The Solderless Breadboard that work flawlessly
I’ve stumbled into a glitch, this last few days, the last couple of parts I need didn’t arrive as planned. So I decided to write on some of my other experiences during this journey into my humble electronics project which I decided to name as “The HAND”.
As a child, I’ve always thought about how things work. I was quite fascinated by how someone talking many kilometers away can be heard at the other end of a radio. As I grew up, that fascination led me to take a course in electronics and consequently studied Electronics Engineering at college. The thought of being able to control electrons in atoms that results in awesome, cool stuff is mind boggling — look around you.
Recent developments in the electronic world has led to the miniaturization of the computing power of an old PC desktop to something so small that it actually fits into our pocket.
And it all begins in the basic thing that is called a solderless breadboard. A tool that allows different electronic components to be connected together and perform in synchrony to do different tasks. It can be something as simple as turning on/off a light. Or something complex as automating a home. It all starts with an idea that is translated into a reality on a breadboard — at least from an electronics hobbyist point of view. Complex circuit designs in the industry are now created using a computer nowadays but hobbyists and students still rely on the breadboard.
When I decided to make an electronics project, I took out my electronic tools from my college days. This included a couple of breadboards that has served me well during those days.
I thought that maybe it would be great if I bought some new breadboards because it has been decades since I use my college-days breadboards.
Normally, I would go to an electronics shop to purchase them — in my country there’s a whole area with streets of shops selling only electronic parts and tools. But at this day and age, online shopping is a reality so instead I ordered a couple of new breadboards from an online shopping site.
When they arrived, I was excited to try them out. One of the breadboards I ordered also came with a 5v/3.3v power supply module that I can use as a power supply for my projects.
I started using the breadboards on simple circuits which was ok. While waiting for some of the initial off-shelf electronic modules, I started familiarizing myself with the ESP32 chip I was going to use on my project.
After using the new breadboards on more complicated circuits, I came to the conclusion that this isn’t going to work. Something as simple as a breadboard, the base of all the activities that I was about to do, should work flawlessly — and the new breadboards just ain’t going to cut it. The new breadboards are just way too inferior to what I was used to using before. The connections made by the breadboards are so weak that I found myself confused whether the issues I was facing was due to the modules or the connections of the modules.
Plus, I made the mistake of ordering the two breadboards from different sellers and found out that the keyed slots on the side of the breadboards used to hold two or more breadboards together are not aligned.
I ended up ordering a design more similar to my old breadboard. When it arrived, I connected the three breadboards together on one of those plastic cutting/chopping boards.
The new breadboards, looks ok but I haven’t tried any complicated circuits on them. When I was waiting for the newer breadboards, the electronic parts I ordered that I plan to connect to the ESP32 arrived so I used my good old reliable breadboards to start connecting them.
My search for reliable quality breadboards, hasn’t end. Hopefully I can really find great breadboards that will at least work at par with my old breadboards.
If you’re reading this and planning to start an electronics project that will be connected together on a breadboard, I suggest you take your time and find great quality breadboards. It will save you a lot of headache later if you do — a flawless breadboard is a basic tool that you want to have.
Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.