Jul 6, 2021|Product Innovations and Design, Technological Advancements and Materials

A breadboard circuit is an easy-to-use tool that many beginner electricians use to prototype their circuits. It’s easy to use one; you need to plug your electrical components into the holes of your breadboard to create a circuit.

Wondering more about breadboards and how you can use them? Read on to learn all about using a breadboard circuit, why you can use them, the different types, and more!

What Is a Breadboard?

A breadboard is a plastic board with rows and columns of holes in it so that you can plug in different wires to make sure that they all work correctly. Breadboards are great for general projects and are basically your rough draft of your circuit. They give you the chance to make sure your circuit works properly before soldering wires together for your final printed circuit board (PCB).

Why Is It Called a Breadboard?

As you may have guessed, the term breadboard comes from an actual breadboard. Back in the early days of circuit building, people who wanted to test out their circuits needed a flat, large surface to do so.

As a solution, they would lay their circuits out on actual breadboards. When breadboards were upgraded to the equipment we have today, the name stuck, and we still call them breadboards to this day

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Why Are Breadboards Used?

Some of you may be wondering: what are breadboards and their functions? Electricians use breadboards to test out their circuits to make sure that it’s working how they want before PCB manufacturing.

Breadboards are excellent tools for beginner electricians and are great resources for those looking to test or prototype their circuits.

What Are the Different Types of Breadboards?

There are two types of breadboards: solder boards and solderless boards. As their names suggest, a solder board is a breadboard that one would use to solder wires together. As a result, these boards are used for more long-term projects where you plan to have a finished product at the end.

On the other hand, a solderless board is a board that you don’t plan on doing any actual soldering with. These boards allow you to plug and unplug electrical circuits without soldering anything together.

The Anatomy of a Breadboard

While breadboards look simple when they’re put together, the inside of a breadboard has many parts to it to make it work the way it’s supposed to

Terminal Strips

Each breadboard has a row of metal strips below the surface. These strips have holes to place the wire inside and hold it together. The metal works as a conductor to allow electricity to flow through it. As a result, the cables will be electrically connected to other wiring placed in its row.

Power Rails

Power rails are the strips running vertically alongside the breadboard instead of the terminal strips that run across horizontally. Power rails give you added power when building your circuit.

DIP Support

A DIP, or dual in-line package, is the support to branch over the ravine of the breadboard to connect wires without having them cross over each other.

Metal Clips

Metal clips are built within the breadboard to catch the current where the electrical components are inserted. The clips are arranged in corresponding rows and columns, so when the clips light up, you can see which parts are connected.

Rows and Columns

Breadboard circuits can get complicated fast. With so much wiring, it’s easy to mix things up. That’s why each row and column is labeled to ensure that you never mix up any of your components.

Breadboard Labels

Similar to the rows and columns, breadboard labels exist to ensure that you never become confused with your wiring. As a result, each row and column are labeled with letters and numbers.

Binding Posts

When constructing your simple breadboard circuits, sometimes you’ll need access to different power sources. When this happens, you can purchase breadboards that come on a platform. These platforms typically come with additional binding posts already built-in to give your circuit extra power.

Jumper Wires

A jumper wire is an additional piece to the breadboard, but it’s just as essential as the other components in your breadboard. Jumper wires are long, colored wires with metal points. Once you finish with your circuit, plug your jumper wire points into your breadboard and start making connections. While you can purchase jumper wires pre-made, you can also build them yourself

Other Features

The great thing about breadboards is that you’re making your breadboard that’s right for you and your project. You can expand your breadboard with different breadboards to expand or cut down as much as you’d like. Each breadboard typically comes with inserts on the sides so that you can easily attach additional breadboards.

How to Connect a Breadboard to a Circuit?

Some of you may be wondering how a breadboard is connected? The actual act of connecting your breadboard to a circuit is relatively simple.

Press your metal pins or leads of your electronic components into the designated holes on your breadboard. You shouldn’t need any specialized tools, and each piece should go in relatively smoothly. Then, insert the part fully in. Always test to make sure nothing is shaky since that can result in an unreliable connection.

Current flows in a broadboard based on how the components are placed. Beginners can use the components, such as socket strips and bus strips, to power a circuit just like a real PCB. By following written directions, anyone can use a breadboard circuit to place components on a board.

What Can You Build With a Breadboard?

The opportunities for electrical projects you can build with a breadboard are endless. Breadboards are great for prototyping any electrical project requiring circuits, so any electrical project with a circuit is fair game.

Some project ideas for beginner electricians to make with a breadboard circuit are police sirens, fire alarms, kitchen timers, or color-changing lamps. But the limit is your imagination.

Getting Started With Breadboards

Breadboards are great ways to dive into  circuit building. Jump in on your own or look online for pre-made boards to get your feet wet on how to use a breadboard circuit.

Conclusion

Breadboards are a great resource for beginners who are learning the best ways to construct a circuit, as well as electricians trying to test or prototype a circuit. Build a breadboard today to construct various fun circuit projects.

Author Profile

Sunny Patel
Sunny Patel is the Engineering and Sales Manager at Candor Industries. Sunny is trained as a IPC-A-600 trainer, AS9100 Lead auditor, IPC CID and got his Engineering degree at the University of Toronto.