BreadBoard

A Breadboard is used to prototype new projects without the need for soldering. You just need to plug / connect the components to create your circuit. Pretty much like a “development environment” you might be used to, it’s ideal to start and develop a project. It’s also a great way  for just playing around with no strings attached.

This is how a simple circuit (this one just blinks an LED using an Arduino micro) built on a mini breadboard looks like:

It is important to understand how the breadboard is built internally, or how the trails are connected. The illustration below shows exactly that:

 

The breadboard has usually:

  • a main area for plugging components – the holes here are connected horizontally, which means that A1, B1, C1, D1 and E1 are actually the same trail, a row. A component inserted on A1 will be connected to anything else that is connected in that row. What about F1? That is part of a separate row: F1, G1, H1, I1, J1.
  • 2 power rails in each border to represent positive and negative, which in practice is 5v and GND. Notice that the holes here are connected vertically. This is very useful to distribute current and GND for components all around the breadboard. It is a common practice to connect together both sides of power rails (they are  not connected by default) with jumper wires, so you have the same power source running in both sides of the breadboard.

Learn more about breadboards on Sparkfun.