How to get started with breadboard – A definitive guide


how-to-get-started-with-breadboard

What I am on the brink of say will probably shock you. You will not like hearing it. But you must admit that it’s absolutely true. Recognize, also, that the Breadboard is not the board that you chop vegetables on it.

The breadboard is commonly known as a solder-less board. It doesn’t require any soldering. It is widely used by the students and teachers to test the electronic components, and circuits before you go for soldering on the PCB to avoid mistakes.

The Breadboards are quite familiar with electronics students as they all start their electronics career with this board. Most of the time students and hobbyists get confused between the component pins so they could test them.

Before we go ahead we must understand the background knowledge of breadboard and why do we use it?

Let’s start.

What is a Breadboard?

  • It is a special board that allows you to test your components such as ICs, and experiments with circuit design on the breadboard before you start soldering your components on a Vero board or on your printed circuit board (PCB) to avoid any failure in the future.
  • A solderless board comes in various sizes and can be used in different projects according to your project requirements.
  • Prior to the days of the 1960s when this board didn’t exist at all, how difficult were their lives to test prototypes and components. In contrast, it has now become the hot selling product in electronics and is widely available in the market with different sizes; according to your requirement and needs.
  • Now you must have known that it doesn’t require any soldering and it is reusable. We could use the same breadboard in multiple projects.
  • Breadboard makes student’s life easy as it is easy to use for creating temporary prototypes.

Uses of Breadboard

Breadboard is an ultimate savior for students and teachers. We could make temporary yet complex projects on it, but we should know its uses.

Following are some of the uses of breadboard which might help you in the long run:

  • A breadboard is an essential tool for electronic engineers when you are not sure about the project how is it going to work? Then it could be the premier tool for you. It could help you in testing the most straightforward project as well as the most complex one.
  • It saves time and money. It is easy to breadboard a circuit than to implement the whole schematic on the printed circuit board.
  • User friendly, and easily available in the market.
  • It allows the designer to see what’s working and what’s not working in the project.
  • Another prime use of breadboards is; you could test your components and integrated circuits (ICs) when you are not sure about the pins and you are disoriented after reading the pin diagram. You can’t just de-solder your components every time.
  • If you are a beginner and a hobbyist then breadboards could be generous in learning new things. You could also attach other boards as well if your project is a bit complex and can’t be completed on one breadboard.
breadboard-with-coin

When to use a Breadboard

It won’t be wrong if I use the word “Prototyping” for the breadboard as it uses to test the components and your temporary projects. Electronic components can easily be inserted and removed as per your testing requirement.

  • Use breadboard in low power. You should not test the components which are above 12V DC.
  • Low frequency (10Mhz) projects
  • Rapid prototyping

When not to use a breadboard

There are a few limitations and you should avoid using breadboard there. Otherwise, you may damage your board.

  • A small clamp inside a board holding your jumper wires and you should avoid using the board when there is an environmental vibration in your project. It may break your circuit.
  • Avoid using the breadboard where sensors and sensitive analog electronics are operating in your project. There will be a chance you won’t get any accurate reading.
  • It performs poorly where high voltage and high frequency (<10Mhz) involve in your projects.
  • You should avoid using breadboard where switching regulators are involved.

How to do Breadboard connections

Breadboard comes as an ultimate savior when you only need to test your components, prototypes, and you are confused between two pins For example: you cannot test your potentiometer on PCB (printed circuit board), for that you need a breadboard for testing.

It comes in various sizes but the concept behind it doesn’t vary. If you are new to electronics you might not know what cool projects you can make and learn better? You don’t have to worry.

Let’s discuss the connection of breadboards and how to set up a designed project on it.

I would suggest you to use different color wires for wiring in your circuit. It would help you in troubleshooting your project later.

breadboard-with-different-wires-and-components
  • Buses on each side are not connected with each other. Black and red jumper wires are used to connect it with each other so either bus can be used as a ground or a power source.
  • ICs need to be placed between the central divider because the horizontal terminal strips are connected to each other and this could damage your IC. So you place your IC between the central divider.
how-to-place-ic-on-breadboard
  • These horizontal lines/holes are internally connected to each other so you don’t have to wire your components to components. But make sure you have put the component’s leg into the hole which is internally connected.
  • You can use jumper wires to connect the vertical lines.

How to read its connection

breadboard-internal-connections

At first, you might face difficulty in decoding the breadboard and a few questions will surely arise in your mind. Why are there so many holes on the breadboard? What is the function of this board? Don’t worry these questions are the reasons that you are willing to learn about the board and it has been explained in the simplest way.

  • It is a special board which helps students to test their circuits and components. The horizontal lines are called power rails and these holes are internally connected which means you can use it for powering the circuit when you have connected the power source in one of these holes.
  • Red line and pink lines are indicating that the holes are internally connected. Jumper wires are used to connect different components on the breadboard.
  • These alphabets and numbers show the exact hole on the breadboard.

What cool projects can you do with a prototyping board?

You have understood the layout and connections of the breadboard and now you are ready to play with it.

Let’s start with the basics, so you have a better grip on the breadboard connections. If you are still not so very sure about the breadboard, let us know your problem in the comment section.

Here, a picture of a short project and you are going to implement it on the breadboard.

LED-9V-battery-project

You don’t have to worry about the picture. What are these symbols? What is this all about?

These straight lines represent a connection; you can either connect it with a jumper wire or you can also use the component’s legs to connect it on the breadboard. R1 is a resistor with a resistance of 330 ohm; resistor is used for protection when current flows more than the required, it could damage your LED.

3d-model-of led-blink-project

Recommended reading

Before you start applying your ideas on breadboard. You should know more about resistors what they are all about. Here is a guide for you to make a good grip on How to read your resistors through color codes? and Basic electronics quantities. This would give you a clear idea and help you to make a good grip on the topic you are going to study.

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