Introduction: Make a Mini Prototyping Breadboard

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I often find myself needing to do some quick tests on my electrical components or just try out a small schematic. My breadboard works well, but is a bit big for my liking. Because of this, I made myself a smaller one from old computer IDE cables. It works great for when I go on trips because it is so small I can take it anywhere. T

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Picture of Gather Your Materials and Tools

You will need:
- 2 to 4 IDE cables
- some small gauge wire
- solder
- soldering iron
- pliers
- a knife

Step 2: Cut the Heads Off

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The first task is to remove the wires from the IDE cables. It helps to put the cables in a vice for this step. If you look at the ends of your cables, you will notice a small piece of plastic holding the wires down. To remove this, you can try to pry off the little triangles on the sides, but I find it is much easier to make two small cuts on each side that let the holder piece slide right out. (the pictures will show you what I mean) Next, you should be able to just peel the wires off from the head. You can save them for another project, but you won't need them again for this one.

Step 3: Begin the Somewhat Tedious Work

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It's a good idea to break off the little bump that some cables have on them. It works well to just crush them with a pair of pliers. Now your task is to solder all the little pins together that you want on one "rail". I chose to make them go across the cable head, but I left the last two on one side of each row of pins alone for power rails. I found it was easiest to put the wire in first, solder the very first and very last pins to the wire, and then solder all the other ones. Do the same on the other side then repeat on the other three cable heads.

Step 4: Put Them Together

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The next step is to glue the four cable heads together. Once you have done this, you can solder on the rails that will go perpendicular to the others you made. (in my case, the rails I will be using for my power rails) The process is the same as before only the wire has to go in a sort of zig-zag because of how the pins are offset.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

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Finally, cut a a small piece of cardboard to glue to the bottom of your build. I also painted on a white line to identify where my ground rails were. It works really well to attach a 9 volt battery to the bottom of your board and then run some wires to it.

Comments

RIGSAW Developments (author)2013-12-27

Great and clear instructable , thanks

pgd5000 (author)2010-09-02

I've never used a breadboard so i was wondering if someone could tell me how they work without getting all technical. thanks

KevinAlien26 (author)pgd50002011-07-30

Ok there's vertical rows for power and horizontal rows for your basic connections. Breadboards are great to test stuff out since u just plug in the leads to say and led into the breadboard instead of having to solder anything. Hats why heir solderless. But keep In mind they are meant for testing and arent permanent so it's good to draw diagrams of your circuits so u can transfer them to perf or pc board (u no the plastic things with holes that are usually green) for your final project.

I'm fairly new to all this too so I'm hoping this helped you gain some knowledge on this matter. If not im sure I can find a better way to explain it and I'm sure there's great instructbles on how to use breadboards

juggler4real (author)2010-07-21

where do you get ied cables

nobody394 (author)2010-03-03

great i'ble, I'm too cheap to buy a breadboard and too cheap to throw those ide cables away and now i'll make use of 'em.

handyman21 (author)2010-02-23

great idea mate to make the connection quicker and neater use cooking foil works
brill

absolute zero (author)2010-01-03

i wonder instead of soldering if you could just stick a wire onto the pins?
ill post with the results

well, it might work if you have a machine press

TheAmazingJampie (author)2009-07-03

Great Instructable, I needed a mini breadboard.

baken411 (author)2009-07-02

great idea to make a smaller breadboard. where can i find the IDE cables?

mytomatoes (author)baken4112009-07-02

I got mine from my schools computer lab. Since they are always taking apart computers, they usually have a few cables lying around.

acaz93 (author)baken4112009-07-02

You can find them in old or discarded computers , you may also buy new in any computer retail/repair store

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