How to use a breadboard? Beginner's Guide

Breadboards are one of the most popular electronic devices that gives you the privilege to create varieties of circuits on them without soldering. When you are a beginner and just start to learn how to use a breadboard then it is important that you must know about this board first. So if you want to know about breadboard this article is for you. In this tutorial, you will learn -

1. What is a breadboard?
2. Breadboard connections,
3. How breadboard works?
4. Types of Breadboard.
5. How to use a breadboard?

What is a breadboard?

A breadboard is a simple device in which you can create electronic circuits without soldering. It is a rectangular shape plastic board with a bunch of tiny holes in it.

How to use a breadboard

In these holes, you can easily insert electronic components (like LED, Capacitor, Resistor, Diode, different IC, etc) and test the circuit which you have made.

In this board, there is no permanent connection so there is an advantage to remove components if you make a mistake. So it is very useful for beginners who are new in electronics.

Breadboard connections

How to use a breadboard

What is inside a breadboard?

Most breadboards have a backing layer which is typically a layer of the sticky, double-sided tape covered by a protective layer of paper.

When you uncovered the backing layer of the breadboard then you can see lots of vertical and horizontal rows of metal strips.

These metal strips have little clips at the top and hide under the plastic holes. When you insert component's leads into a breadboard hole these clips help to hold the lead.

It is notable that there are only five clips on the top of the strips. So you can only have up to five components connected in one particular section of the breadboard.

Some breadboards are made of transparent plastic, so you can see the metal strips inside the breadboard.

How are the holes connected?

It is notable that each metal strip has five clips. That means each metal strip form a half row (column A to E or column F to J) and it is electrically connected. For example, A1 is only connected to B1, C1, D1, E1 it is not connected to A2, because the hole is separate from another clip.

Similarly, it is not connected with F1, G1, H1, I1, J1 because they are on another half row of 1 and it is also divided by a gap in the middle of the breadboard.

Power rails on the opposite side of the breadboard are not connected to each other. But you can connect the power line with the jumper wires and make power and ground available on both sides.

What do the letters and numbers on the breadboard mean?

Most breadboards have some number, letters and plus and minus signs are written on the front side of the board. These numbers and letters help to identify individual holes in the breadboard.

The intersection of rows number and columns letter gives an individual identity of holes. For example, a hole called "B10" means where column B intersects the row 10.

And also there are long strips on the side of the breadboard. These strips are typically drawn by red and blue (or black) lines with plus(+) and (-) signs, respectively.

These lines referred to as power rails, and they are used to supply electrical power to the circuits from a battery or other external power supply.

Types of Breadboard

How to use a breadboard

There are different types of breadboards in different shapes, sizes, and different colors. In sizes, there are three types of breadboards, these boards are full size, half size, and mini breadboards.

In full-size breadboard, the numbers of holes are (630+2×100) = 830. In the half-size breadboard, the numbers of holes are (200+2×100) = 400.

And the numbers of holes in the mini breadboard are 170 because in the mini breadboard there are no power rails. Mini breadboards have come in different colors.

How to use a breadboard?

Now we are going to learn how to use a breadboard. Here I am going to show you how to set a very simple circuit on the breadboard.

If you have seen the inside connection of the breadboard then you can understand it very easily. To learn the use of breadboard we follow some steps.

Step 1: At first, draw a circuit on the paper

How to use a breadboard

You can draw a circuit on the paper and then set it on the breadboard very easily. Here I am using a simple circuit to make it simple. To make the circuit the using components are

1. Battery - 5V

2. Switch - Pushbutton

3. Resistor - 40ohm

4. LED -

 Forward voltage - 2.2V
 Full drive current - 10mA
 Breakdown voltage - 4V 

Step 2: Insert the components on the breadboard

Take a 5v battery and connect the (+) lead in one power rail and the (-) lead in another power rail which is shown in the figure as ground. Take a connection from +5v and connect it B3 by using a jumper wire.

After connecting the battery takes an LED and put one lead in C3 and another lead in C5. Take a resistor of 100ohm and put one lead in D5 and another lead in F5 which is connected in series with the LED. 

Now take a push-button switch and put two leads in row 5 which is connected in series with the resistor and another two leads in row 7. At last, take a connection from row 7 and put it in the ground.

How to use a breadboard

Alternatively, you can set the circuit similar to the right side picture on the breadboard. 

Step 3: Test the circuit

After setting up all those things push the switch and check the  LED is glowing or not. If the LED is glowing then the circuit is ok. 

If the LED is not glowing then there is a problem in connections then shake the components or clean the wire and put it again.

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