Introduction: Bread Board From IDE Cables
Today we are going to be building a bread borad for protyping circuits. Most of the parts you have lying around. The idea here is not to replace large store bought bread boards but, to construct small units that could be part of a larger project.
Step 1: Gather Your Components
You will need
-small amount of copper wire
-soldering iron and solder
-small piece of plastic
-small screwdriver to take apart the IDE Cable
Step 2: DIssasemble the IDE Cable
Using a small screwdriver pop the backs off ouy your IDE jacks. Then carefully remove the ribbon cables from the pins. Care should be taken to not pull the pins out as each one that is removed will be a dead socket on your bread board. This is also a good time to sand down the nubs on the jacks so they wil be easier to glue together later.
Step 3: Bridge the Pins
I know that bridging pins is usually a bad thing but, here its a good one. A store bought bread board does just that, it bridges the connection between components. Use a small piece of copper wire to bridge four pins. Soldering this can be a bit difficult so I advise heating up the copper wire a bit with your soldering iron and letting it melt into the jack just a little bit. This will help to hold it while you solder. You can bridge as many or a few pins as you like but four seems to work well for me. The good news is that you can customize the board to your needs. Once you bridge them test them. Use a continnuity tester to make sure that you have only bridged the terminals that you wanted to. Test here to avoid failed projects later. Then glue your IDE jacks together to form the board. You can glue as many of these as you need to together to make the board that suits your project. I also noth out a mark every four holes on the top with a needle file so I can see which pins have been bridged without counting.
Step 4: Spit and Polish
The board works now but, its ugly. Using epoxy I gluded my new board to a small piece of plastic. This makes the board look better and protects the back from shorts. I used a small piece of metal (strap from shipping bricks great stuff and free) to form a 9V battery holder and glued it to the board as well. I soldered a couple of wires to the back of an old 9V battery top to form a 9V battery clip. I covered it with epoxy to prevent shorts as well. For style points I dye my epoxy for battery clips with a drop of black acrylic paint. Not too much or it will get all jacked up and not cure properly.
Before someone says it: yes it will fit in an Altodis box and I know that the solder job wasn't the best.
That being said my I constructed my first project on the board!