Colour Coded Breadboard Jump Leads

Introduction: Colour Coded Breadboard Jump Leads

The main problem that i have found when using my breadboard is that i always end up with a mass of wires everywhere and its hard to see exactly where they are all going.This instructable is a short simple solution that will keep the clutter to a minimum and are easy to use.
This is my first instructable so i hope i have made a good job of it.

Parts needed:

Rainbow ribbon cable (you could use IDE/floppy wires also but they are not colour coded).

Glue lined heat shrink tubing
8mm (4-1 ) shrinks to 2mm
3mm (3-1 ) shrinks to 1mm

Male header pins

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Step 1: Preparing the Ribbon Cable

First cut a length of the ribbon cable and strip off how many wires you will be needing.
then using wire cutters clip the wires to seperate them and peel them down a bit.
Strip off the tips and twist the tips to stop wires from straying, then solder to hold them together
and to help solder the pins on next.

Step 2: Add the Pins

Next get a header and pull out as many pins as you will be needing.These pins are strong enough not to bend easy and will get a good connection in a breadboard or an arduino.
get some of the pins and push them into a bit of blu tack or something that will hold them still enough for you to solder, then add a small blob of solder to the tips of them.I find doing this helps when soldering on the wires.

Now just line up the wire with the pin so that thereis a little overlapping at the tips and give it a tickle with the soldering iron so that the solder on both parts melt together and hold it untill it there a sec for it to cool.

Step 3: Putting It Together

Next we add the shrink tubing put on the big 8mm bits first as it can be hard to get on after putting tubing on the pins,
Cut off about 1 or 2 cm of tubing and slide it up the cable to where you want to stop the wires from splitting remember to leave enough wire to reach far enough to reach where you will need it.
Then heat it evenly with a hot air gun or hair dryer or a lighter works too.
When i did this the shrink wrap tried to bend the wires into a tube so i squashed it down and let the glue set (watch it gets hot ).

Last we cut off bits about 1cm off the 3mm tubing, slide them over the pins covering the connection and a little of the pins and heat it up the glue will stop them from slipping off and harden a bit when it cools creating a small handle that makes it a lot easier getting them in and out of the small holes.

Step 4: Finished

Now you can have a cleaner work area,
They dont get tangled when stored,
You can easily identify what cable is going where,
Wires are insulated so no fear of short circuits,
And are very easy to make.

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    4 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This looks like a lot of work. I suggest using the "Male to Male Solderless Breadboard jumper cable wires" from Ebay instead (except if you need loooooong wires of course).


    8 years ago on Introduction

    That's neat. I had a similar idea but wasn't sure what to use for pins, I like your solution and will give it a try now as I have many floppy and old IDE cables kicking around. Beats buying the cables as they are cheaper to do them yourself and you can make them the length you need.
    Good first Instructable too.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    thanks iv got alot of ide cables kickin about aswell but the bad thing about them is all the wires are the same colour but using different colours of shrink wrap would work with it nicely