Picture of Make a Mini Prototyping Breadboard
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
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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

Picture of Cut the Heads Off
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

Picture of Begin the Somewhat Tedious Work
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.
Great and clear instructable , thanks
pgd50004 years ago
I've never used a breadboard so i was wondering if someone could tell me how they work without getting all technical. thanks
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
where do you get ied cables
nobody3945 years ago
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.
handyman215 years ago
great idea mate to make the connection quicker and neater use cooking foil works
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
Great Instructable, I needed a mini breadboard.
baken4116 years ago
great idea to make a smaller breadboard. where can i find the IDE cables?
mytomatoes (author)  baken4116 years ago
I got mine from my schools computer lab. Since they are always taking apart computers, they usually have a few cables lying around.
acaz93 baken4116 years ago
You can find them in old or discarded computers , you may also buy new in any computer retail/repair store