There's 6 inches of snow on the ground, and you're cooped up in the house. You have momentarily lost your motivation to work on your GPS-guided metal-cutting laser. There haven't been any new projects on your favorite site which have piqued your interest. What to do with yourself?
Well, how bout pimping up your breadboard and turning it into a lean, mean, digital-development machine?
This is a short list of the most useful breadboard tricks that I have picked up over the years. Hopefully there's something in here that you will find useful which you haven't already thought of.
Ok, I don't really have 10 tips to share; it just makes for a catchier title. :P
Step 1: Power connector
Well, the first thing that a breadboard needs is power. Many breadboards come with binding posts. This is fine if you care to use them. But you still have to plug the wires into the board. I have messed this part up on occasion, mixing up the power and ground wires. Even though rare, this has usually resulted in rather annoying and/or expensive consequences. The solution I came up with is to always use 3-pin connectors.
See the following picture. It's made from SIP header pins and protoboard. After point-to-point wiring, it is covered with sculpting epoxy.
Step 2: Power and Ground Buses
There are times where it would be useful to dedicate some of the power and ground rails to different voltages. For me, this occasion has yet to arise. I decided to connect them permanently to reduce some of the clutter.
All you have to do is unscrew the breadboard from the backing, if it has one. Then cut away a strip of the foam backing with an Exacto knife. Next, solder the power and ground buses with some fine wire. Then cover with tape and screw it back onto the backboard.