How to Use a Breadboard (with Example)





Introduction: How to Use a Breadboard (with Example)

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A Solderless Breadboard also known as a Protoboard is a prototyping space(board) that every electronics enthusiasts must have. A breadboard let's you test circuits or try out new ones without the hassle of soldering. Watch the video above or continue reading for in depth description.

Link to the YouTube Video HERE.

Step 1: What's Inside It?

Breadboards come in different sizes and colours but on the inside they are all the same. They all have an array of conductive strips that connect the points together.

There are two parts of each breadboard:

  1. There are the two sets of power rails on both sides of the breadboard usually marked by red(positive) and blue(ground) which are connected all along the breadboard.
  2. In the middle is your main prototyping space made up of sets of five rows marked by alphabets A-E and F-J. These are connected vertically i.e. in the first column A,B,C,D and E are connected together and F,J,H,I and J are connected together separated by the middle grove.

That gap in the middle is just the right size to accommodate IC's(Integrated Circuits) in the dip form factor. When an IC is placed across that gap then none of its legs or pins are connected together (which is how it should be, if you have any doubt).

Let's make a simple circuit in the next step.

Step 2: Materials Required

Materials required:

  • Breadboard
  • Wires
  • A LED
  • A 100 ohm resistor(brown black black black brown)
  • A battery or another power source

Buy the parts :

Step 3: The CIrcuit

Step-by-step Instructions:
  1. Put one end of the resistor in the positive power rail(red) and the other end in one of the rows
  2. Put the positive end of the LED (usually the longer lead) in the same row as the resistor and the negative lead in a adjacent row(not the same row). This way the resistor is connected to the anode(+ve) of the LED but not the cathode(-ve).
  3. Now take a wire and insert it in the same row as the -ve lead of the LED and the put the other end in the ground rail(blue) of the breadboard. Now the cathode of the LED is connected to ground of the breadboard.
  4. Now we can complete the circuit by connecting a power source (a 9v battery in this case). Connect the positive of the battery to the positive rail of the breadboard(red one) and the ground to the ground of the breadboard (blue).

Your LED should be working now!!

To get a summary, the current is flowing through the positive of the battery to the resistor to the positive of the LED then from the negative of the LED back to the battery through the negative terminal.

All this was made real simple by the breadboard since we didn't had to solder or twist any wires and were successful in establishing a working and reliable circuit.

Step 4: Conclusion

The main piece of knowledge required while working with the breadboard is that the power rails are connected vertically and the rows are connected horizontally though not across the middle gap.

Although a breadboard is not ideal for permanent circuits but it is really useful for testing circuits before soldering or any temporary setups.

Thanks for reading through this instructibles.

Do let me know about any mistakes or if I missed anything in the comments below and I will update the article accordingly.

Watch the associated video HERE

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    13 Discussions

    Thanks! I am new to breadboard and this is extremely helpful.

    What does the resistor do (why do you add one rather than use another connector wire)?

    7 replies

    Normally these type of LED's have low voltage limit (for most LED's the max forward voltage is 3.7V) and direct connection to the 9V battery can easily burn the LED. The resistor drops the voltage and protects the LED. I am using a resistor of value 100 ohm which works nicely with most LED'S.

    plzz help me to setup this circuit on breadboard


    If you have all the components then it is quite easy to set up. It is quite difficult to give you step by step instructions here but I'll try.

    First place the IC(the 555 timer IC) across the middle grove then start connecting the components such that their one end is in the row corresponding to the pin of the IC and the other one is in a free row (without any IC pins or other components.)

    After all of the components are placed, start connecting making the required connections with wires (make sure you are connecting the capacitors right)

    At last connect your power source to the power rails of your breadboard.

    Just make sure that the components that need to be connected together have their leads in the same row. For eg. in my article I needed to connect the positive of the led with the resistor, I placed the positive end of the LED and one end of the resistor in the same row and the other end in different rows.

    I you still need help feel free to contact me again.

    thenku thenku।......verymuch ??????

    You can also check out my youtube video for a better understanding of how breadboard works.

    Awesome, thank you! If you put up an Instructable on circuits (resistors and the like) I would definitely read it!

    I am glad that I helped you. More Instructables will be coming soon. Make sure that you follow me for future updates.

    Thanks for the intro to breadboards! I needed that for a simple project. I went to Radio Shack and picked one up, but when I asked about it he couldn't tell me what you did in this example, so thank you!

    Do you ever plan on doing any on resistors (how to pick the right ones, coding, etc.) and also one on capacitors?

    1 reply

    I am glad that I helped you.

    I have a couple of projects already lined up but I will try to write about it as soon as possible (I recently ordered some capacitors, I will try to write a how-to as soon as they arrive)

    thanxx a lot