You cannot wade too far into the Maker Movement without encountering our inspirational Make Magazine. I am starting out with a plug for them because they came out with an incredible graphic to explain how a breadboard works.


Anatomy of a Breadboard


Spring steel clips inside the breadboard’s plastic housing make the row and column electrical connections. Care must be taken not to insert too large of a component lead so the clip becomes weakened to the point of not being able to grab a small wire. 22 AWG is best.


The long bus bars are most often used for the power and ground rails; we will use red for +5V and blue for ground.


The bus bars do not cross the gaps in the middle; so we will have to bridge them with short jumpers.

How and When to Use a Breadboard


A breadboard is the quickest means to assemble and test a circuit. Components of different values may be easily be substituted and design errors quickly corrected. Often a project is breadboarded before making a more permanent circuit using perfboard or a printed circuit board (PCB) is designed.




This circuit pictured above is the same circuit pictured 2 images up. It was tedious to build and hard to fix mistakes and it looks ugly. I resort to this only if I have to make one or two copies of the circuit.

Printed Circuit Board


With new design tools, designing your own printed circuit board is within anyone’s grasp. I used Fritzing’s service to both design and produce this PCB.


your parts kit

You have a lot of parts in your kit! To make bread-boarding easier we have a basic framework that will be used throughout the course so each lab will only add a few wires or other components.

Your task is to assemble the basic breadboard platform that we will use for this course. You need to count socket holes and try to be precise. For consistency have the red (+5V) bus bar on top.



If you cut any component leads, use safety glasses or goggles and cup your hand over the loose end of the leads so they do not fly across the room and potentially injure someone’s eyes.


5 Things That Look Like TO-92 Transistors

Looks Like Transistors

TO-92 is the package style of all the devices pictured above. LM35 is not a transistor (it is a temperature sensor). At this point we will only be mounting the two 2N2222 transistors and the LM35 sensor. If you are like me you will need a light and a magnifying glass to make out the printing on the components.



You can also breadboard an Arduino