Breadboards for Beginners in Electronics

Created on: 24 April 2021

Breadboards for beginners in electronics. How to choose a solderless electronic breadboard for beginners in electronics. This article looks at basic types of electronic breadboards useful to beginners, as well as jumper wires used for building circuits on breadboards.

Basic Breadboards for Beginners

There are two basic breadboard sizes for starting with, as discussed below. These breadboards are suitable for most beginners. After doing electronics for a while, it is typical to end up with a number of different sized breadboards for various tasks.

Half Size 400 Tie Point Breadboards for Beginners

A 400 tie point breadboard, shown in the image below, is sufficient for most of the circuits built in this course. The breadboard in the image below is known as a half size breadboard. A tie point is one hole in a breadboard. Therefore this half-size breadboard has 400 holes.

Breadboards for Beginners: A Half-size 400 Tie Point Breadboard

Breadboards for Beginners: A Half-size 400 Tie Point Breadboard

Full Size 830 Tie Point Breadboards for Beginners

Some of the bigger circuits in this course may be a bit crammed on a half size breadboard. Therefore for some circuits, a second half size breadboard will make building the circuit easier. Alternatively, use a full size breadboard instead of two half size breadboards. A full size 830 tie point breadboard is shown in the image below. A half size breadboard at the top of the image below shows perspective.

Half-size Breadboard (top) and Full-size 830 Tie-point Breadboards (bottom)

Half-size Breadboard (top) and Full-size 830 Tie-point Breadboards (bottom)

The full size breadboard shown at the bottom of the above image is made from semi-transparent plastic, while the half size breadboard shown at the top of the above image is made from white plastic.

Types and Sizes of Breadboards for Beginners

The previous section shows two basic breadboard sizes suitable for beginners in electronics. Not all breadboards are the same size. The image below shows two different sized full size 830 tie point breadboards. The breadboard at the bottom of the below image is the same full size breadboard from the previous image.

Two Different Sized 830 Tie Point Full Size Breadboards

Two Different Sized 830 Tie Point Full Size Breadboards

At the top of the above image is an 830 tie point breadboard that is bigger than the 830 tie point breadboard below it. The bigger breadboard is sometimes sold under the brand name K and H. Although the middle slot of each breadboard is the same width, the padding at the outside of the middle section of the breadboard at the top of the above image is larger than the breadboard at the bottom. Wider padding on the edges of the top and bottom rails of the top breadboard make it even wider than the bottom breadboard. The bigger size breadboard is only a problem if certain types of breadboard power supply are used. These power supplies usually fit the breadboard shown at the bottom of the above image.

There are also very small breadboards available, as well as very large breadboards. The large breadboards are made up of several full size breadboards clipped together. None of these breadboards are discussed further, as they are not used in this beginner’s electronic course.

Breadboard Jumper Links and Wires

Jumper links or wires are used to connect components together to build breadboard circuits. There are three main types of connecting wires or jumpers suitable for use with breadboards, discussed below.

1. Single Strand Purpose Made Breadboard Jumper Wires

Purpose made jumper wire kits are available for use with breadboards. These kits are purchased separately, or bought together with a breadboard. The image below shows a single strand jumper wire kit for use with breadboards.

Breadboard Jumper Wire Kit

Breadboard Jumper Wire Kit

2. Dupont Wire or Cable

Dupont wires are useful for connecting components to a breadboard, and for interconnecting components on a breadboard. Peel off individual Dupont wires from a cable, as needed. The next image shows a Dupont cable at the top, and individual wires at the bottom.

Dupont Cable and Wires, Male to Male Type

Dupont Cable and Wires – Male to Male Type

Dupont wires are available in different lengths. The above image shows 10cm long Dupont wires with a pin on each end. It is also useful to have some Dupont wires with a pin on one end and socket on the other. Because big components are easy to connect to a breadboard with these wires. No soldering is needed.

3. Single Strand Roll of Wire

You can make up your own breadboard jumper wires from a roll of single-strand wire. This is an alternative to buying a jumper wire kit. The image below shows a roll of single-strand wire. Cut a length of wire from the roll and strip the insulation off each end to make up a jumper wire.

A Roll of Single Strand Wire

A Roll of Single Strand Wire

The wire pictured in the above image has a single strand of tinned copper wire that has a 0.6mm core diameter. It has a total outside diameter of 1.2mm including the insulation.

Which Jumper Wires to Use

Of the three jumper wire types discussed above, it is best to have some Dupont wires. In addition, either get a jumper wire kit, or a roll of single strand wire. There is no harm in having a jumper wire kit and a roll of single strand wire. Get some Dupont wires with a pin on each end. These are male to male Dupont wires or cables. Also get some Dupont wires with a pin on one end and socket on the other. These are male to female Dupont wires or cables.

Building Breadboard Circuits for Beginners

The previous part of this course shows a basic breadboard circuit. In the next part of this course a multimeter shows the internal wiring of a breadboard. Tutorial 1 in this course shows how to build a simple breadboard circuit and teaches more about breadboards.

More Reading About Breadboards

Find more information on breadboards at the Wikipedia article on breadboards. It includes a bit of history, as well as where breadboards used in electronics got their name from.

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