Hey, I hope you guys are doing well and enjoying your life. Today I’m going to share with you, all the knowledge you need to know about the basics of breadboards as an absolute beginner in the field of electronics as a hobbyist or as a student.
If you have never heard of breadboards before, you do not need to worry about it, I will be sharing everything in complete detail for you.
If you have heard of it and never used it, this post is still valid for you and will be helpful in every possible way.
For those of you, who have used them before, this post will be a revision of all your concepts about breadboards. At the end of the post, I will be sharing some interesting ways in with you can always check the breadboards and circuits for connectivity.
I suggest you hang in there until the very end.
Table of Contents
What is a breadboard? [A brief introduction]
A breadboard is a tool that allows you to test your electrical and electronics circuits before you make a finalized soldered copy.
This technically means that you can make a prototype of your desired circuit using the breadboard, test it first for its proper working and later solder it or make the final copy.
Why use a breadboard?
As I already stated in the introduction section that by using a breadboard you can test your circuits for their working.
This is just like solving a difficult problem first on a rough paper or notebook to get a solution, and then copying the right solution on your fair notebook or your assignment.
In your future, you will encounter many situations when you will be making difficult and complicated circuits using an expensive apparatus. For those circuits, you will always want to test the circuit to avoid any mishaps to the components you are using. In such situations, breadboard will save you lots.
Breadboards can also be used by newbies for learning to make circuits. When you are new to electronics, you tend to have low confidence in yourself while making circuits, you can use breadboards to play around with your equipment and learn to make the circuits right.
In short, you can make any kind of temporary circuits using breadboards, test them and later make them permanent when and if you want.
At this point you might wonder, or ask yourself a question, how can breadboard be used for making temporary circuits? How can you test your circuits? The answer is coming next.
How to use a breadboard? [Connections on a breadboard]
To answer your uncertainties about how you can use a breadboard to make temporary circuits, you need to look at the breadboard first.
As is apparent from the above image that a breadboard has holes in it. These holes are meant for plugging wires and other electronic devices such as LEDs, resistors, etc. You can plug and unplug those wires and components, also you don’t need to solder your connections while using the breadboard.
Now you may ask yourself, how is it possible?
The answer is, the breadboard is internally connected. If you are asking yourself, the connection would be short if it is like that, don’t get worried. Not all of the breadboard is connected. To clear your minds lets look at a breadboard.
As you can clearly observe that there are certain discontinuities as well. To avoid shorting the wires and components you need to understand and learn the anatomy of a breadboard.
Place a breadboard lengthwise and observe it closely, it has certain etchings on it. The rows (horizontal holes) and columns (vertical holes) are labeled. The rows are labeled using the English alphabets, while the columns are numbered. The rows of a breadboard are not connected. They are discontinuous. This means the alphabetic holes from right to left are discontinuous. However, the columns are connected. This means:
a breadboard is connected vertically and disconnected horizontally
Now observe a deep etching or separation on the breadboard. This separation is separating the two sets of connected columns. The rows labeled A through E are separate from the rows labeled F to J. So, the vertical connection breaks at E. So, in short, there are two sets of connected columns on a breadboard.
Now, what about the holes on the top and bottom?
These holes are meant to provide the power connections for your circuit. The top and bottom rows are horizontally connected and vertically disconnected.
To memorize it quickly, just remember the top and bottom rows are reverse in connections to that of the middle ones. These are usually used to provide the high voltage and ground connection for the circuit.
Another important thing to remember here is the discontinuity in the top and bottom rows. There occurs a discontinuity in these rows after a set of 5 holes, i.e. after a count of 25 holes.
Many people tend to forget this point and it becomes troublesome in certain situations to troubleshoot the problem. This means there is a set of 4 rows on a breadboard meant for power connections.
This is meant for the circuits where multiple inputs are required in a single circuit e.g. if any of your IC in a circuit requires separate power, you can use the rest of the rows for the purpose.
Now if you have to build a larger circuit, which cannot fit into a single breadboard, you can always stack multiple breadboards together by making use of the notches on the ends of a breadboard. You can attach a breadboard lengthwise or widthwise with the other one.
A breadboard is the basic electronics tool used for making and testing the circuits. You make your prototype circuits on it very neatly and safely.
It has three main sections the upper power rail, the middle circuit section, and the lower power rail. The power rail is connected vertically, conventionally the uppermost row is for the +ive and the below row is for the -ive terminal of the incoming power source.
In the middle section, rows are disconnected while each column is short.
If you are working with large circuits you can use multiple breadboards by joining them together.
And with this, the post on basic of breadboards comes to its ending. Hopefully, you enjoyed it.
Thank you and have a good life.
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