• Poornima Mani

Understanding the concept of Breadboard!

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

A Breadboard is one of the most essential things that you use while getting started with electronics and circuits; something like the alphabets in a language. It is the most fundamental concepts that beginners must know while getting into #electronics as it does not require soldering, application of an IDE, etc.


There are so many varieties of Breadboards available in the market that come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and designs. But the basic notion behind the breadboard is always the same.


The breadboard has many holes where you can place the components and wire them. When you take a close and deep look at the sides of the breadboard, you can see alphabets on one side and numbers on the other.


How to use a breadboard for beginners

Breadboard Connections
Breadboard Connections

Now as you can see, there are 10 columns, so each point can be named with the alphabet of the corresponding row with a suffix of column numbers. For example, if you want to address the first hole, it can be referred to as 'a1', the second as 'a2', and so on. Now check out the yellow line, it attests that the entire line is in the same potential, and wherever you give the power supply gives the same voltage. Common convention involves connecting the power on the line, alongside the red line whereas the blue line depicts the ground terminal.

Insight of an Breadboard
Insight of an Breadboard

Promptly for a better understanding, let us flip open the #breadboard and see what is actually the inside of it. As you can see, every horizontal hole is on the same potential. So, when you need to place a component, say a capacitor on a breadboard, you must place it on different columns, say a1 and a4; else it will lead to short circuit and damage of the devices and components on the breadboard.


Also, before moving on to the hardware implementation, here is a fun fact for you. You might wonder, why there is a gap between the breadboard. It is for #Integrated Circuits or just ICs. Keeping reading to know more about it.


Now, moving on to the hardware implementation. You might think, why there is a short circuit between the vertical lines for power supply and ground. This is because in these particular types of boards, only the first five sets are of the same potential and the second five are in different potential. Hence, a short circuit is provided to keep the potential uniform throughout.


For a more clear perception of the breadboard refer to this video.




PROS of using a breadboard.

  1. Holes are already present.

  2. Easy to readjust the wiring.

  3. Errors can be debugged easily.

  4. Easily available and no soldering required.


So what if you don't have a breadboard?


One option is to manually connect each component by soldering them, but this method is not preferred as it is extremely clumsy.


Another way is by making a prototype of the breadboard on your own. This is a more permanent solution and can be made if there is no availability of a breadboard availability.

breadboard prototype
breadboard prototype

Keeping all this aside, the option of using a PCB is always open and is a permanent solution for custom-made circuitry. You can create your own PCB design and get it made from PCB manufacturing companies.


So in conclusion, a breadboard is an electronics engineer's bread and jam and is possibly the easiest way to wire simple and complex circuits. Each of you must try the circuits at home and reach back to us for any queries.


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