Breadboard Basics

When working on electronics, a breadboard is one of the most important items in your prototyping toolbox. 

What is a Breadboard?

A breadboard is a rectangular plastic box filled with holes, used to test circuits.

No soldering is actually done on the breadboards, but instead they are used to prototype circuits by poking wires and components through little contact holes to form a complete circuit. This way, you are able to connect and test thousands of electric circuits without actually damaging or soldering a circuit board.

Why Use a Breadboard?

The great thing about breadboards is that you can change your mind/rearrange/replace components as you wish. If aren’t sure how a circuit is going to work out, it’s best to build a prototype beforehand to save you rewiring and soldering/desoldering connections. If you are happy and decide you want to make the project permanent you simply create a soldered or printed version of the circuit.

Breadboards can also be extremely useful for businesses. If a customer comes to you with a problem, a breadboard will allow you to duplicate, test and analyse the problem circuit.

General Tips

Breadboards are easy to use and can make throwing a project together quick and simple. There are no ‘set rules’ when it comes to using breadboards as they can be used in thousands of different ways however here are a few basic tips to help your project run smoothly.

  • Avoid crossing wires
  • Stay consistent with colour scheme
  • Make your own jumper wires from staples or solid 22 AWG wire
  • Make temporary labels with masking tape for each connection
  • Wire your breadboard neatly – it’s a good habit to get into!
Leave a Reply