Introduction: Power Your Breadboard With USB

About: I'm mainly interested in music, food and electronics but I like to read and learn about a lot more than that.

I am writing this Instructable because I´ve got a lot of questions about my little USB-powersupply for my breadboard and a lot of request to write an instructable about it. I needed a new one anyway because my old one died because of a cat with sharp teeth.

I think that it is safe to say that most of the people who make (big or small) electronics-projects have a pc or laptop in theire hobbycorner and a lot of projects need 5V for IC's or microcontrollers. So using power from a USB cable isn't that farfetched and lets face it: a lot of devices around us use a USB-connection to get their power or to charge their batteries.

Step 1: About USB-connectors and -power

For this Instructable you can use any USB-connector you like (or you can even cut the cable and solder the wires) but I will use a B-type. The pins always have the same function for all types of connectors.

Pin#Color CableFunction
1RedVcc (5V)

Voltage = 5V
max Current = 500mA

Step 2: What Do You Need?

In this Instructable we will make a very simple power supply with only the USB-connector and a power-on led. But you can add whatever you fancy such as a power on/off switch or or a regulator to get 3,3V (fused or not) or........

So for this Instructable we need:
  • USB B connector
  • Some headerpins
  • An LED
  • A 150Ohm resistor
  • Something to hold the lot together
  • soldering iron and solder
Please be careful when soldering. Children should always work under adult supervision!

Step 3: Leds Get Our Hands Dirty

Soldering everything together is actually very easy.

  • Connect the led with pin1 (Vcc) of the USB-connector and then connect it to pin4 (ground)  with the resistor inbetween.
  • Connect pin 1 with one pin of the headerpins and pin 4 with the other.
  • I soldered another pair of pins to the board but they are not connected. They just give some extra stability when connected to the breadboard.