Instructables
Picture of Building Circuits: The Beauty of Breadboards
In this instructable i will teach you how to go from a schematic of a circuit to the real thing. (this is a followup to "how to read circuit diagrams". so if you haven't looked at that instructable now would be a good time). because this is directed towards beginning electronics hobbyists we will work with breadboards. essentially breadboards are the legos of the electronics world. you simply stick the leads of components into little holes on the breadboard and BAM! you have a circuit. breadboards are extremely convenient and easy (and re-usable), and require no soldering! its all pop-in/pop-out.

a breadboard, however, is constructed in a special way and you need to understand the basics of this before beginning to build.
 
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Step 1: Basic breadboard structure

Picture of basic breadboard structure
a breadboard has holes all over it designed to fit the leads of electrical components. these holes are connected in columns by conductive metal strips. on each breadboard there are always two sets of two rows on top and bottom. these are connected horizontally. these are usually used for the + and - contacts of the battery.
below i have attached an image showing how this pattern is arranged by outlining connected holes in green. i did not outline everything, just enough to show the pattern.

you use special jumper wires to go from one column/row to the next. a box of multiple sizes of these jumpers can be found at most radioshacks for quite cheap

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103801

or of course in ible style you can make your own

This helped a lot. I finished the first two chapters of Charlie Platt's Make Electronics and I still did not understand how to read circuit diagrams. I understood all the symbols but not how to connect everything. This article gave me an aha experience, a little lightbulb went up above my head, now I can put together a circuit just by looking at the diagram.

DAF Builders10 months ago
Hey Thanks so much! My daughter was so happy to have turned on her LED! Hahaha. Cheers! This was the very first thing she used her breadboard for :)
august5421 year ago
What kind of switch did u use?
apillai31 year ago
thanx........
ndav1 year ago
your intellectual generosity is much appreciated
wpeng1 year ago
Very helpful! Thanks a lot!
good.thanks a lot.
flashcactus4 years ago
some breadboards(like mine) have the two rows for power in the middle and the columns at the sides of it
Mine too.
sageserver5 years ago
I love breadboards, but there so expensive now. there very useful except for RF curcuits.
expensive? they are something like $4 for a 500 tie point board... theres lots of websites that sell them cheaply.
pfred2 solis3654 years ago
You get what you pay for. Not all breadboards are created equally. Quality ones will have gold plated contacts and a shielded backplane. Then again paying a lot for a breadboard doesn't guarantee that it will be a good one.

$25-$35 Would be an average price I see.

solis365 pfred24 years ago
Well yes, but I don't see the breadboard parasitics becoming an issue for the average hobbyist. I would just spend for a $4 one and once you figure out that you need a better one, THEN spend $30, because odds are you wont need a good one. These days, if the circuit is affected by the breadboard, odds are it will be affected by ANY breadboard because of all the stray capacitance, etc, and you'll just have to lay out a PCB anyway.
aplauche (author)  solis3654 years ago
agreed. $30 is WAY to much to be spending on a bread board.
pfred2 aplauche4 years ago
 This cost me a tad more than $30 but I feel it was worth it:


p7100104.jpg
solis365 pfred24 years ago
 ah, well thats gotta be 10000 tie points... im talking like $4 for 1 board... thats like 12 boards
pfred2 solis3654 years ago
More like 18 but who's counting? I've others here and there too. Point being I may have some perspective on this matter that others lack.

Or to put it another way I've both good and bad and over 30 years to compare the two.

 

“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.” -- Aldo Gucci
i cant really buy from the internet. i havnt looked at the prices but at stores like radioshack(really expensive for everything) or Orvak there more like $20 for 100 tie board.
aplauche (author)  sageserver5 years ago
not a my radioshack, but idk maybe it varies from place to place
aplauche (author)  sageserver5 years ago
yea, at least their re-usable. i just have two or three i use for everything
builditphil5 years ago
great ible! really helps out the beginner (me)