Breadboards sometimes know as prototyping boards or proto boards are a quick way of working up and experimenting with electronic circuits. Originally breadboard circuits were circuits built on real wooden breadboards. Some commercial products like Atwater Kent radios were built this way. More recently the term refers to plastic boards loaded with connection points that accept wires and components and include some pre-wired connections. Many instructable articles have been written about breadboards and prototyping with them. This is a pretty comprehensive guide to them ( but not in the guide format, comment? )
Not included projects that just happen to use a breadboard. ( Also I generally do not watch videos, so I have excluded them here. ) If you are an author of a breadboard instructable that you think I should have included, please let me know.
A note on the images in each step, each comes from the first instructable mentioned the step.
Step 1: The Basics
The basics show a bit on how breadboards work and how to set up your circuits. Good place to start if you have not used them before. Breadboards for Beginners by Brennn10 66,357 views 78 favorites Posted: Jun 9, 2007 http://www.instructables.com/id/Breadboards-for-Beginners/ Breadboard Basics for Absolute Beginners by Cew27 164,374 views 294 favorites Posted: Feb 16, 2009 http://www.instructables.com/id/Breadboard-Basics-for-Absolute-Begginers/ Building Circuits: The Beauty of Breadboards by aplauche 35,672 views 54 favorites Posted: Jun 19, 2009 http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-Circuits-The-Beauty-of-Breadboards/ How to use a breadboard by shams Feb 10, 2012 94,908 views 88 favorites Posted: Feb 10, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-use-a-breadboard/ Breadboard How To by amandaghassaei 80,107 views 196 favorites Posted: Apr 8, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Breadboard-How-To/ How a Breadboard Works by DrNicker 5,548 views 13 favorites Posted: Jul 25, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/How-a-Breadboard-Works/ Breadboarding Fun by pfred2 183 views 3 favorites Posted: Nov 28, 2013 http://www.instructables.com/id/Breadboarding-Fun/
Step 2: Powering
Most interesting circuits need some power. How to do it? Check out some various methods.
The Radioshack, Adjustable, Breadboard Power Supply. by kersny 64,679 views 171 favorites Posted: Jun 28, 2007 http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Radioshack%2c-Adjustable%2c-Breadboard-Power-Suppl/ 5V breadboard mini PSU by chr 52,439 views 165 favorites Posted: Sep 20, 2007 http://www.instructables.com/id/5V-breadboard-mini-PSU/ Make A Breadboard Power Supply by Nerdz 27,720 views 50 favorites Posted: Nov 6, 2008 http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-A-Breadboard-Power-Supply/ Power your breadboard with USB by janw 12,626 views 46 favorites Posted: Apr 8, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/Power-your-breadboard-with-USB/ Universal Power Supply For Arduino + Breadboard by Collin Amedee 8,471 views 29 favorites Posted: Mar 18, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Universal-Power-Supply-For-Arduino-Breadboard/ Duel portable breadboard PSU by DoctorWoo 886 views 3 favorites Posted: Aug 6, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Duel-portable-breadboard-PSU/
Step 3: Components and Connectors
Some components need a little help in being plugged in. Ideas abound. This section excludes micro controllers like the arduino, the next section covers them. In several of the instructables below the component is connected to a header which plugs into the breadboard better than the leads or connectors on the device.
