Tutorial: Bread Board Basics

1.

Difficulty
Easy
Estimated Time
15-25 minutes
Skills Required
The ability to follow directions
Parts Required
2. Small wire with both ends stripped
3. A red LED
4. 1/4watt 330 ohm resistor (to keep the LED from burning out)
5. A way of connecting atleast 5V to the Breadboard (4xAA in a battery pack maybe?) I used a 6V Pack
Tools Required
Only parts list and common sence.
A breadboard is usually used to prototype circuits before soldering them into place permanently, though when building robots you may even want to make a breadboard a standard fixture. Having started with a BOE-Bot I'd become used to having a breadboard available to me. After having upgraded my Micro Controller for a bigger and better one I figured why not do the same with the breadboard.

This tutorial is an introduction into breadboards for the total new comer.

Here is a picture of the breadboard I use in this excercise:

I bought it from Maplin for less than £4, its made up of one of AD-4D which is the long thin red and black strip at the top and one AD-100 which is the main breadboard work area underneath (its possible to attach power to the AD-100 without the use of AD-4D but it can be less practical as this would only supply power to the vertical rows that the current was attached to (up to the central divide) where as we can power the entire area between the red and black lines on the AD-4D and then tap into the current when and where we need to.

There is also a sticky back pad underneath so you can easily/securely attach it to you project.

Whatever breadboard you use should have numbers and letters corresponding to the placement of each hole on the grid. (I'm going to use these in my directions.)

Depending on your battery and maybe the colour of your LED you may need a different resister. Here is a site with calculations for resister values and LED's >>> http://wild-bohemian.com/electronics/led-rest.htm

The optimum settings are
3.5v
20mA peak current
so
using ohms law

V / I = R
6 / .02 = 300Ohms

Attach your LED with the longer of the two ends (called the Cathode) into (i-17) and the other shorter end (called the Anode) into (i-15)

then

Attach one end of the resister to (j-17) and the other to any hole in the rows just below the red line.

Now attach that piece of wire with the two stripped ends thats been lying there, placing one end in the hole marked (j-15) and the other in any of the holes in the rows just above the black line.

Attach the power lines to their corresponding rows (black wire in to any free hole just above the black line, red wire into any free hole just below the red line.) Is it flashing?

If No - Check your wiring

IF Yes - You've completed your first circuit! You should see the LED Light up and be currently giving yourself a pat on the back for appreciating the value of expanding ones mind.

The possibilities as with robotics are pretty much endless and this really is just a simple circuit, breadboards are widely used and there are lots of sources of information the new comer. Here's a pic of a breadboard being used as the Control Board of a small robot.

So That's my lightening fast introduction to breadboards with a little of why I love them, as you can see they are easily expandable (clipping together) and allow for endless configurations of the same components (until you snap of a cathode like I did).

Have Fun

-Nishi

Replies to Tutorial: Bread Board Basics
1. Re: Bread Board Basics

Nice! I like your BOE-bot conversion.

2. Re: Bread Board Basics

Thank you. It was made with Propeller PE Kit (an my BOE-bot) but I totally took the build from one of the parallax moderators who had already done all of the hard work. I've just started my Brat project, I'm trying to hook it up to a propeller robot control board so look out for that in the forum.

Cheers again.

Closed Tutorial