Breadboards for Beginners

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Introduction: Breadboards for Beginners

I see many Instructables, and other electronic projects using breadboards nowadays. Some people might think, "what is that?", or "How do I use it?" This Instructable will be used to help you answer those questions!

Breadboards are used for testing and experimenting with electronic circuits. I find them extremely convenient because they require absolutely NO soldering, and you just have to plug the component into the little holes that are provided on the breadboard.

Iguana Labs gave a few of these pictures and explanations. Thanks Iguana Labs!

Step 1: The Breadboard Connections

Breadboards consist of tiny "holes" in which the leads of the component connect into. Make sure that if you are using wire, use wire links, not the stranded wire, because it will crumple in the holes and damage your breadboard.

The top and bottom rows (the rows indicated by the blue) and are usually the (+) and (-) power supply holes and these move horizontally across the breadboard, while the holes for the components move vertically Each hole is connected to the many metal strips that are running underneath.

Each wire forms a node. A node is a point in a circuit where two components are connected. Connections between different components are formed by putting their legs in a common node. On the bread board, a node is the row of holes that are connected by the strip of metal underneath.

The long top and bottom row of holes are usually used for power supply connections.

Step 2: Connecting the Components

The rest of the circuit is built by placing components and connecting them together with jumper wires. Then when a path is formed by wires and components from the positive supply node to the negative supply node, we can turn on the power and current flows through the path and the circuit comes alive.

For chips with many legs (ICs), place them in the middle of the board so that half of the legs are on one side of the middle line and half are on the other side.

A complete circuit might look like the one below.

Step 3: Building a Circuit on the Breadboard

The circuit schematic, and the layout on the breadboard will turn out entirely different. Anyone using a breadboard must focus on the connections rather than their place on the schematic.

When you use switches or potentiometers, you must use single-core plastic-coated wire of 0.6mm diameter (the standard size). Stranded wire is not suitable because it will crumple when pushed into a hole and it may damage the board if strands break off.

The rest of the circuit is built by placing components and connecting them together with
jumper wires. Then when a path is formed by wires and components from the positive
supply node to the negative supply node, we can turn on the power and current flows
through the path and the circuit comes alive.

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    45 Comments

    what are the connections of the breadboard/protoboard?

    Sorry, I'm new to this- can you explain what jumper wires are? I googled it but they just look like very short wires with the insulation stripped off the ends.

    2 replies

    Jumper Wires are just normal solid core wires that are cut to size, with the ends snipped off insulation. They are used to connect the board's connections.

    Thats really all they are, You can buy them in kits that come with several different lengths. They're much more convenient than stripping your own wire.

    I have two questions:

    1. If I understand correctly. From the article it says all the components are hooked together. So do I have to run wire from every component to eachother?
    2. How can I understand the circuit pictures such as the second set of pictures on https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-RFID-Door-Lock/step3/Build-the-RFID-Reader/?

    What the hell am i supposed to to do with the metal sheet that came, does it go on the back...why? (i assumed it went on back because of ahesive on it)

    1 reply

    They can be used (not ideally) to replace broken connectors on the back of the breadboard. Other than that, it doesn't really have a purpose. Although If one of those ever breaks you might as well just go and spend the money on a new one.

    I'm a Sophomore in a High School for Construction Trades Engineering & Architecture ( Btw that's actually my Skool name) , and I'm Majoring In Engineering, and in my school they Teach Digital Electronics to engineering sophomores, and my Teacher demanded that we all get a BreadBoard, since then he's been teaching us how to do all of this stuff, today actually learned about parallel circuits, and some times i just don't understand what he is saying, not because this stuff is hard, but only because he has a thick Egyptian Accent, anyway i just wanted to say this Actually helped a lot, Homework is a breeze, thankss!!!

    2 replies

    I am glad to hear it! Good luck in your studies, and stick with it!

    Thanks i will, But can you give any tips on connecting LEDs? im actually stuck doing this, and i my teacher really never explained how exactly we do it

     That's what this instructable is for. Read it, CAREFULLY, and for the love of god spell correctly.

    user

    Good Lord! I just bought a breadboard.
    Seriously got curious and broke it apart to see what it was inside
    Its got some comb like structures. So... anyone planning to break open their board , save it.... (Nice Instructo there buddy)!

    I bought one a few weeks ago. Breadboard, jumpers etc. I just don't have any components yet. Yah Boo sucks to me. I will be back to reread this when I do. Any suggestions for a cool project for an ABSOLUTE noob?