I am always trying to find easier and cheaper ways to build and test my electronics.
Lately, I have been tinkering with the ESP8266-01 modules.
As you all know, the 2x4 female header does not play well with a solderless breadboard.
Yes, I have made various small adapters to accommodate the ESP8266.
Of course, every time I build a new circuit, I have to first make an adapter (unless I want to tear down my previous prototype).
This is okay, but consumes time that I could be using on creating circuits.
So, my idea was to attack this from the other end. The solderless breadboard itself.
Items you will need:
Solderless Breadboard (I am using a SYB-46 Breadboard 270 Point 23x12 purchased on Ebay. About any type can be used if it has gap in the middle.)
Tape (I used double sided rug tape and Gorilla tape. Masking tape, packing tape, etc. can be used as long as it is non-conductive. )
Needle nose pliers
Xacto knife,razor blade
Hot glue gun
Table saw (hand saw, Dremel w/ saw blade, jigsaw,etc)
Sandpaper or file
And as always, do this at your own risk.
Now, I am going to define two ways you can do this.
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Step 1: Method #1 the Full Monty (Mark Area to Be Cut)
Using a magic marker, mark the breadboard as indicated in the center of the photo.
The red arrows indicate the desired gap and location after your cut.
You want to maintain the spacing of the pin contacts after cutting and re-attaching the two halves.
Step 2: Remove and Cut One Edge of All Contacts
Remove the tape from the bottom.
Remove all the metal contacts.
Cut the protruding edge, on one side only, for all of the column contacts
Set them aside for now.
Step 3: Cut and Sand Breadboard
Cutting will be easier using a table saw.
Make sure you have removed all metal contacts!!!
You don't need shards of metal flying around.
The kerf on my cut was ~ 1/8".
Just right for removing the center.
After a little sanding, I got the spacing just right.(at least where it counts) ;-)
Maintaining the same spacing for the new thin center gap
with the rest of the pin contacts.
Step 4: Contacts and Tape
Insert all of the contacts and apply the tape
to isolate both halves of the breadboard.
Step 5: Hot Glue the Bottom
Align and assemble both halves together.
Keeping both pieces flat.
Apply hot glue down the center and sides.
Only apply enough glue to do the following:
While the glue is still hot, press down on it with the blunt end of your tweezers to flatten the glue before it cools.
Step 6: Hot Glue the Top,trim, and Test
Now carefully apply hot glue on the sides only.
I would not try to do the center to avoid getting glue into the pin contacts.
Taking your Xacto knife, trim any excess glue for the breadboard.
Using a multimeter in the ohms function, check to make sure the two halves
are not shorted together.
Step 7: New Tape
Apply a piece of Gorilla tape to the bottom.
Step 8: Uncut Breadboard Showing Initial Problem
The ESP8266 2x4 connector spacing doesn't match the breadboard
isolated halves to have eight separate connections.
This holds true for any double row connector with .1" spacing.
Step 9: Completion With Examples
With the completed breadboard, you can now use double row .1" connectors.
I save this breadboard to apply my ESP8266 or any other of the above mentioned connectors.
Step 10: Method #2 the Partial Monty
On a larger solderless breadboard, I just cut a few contacts to allow
for a similar type of isolated connections.
In this case, for the ESP8266 2x4 header.
Cut the metal contacts as shown in the picture.
I then placed small pieces of fr4 pcb material with no copper on it.
These spacers help isolate the two pieces of the metal contacts.
Same as before, ohm out to make sure the two halves of the four columns are not shorted.
On the top side, mark the area you cut with a magic marker.
This insures that when you use this breadboard in the future,
you will know those columns are isolated.