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A Brief on Breadboard Basics and Connections

Breadboard Basics and Connections

In electronics, prototyping is required, which can be done using the soldering procedure, but it is not economical, not reusable, and causes loss of electrical and electronics components. Prototyping can be defined as creating a sample of a product or circuit for testing, analyzing which is used for enhancing original product or circuit. In this prototyping process, the components are connected together by melting or using filler metal which is having a low melting point compared to adjoining metals.
Thus, this soldering process used for prototyping is uneconomical and not reusable. So, for prototyping a construction base which can be used without any soldering is required for economical, efficient, and reusing purpose. Hence, solderless breadboard was designed in 1970s and is being used for prototyping of electronics. In this article, let us know about breadboard basics, breadboard connections, breadboard price, breadboard connections basics, how to use breadboard for beginners, and who they are called so.

Breadboard Basics

In the 1960s, wire-wrap technique is used for designing, building, and testing the electronic circuits and prototypes. Then, the larger boards (like wooden boards used for bread slicing) were used onto which the components (huge electronics elements) were connected using wires, pins or thumbtacks. Hence, these are called as breadboards but, technical name of these circuit boards is solderless breadboards. These solderless breadboards consist of holes which are used for placing the component terminals and then these holes are connected to each other using various wires.

Breadboard Connections Basics

If we see breadboard for the first time, then we may feel it is very hard task to connect the circuit as it consist of several holes which are a bit confusing. In fact, it is very easy to connect the circuit if we understand the breadboard connections basics. The first two rows (top) and last two rows (bottom) of the breadboard are used for positive (one row of first and last two) and for negative (another row of first and last two).
Breadborad Layout Diagram
Breadborad Layout Diagram

Here, the first (top) and last (bottom) two rows of the breadboard consists of 5 holes in each column (totally 10 columns) are horizontally connected each other internally. If the power source terminal is connected in one hole of one column on top or bottom row (one of the two rows), then the same electric power can be taken from the successive five holes in the same column. The conductive layout diagram of the breadboard is shown in the figure above.

Breadboard Connections

Let us know breadboard connections basics such as how the rails are connected internally. The below figure shows the internal connections of component rails and power rails.
Breadboard Internal Diagram
Breadboard Internal Diagram

In fact, the power rails can be connected by using jumper wires as shown in the figure below for obtaining same power supply in both the rails. Here, the terminal indications plus and minus are just for indication and there is no need for connecting power in “+” indicated rail and ground into the “-” indicated rail.
Connecting Power Rails using Jump Wires
Connecting Power Rails using Jump Wires

The electronics beginners may get confused while connecting the DIP (Dual In-line Packages) components such as integrated circuits, microcontrollers, chips, etc.,. The rails are isolated by ravine or crevasse, thus the rows are not connected to each other on either side. So, the DIP components can be connected as shown in the figure below.
Connecting DIP Components on Breadboard
Connecting DIP Components on Breadboard

There are some binding posts along with breadboard which look like connected to breadboard internally. In fact, these are not connected and externally we can connect them using some jumper wires as per requirement.
Connecting Binding Posts to Breadboard using Jumper Wires
Connecting Binding Posts to Breadboard using Jumper Wires

There are various programs that can be used for building general circuits, electronics projects circuits, etc., on a virtual breadboard. These programs include Fritzing that facilitates the user to design the circuits and also to test the circuit functionality.

Breadboard Price

Breadboard price varies with the type of the breadboard. As there are various types of breadboards such as builtin power supply breadboards, old type breadboard made from board of bread, and so on. There are different types of breadboards available at different costs, starting from Rs.50/- (approximately).

How to Use Breadboard for Beginners?

Let us discuss how to use breadboard for beginners, consider designing simple LED circuit which makes the LED to glow using a power supply through a resistor for controlling the power to LED. Connect the external power supply through binding posts or directly from voltage source using jumping wires. Then, connect these jumper wires to the LED through a resistor. Now, switch ON the power supply and thus the LED glows. A push button is used for connecting the resistor (second) terminal to the ground rail and this push button can be used as switch to switch ON and OFF the LED. The connections are shown in the figure below.

How to Use Breadboard for Beginners
How to Use Breadboard for Beginners

Thus, every electrical and electronics projects circuit can be designed on breadboard. But, as the designing complexity of the project circuit increases and consumes more time with the increase in complexity of the project. There are advanced tools and boards such as printed circuit boards, and so on for reducing the designing complexities and save time.


Do you want to design and implement electronics projects on your own using breadboards? Then, post your views, comments, ideas, suggestions in the comments section below.

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