A Solderless Breadboard is used to help design new electronic circuits. Designed for easy modifications and reusability; it is an ideal first step in testing a design and a before moving to protoboards and printed circuit boards. For more information, please read How to Use a Solderless Breadboard. With the advent of the Solderless Breadboard, it became much easier to experiment with different designs. It gave the hobbyist, and the engineer, an easy way to turn a concept into a working circuit. There are several types of Solderless Breadboard. There are mini unpowered Breadboards all the way up to units with multiple power supplies built in. The basic design of the Solderless Breadboard has not changed since it was created. A Solderless Breadboard is created with strips of spring metal fingers mounted in plastic with surface holes. There are row after row of these clips. The spacing of these holes is 0.1in. which corresponds with the spacing of the original basic integrated circuit device (IC). There are both horizontal strips and vertical busses. As it was originally designed for the .3in. width IC, the Breadboard is divided in half with gap in between. Each half corresponds to the row of pins on each side of the ICs pins. As the IC is plugged into the board, each pin makes contact with one spring contact in a row of 5 reaching out from the IC, pin for pin. This will allow you to make plug in connections at these points, allowing you to “build” your circuit, pin for pin, one component at a time. If you need more contacts to make connection to multiple items, simply pick a row that is not used, jumper to it and more components can plugged into that row.
The holes in the Solderless Breadboard accommodate things like, IC’s, resistors, capacitors, small coils, transistors and about anything with leads around .025in. most everything you can solder into a copper circuit. This is what makes the Solderless Breadboard such a valuable tool. Most Solderless Breadboards have two rows of Busses on each side but more can be added. These strips usually run parallel with the IC pins and are generally used to supply common signals such as power and ground at any point you need along the circuit you are developing. The surface of the Solderless Breadboard has to been printed with row and column numbers/letters for easy reference. By using multiple snap together Solderless Breadboard busses & sections you can create as large an array as you need to design & debug the circuit.
Powered Solderless Breadboards are available built in power supplies. This allows the student through the engineer to prototype circuits without the clutter and space requirements of multiple bench supplies, just a source of 115VAC. Ideal for classrooms or desktop use, Powered Solderless Breadboards have multiple voltages available for analog and digital designs.