Make SMD to DIP adapters by Nerdz 11,109 views 11 favorites Posted: May 28, 2009 http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-SMD-to-DIP-adapters/ Advanced Soldering: Fast and Easy Soldering of Surface Mount Components by mikey77 36,910 views 121 favorites Posted: Jul 29, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/Advanced-Soldering-Fast-and-Easy-Soldering-of-Sur/ Picaxe Projects #1: Making Fast Printed Circuit Modules by mikey77 20,182 views 42 favorites Posted: Aug 12, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/Picaxe-Projects-1-Making-Fast-Printed-Circuit-Mo/ Parallel cable breadboard breakout by PaulMakesThings 4,202 views 5 favorites Posted: Oct 23, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-parallel-cable-breadboard-breakout/ DIY SOIC to DIP Chip Adaptors by mattthegamer463 8,876 views 14 favorites Posted: Jan 2, 2011 http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-SOIC-to-DIP-Chip-Adaptors/ Making soic breakout boards on the cheap. by malonph 2,831 views 6 favorites Posted: Mar 27, 2011 http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-soic-breakout-boards-on-the-cheap/ Using SMT chips on TTH breadboard by vitya 2,647 views 2 favorites Posted: Jan 7, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Using-SMT-chips-on-TTH-breadboard/ Easy to Make LED w/resistor for Solderless Breadboards by ProvideYourOwn 4,554 views 26 favorites Posted: Jul 6, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-to-Make-LED-wresistor-for-Solderless-Breadbo/ Using SMD Components on Breadboards by frank26080115 1,451 views 5 favorites Posted: Jul 11, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Using-SMD-Components-on-Breadboards/ More Pluggable Breadboard Components by ProvideYourOwn 1,665 views 12 favorites Posted: Jul 25, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/More-Pluggable-Breadboard-Components/ Breadboard LED indicator by madworm 414 views 4 favorites Posted: Oct 30, 2013 http://www.instructables.com/id/Breadboard-LED-indicator/ Convert SMD Chips to DIP (Breadboard Friendly) by ASCAS 616 views 22 favorites Posted: Dec 26, 2013 http://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-SMD-Chips-to-DIP-Breadboard-Friendly/
Step 4: Plugs, Wires and ….
So you stick your components into the breadboard but then you need some way to connect them together or to something external. Some wires work better than others. Many wires need a little help in making good connections. Instructable members have thought about this as well: Makeshift Breadboard Multimeter Probe by the_don125 5,511 views 14 favorites Posted: Mar 30, 2008 http://www.instructables.com/id/Makeshift-Breadboard-Multimeter-Probe/ Stackable Jump leads for BreadBoards by dsauer 5,380 views 13 favorites Posted: Apr 9, 2009 http://www.instructables.com/id/Stackable-Jump-leads-for-BreadBoards/ Breadboard / Banana Jack Cable by lucas_m 4,282 views 6 favorites Posted: Oct 14, 2009 http://www.instructables.com/id/Breadboard-Banana-Jack-Cable/ Colour coded breadboard jump leads by jabbawokie 1,359 views 8 favorites Posted: May 17, 2011 http://www.instructables.com/id/colour-coded-breadboard-jump-leads/ DIY: Prototyping cables by akinich 3,572 views 13 favorites Posted: Feb 7, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Prototyping-cables/ Preparing Stranded Wire for Breadboards by amandaghassaei 1,432 views 3 favorites Posted: Jun 25, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Preparing-Stranded-Wire-for-Breadboards/ Custom Breadboard Test Leads by mpilchfamily 1,322 views 4 favorites Posted: Jun 26, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-Breadboard-Test-Leads/ Protobloc prototyping wires by Jamie bagn 822 views 2 favorites Posted: Aug 20, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Protobloc-prototyping-wires/
Step 5: With Microcontrollers
Add a microcontoller like the Arduino. Now you have a lot of pins to deal with. Here are some approaches.
UDuino: Very Low Cost Arduino Compatible Development Board by tymm 90,631 views 174 favorites Posted: Jan 17, 2008 http://www.instructables.com/id/uDuino-Very-Low-Cost-Arduino-Compatible-Developme/ Arduino Bracket by jmaloway 4,184 views 16 favorites Posted: Dec 10, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Bracket/ ARDUINO/SEEEDUINO Breadboard station for less then $10 by jomac_uk 2,372 views 9 favorites Posted: Jan 12, 2011 http://www.instructables.com/id/ARDUINOSEEEDUINO-Breadboard-station-for-less-then/ Arduino Projects on a breadboard (no serial com) 13,572 views 29 favorites Posted: Apr 11, 2011 http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Projects-on-a-breadboard-no-serial-com Arduino - Breadboard hookup by Mtaram 815 views 7 favorites Posted: Feb 7, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Breadboard-hookup/ Home Made Arduino Prototype Shield by waihung 10,860 views 35 favorites Posted: Mar 12, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Home-Made-Arduino-Prototype-Shield/ Breadboard Adapter for the Raspberry Pi by TonyDx 16,572 views 66 favorites Posted: Jul 6, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Breadbaord-adpater-for-the-Raspberry-Pi/ AVR ISP Breadboard Header by Kurt E. Clothier 2,194 views 4 favorites Posted: Aug 5, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/AVR-ISP-Breadboard-Header/ Arduino Breadboard Mount by kwoeltje 794 views 3 favorites Posted: Nov 24, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Breadboard-Mount/
Step 6: Labels
Putting labels on the breadboard can help you do your wiring. Here are some ideas:
How to Breadboard Arduino Compatible. by oomlout 18,901 views 69 favorites Posted: Jul 31, 2009 http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Breadboard-Arduino-Compatible/ Bare Bones Breadboard Arduino Labels by dnhoshor 16,560 views 50 favorites Posted: Apr 7, 2009 http://www.instructables.com/id/Bare-Bones-Breadboard-Arduino-Labels/
Step 7: Advanced and Tips
When you get good at the basics here are some more advanced tips that do not fit into my other categories.
