Large Bread Board From IDE Cables, Breadboard on the Cheap





Introduction: Large Bread Board From IDE Cables, Breadboard on the Cheap

This was inspired by the original ide bread board by stone3408ide bread board by stone3408 I thought it was such a simple idea to recycle the mass of old ribbon connectors I had laying about.

Sorry in advance about the image quality, I must get a proper camera & stop using the phone

What you will need
3 IDE hard drive cables depending on the number IDC of connectors (SCSI or FDD cables could be used for a different sized board)
This uses 8 IDC connectors.

A small flat screwdriver to take the connector apart
A vice or something to apply pressure when re assembling.

Step 1: Disassemble the IDC Connectors

Use the flat screwdriver to ease off the cable grip, conductor cover & lift the wires slightly from the cable.
Pull the ribbon cable off by folding it back; this helps to keep the pins in place.

Step 2: Re Connect Them

Place the IDC connectors next to each other on the ribbon in 2 groups of 3, check that the cable is lined up so that each pin does not overlap the next.
Apply some pressure to the connector & the cover to squeeze the cable through the sharp pins.
I then cut the cable down to make them easy to handle.
Once in the correct location finish off in a vice to make a good electrical connection.

Step 3: Wiring Up 1

To make the tracks, short pin 1 & 2 together, then pin 3 & 4, 5 & 6 etc.
This is done by squeezing the right part of the sharp cable grip the left part of the next one.
Do this all the way along

Step 4: Wiring Up 2 : Power Rails

Using the left over ribbon wire up the rails linking all the top pins together, the all the bottom pins.
Use the screwdriver to push the wire into place before using the vice again the trap the wires in place

Step 5: Mounting

Once the wires are trimmed & it has been tested for shorts or missing connections it can be fitted into an expensive cardboard box to give it a truly professional look.
if you have a vast array of cables you could link more boards



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17 Discussions

Please i desperately need a breadboard..can't get any where i there any other tutorial on it using househoid items....l got tons of interesting circuit diagrams but can't implement any...because of lack of breadboard.pls

can it be done with a 24 pin serial cable port?

You just cleared my biggest hurdle in attempting electronics. Thank you!

I just finished one using 4 of the connectors. Great Ible it's surprise what a bit of innovation and creativity can do

 Great idea.  Question - Can you expand on the 'Squeez Together' part as I am a little confused.

Also, drinking coffee while trying to put the wire in each pin is not a good idea.  Serious coffee jitters....

1 reply

I think by squeeze together he means to try to keep them close together so there is little to no gap between them. Not necessary but does make it look a bit nicer.

I just published a similar instructable, but mine requires you to solder wires onto the spikes at the bottom to configure your connections.

I didn't see this instructable until I had published and saw the "related" list on the side.

Yours is an excellent instructable, I've never thought of doing it like that.

I put a link to this page on my instructable to inform people of the alternate way of doing it from mine.


I like the idea of jumping the pins with the left over ribbon wire.  Great for when your in a bind.

A very useful instructable ! Many thanks for sharing. Squeezing metal grips is not easy... For my next project I guess I'll strip a small portion of the ribbon and wrap the cables two by two before soldering them rather than using this method. Anyway, a very nice work and a great idea.

Just pull out half of the connector pins, and put them in the other way around, to connect the even numbered pins to the odd numbered pins.

XD EXPENSIVE CARDBOARD BOX Sorry,I just had to do that.

u should have negative on 1 side and positive on the other

This is actually a really clever idea. Not the most practical in all situations, but excellent reuse of materials.

Damn I thought you mean a geeky toast rack XD

To make the power rails easier a piece of magnet wire with coating removed or something else like a small metal rod would allow you to solder all the pins together without fiddling with jumper wires. Nice job overall, I always wondered if this could work after seeing someone I know do the opposite.