Many projects use something called a ‘Solderless Breadboard’. What this is, is a rectangular plastic board with a bunch of tiny holes in it.
These holes let you easily insert electronic components to prototype. Meaning to build and test an early version of an electronic circuit. I like using a Solderless Breadboard in as many of my projects as I can. So I thought it would be a good idea to explain what they are and how to use them. For those of you who are really just starting out with your Raspberry Pi. The connections are not permanent, so it is easy to remove a component if you make a mistake. Or just start over and do a new project. This makes breadboards great for beginners who are new to electronics.
We can also use Male to Male or Male to Female jumper cable to connect any component in the breadboard. Or to another part of the board or the Raspberry Pi boards’ GPIO pins.
Modern breadboards are made of plastic, and come in all shapes, sizes, and even different colours. While larger and smaller sizes are available, the most common sizes you will probably see are “full-size,” “half-size,” and “mini” breadboards. Most solderless breadboards also come with tabs and notches on the sides that allow you to snap multiple boards together. However, using a single half-sized breadboard is sufficient for many beginner-level projects.
So, how do electronic components fit into a breadboard? Many electronic components have long metal legs called leads. Sometimes, shorter metal legs are referred to as pins instead. Almost all components with leads will work with a breadboard. Breadboards are designed so you can push these leads into the holes. They will be held in place snugly enough that they will not fall out. Even if you turn the breadboard upside-down, but lightly enough that you can easily pull on them to remove them.
Most breadboards have some numbers, letters, and plus and minus signs written on them. What does all that mean? While their exact appearance might vary from breadboard to breadboard, the general purpose is always the same. These labels help you locate certain holes on the breadboard, however we will not really be using them. I only specifically refer to the positive gutter (the row with the + sign). And the negative gutter (the row with the – sign on it). We also need to know that each row is connected. So if you don’t want to connect something use a different row. If you do want to connect something it is as easy as using the same row in the breadboard.
One more note before we finish… I like using male to male jumper cables to connect the one side’s ( – negative) side to the other. The one side’s (+ positive) to the other side. That way I can use both sides of the board easily enough. Without having to take multiple cables to my controller.