Breadboard tips by Jimmy Proton 5,614 views 15 favorites Posted: Aug 10, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/breadboard-tips/ Breadboard TIPS by alienagasta 1,237 views 3 favorites Posted: Jul 12, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/breadboard-TIPS-1/ Techniques for Beefing Up Your Breadboard by DrRhodes 2,250 views 29 favorites Posted: Jun 22, 2013 http://www.instructables.com/id/Techniques-for-Beefing-Up-Your-Breadboard/
Step 8: Breadboard Setups
Here are some completed breadboard setups by members: EE Tray by mmt 5,815 views 17 favorites Posted: May 17, 2006 http://www.instructables.com/id/EE-Tray/ My breadboard by scratchr 3,204 views 3 favorites Posted: Mar 21, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/My-breadboard/ Portable Arduino Project Valise by CementTruck 1,768 views 10 favorites Posted: Dec 19, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-Arduino-Project-Valise/ Easy prototype breadboard unit with DUAL PSU's and less then $10 2,712 views 11 favorites Posted: Jan 2, 2011 http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-prototype-breadboard-unit-with-DUAL-PSUs-and/ Arduino & Electronics Prototyping Station by omnibot 5,750 views 29 favorites Posted: Aug 13, 2013 http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Electronics-Prototyping-Station/
Step 9: Other Ideas
I was not sure how to organize these, so they became other! Fix your Proto-Board by tekbreak 3,968 views 3 favorites Posted: Oct 18, 2006 http://www.instructables.com/id/Fix-your-Proto-Board/ Zero to Breadboard Simulation by circuitsio 54,733 views 444 favorites Posted: Sep 9, 2013 http://www.instructables.com/id/Zero-to-Breadboard-Simulation/
Step 10: Historic Breadboards, Offsite Not Instructable Links
Breadboard circuits have produced some beautiful things. Atwater Kent radios are famous. Some hobbyist still work to produce work in this style. These are links outside of instructables to historic and recreated breadboards. The Sparksmusuem has some great photos and information on Atwaker Kent radios. Here is one page from their site: http://www.sparkmuseum.com/BREADBD.HTM The picture here is from their site. Got around 1000 bucks you might buy one of these nice guys: http://www.stonevintageradio.com/description.php?II=831&UID=20131215191241 or http://www.stonevintageradio.com/description.php?II=868&UID=20131215191248 Google Images mixes modern and historic images of breadboard circuits. Ptetty easy to tell apart : https://www.google.com/search?q=breadboard+radio&num=50&client=opera&hs=wz4&channel=suggest&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=V2euUtPeKOfqyQG7lYC4BQ&ved=0CDsQsAQ An old style but new breadboard radio: http://www.sparkbench.com/homebrew/bb/bb.html And another new old stlyle one: http://makearadio.com/tube/30bb.php Want to make your own old style? Try this: http://members.shaw.ca/ve7sl/tnt.html
Step 11: Recreating Historic Breadboards
Traditional breadboard circuits are built on a breadboard, or a least a board. People are still doing these. These often have a steampunk flavor. Here are more instructable links. How to make vacuum tube breadboarding sockets. by Re-design 8,739 views 23 favorites Posted: Oct 3, 2012 http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-vacuum-tube-breadboarding-sockets/ Glowbugs - Homebrew Tube Amateur Radio Transmitters and Receivers by Andy UU1CC 15,077 views 23 favorites Posted: Feb 21, 2010 http://www.instructables.com/id/Glowbugs-Homebrew-Amateur-Radio-Transmitters-and/ Use a real Bread-Board for prototyping your circuit by mischka 5,201 views 6 favorites Posted: May 8, 2011 http://www.instructables.com/id/Use-a-real-Bread-Board-for-prototyping-your-circui/