writes on one of those. Besides, the Atmel ( or any other microprocessor ) isn't meant to be re-written over and over like a memory stick, they're made for two different types of applications. A microprocessor is meant to be programed once or however long it takes to get your code working, then it goes in to a permanent project. If you buy an Arduino, or anything similar you'll not need to worry about going over the 100,000 mark, and if you somehow manage that feat you can buy another microprocessor for $5.
Laugh out loud, So We're covered :P
Don't they have limited Read Sessions as all chips do?
I'm not sure about that. I don't think the longevity of the chip is necessarily measured in read/write cycles, but rather in its usage. If it's used constantly, it probably won't last as long, but under standard use it probably last quite a long time. Just look at some of the electronics you use everyday that contain microprocessors, they are probably in no danger of running out of reads. I have things with microprocessors that are almost as old as me that still work. And things even older, like an Atari and it still works fine.
But what about a arduino it has to programmed many times as it cannot be embeded in a projects so we can make many projects with it and it gets reprogrammed many times
Ah yes, most of them have no more than 64K or storage, The smaller the chips the longer they last, in filesize, the first flash drive-16MB lasts longer than a tortoise's lifetime, While the Newest Solid state drives only last 5 Years At 1 Terabyte or so...
Wow! Only 5 years on a solid state drive? What a rip off.
I really dont like SSDs - their read write lifetime is so pathetic and to be honest i feel safer with a SATAII spinning disk. so much for new tech always being a step forward...<br /> <br /> James<br /> <br /> PS. they wouldnt last 5 minutes let alone 5 years without the madly complicated wear-levelling algorithms implemented on them, wheres a normal HDD... NOTHING this is what hacks me off... they had to try&nbsp;SO&nbsp;HARD to get them just working for 5 yrs<br /> <br /> And then theres the scary thought of servers running on them!?!?!?!<br /> <br /> Eesh...<br />
with heavy use...
Smaller sized flash memory chips do not last longer than larger sized chips. The reason they have different lifetimes is that a flash drive or card is written to rather infrequently, while a solid state hard drive is written to and read from constantly, as long as the computer is running (not quite, but close enough). Reading from eeprom on a chip like the Atmgega168 (the one the arduino uses) does not degrade the memory. The only thing that degrades the memory is writing to eeprom. Also, those 100,000 writes are just the base estimate that the chip manufacturer says the chip should be reliable for. It is very likely that the chip will last through maybe twice that many read/write cylces.
that's what i assumed it would be...
Sorry, was replying to swat, but something got messed up.
No, problem. It's all useful info.
Ah, I thought you where replying to me, as it was related to what i was saying..
Yeah...About 5 Years of Really Heavy Use, Then they run out of read-write sessions, This happened to me once with a 2GB MicroSD memorystick...After i hit the limit its filesystem corrupted, after it corrupted i tried to format, but it fails, and in disk management, it has a RAW filesystem...So...Yeah...That was bad...
The Arduino Mega is based on the128k version of the ATmega1280. There are also 256k versions of the ATmega1280. These chips are not meant to run Photoshop.
Hey Kiteman; We haven't included the picAxe simply because we don't use it ourselves, However adding a picAxe pin-out is as easy as drawing it in Inkscape (you can use the pre-existing chips as a guide (if you draw it we'd love to add it to the component library)
OK, thanks. I won't be making one anytime soon, though, as I am a microcontroller noob.
Yeah me too im just starting out with arduino myself.
Like RokGoblin said above, can't download the SVG file - just getting pages of XML. Any suggestions or is there a link to an alternate source?
Oomlout, Thanks for the great instructable(s). Your info is always helpful especially to us n00bs. I have a question, is the BREA-BreadboardDiagrams.svg file corrupted or is the host server possibly having problems? I get an XML (code) file displayed in my IE8 browser when I try to download the components file.
This is just what I keep hoping to find on Instructables but never seem to come across. A way for people to do planning and construction before they actually get their hands dirty. Again, good job and please keep it up!
Shameless Plug=SPAM<br/><br/>(IMHO)<br/>
:) very true, MrMath. Sadly the only way the boss lets us do these types of things during work hours is if we do the spamming. With the warning though we hope it at least becomes opt in spam.
Going by previous comments from Eric, this is an acceptable Instructable - yes, you link to selling stuff, but you also show us how to do it if we don't buy the kit from you.

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