What is breadboard and how does it work?

In this tutorial, I will be giving you a brief overview of what breadboard is and how does it work.

What is breadboard?

Breadboard allows you to connect electrical components together without soldering and without making the connections permanent. It consists of many conductive rails accessed by holes on the breadboard, that allow electrical components to interface with each other by using jumper wires. It is used mainly for prototyping and proof of concept before transferring to a PCB. Breadboard is ideal for the Raspberry Pi if you want to experiment with different circuits without the need for soldering. Breadboard comes in all shapes and sizes but the most common type of breadboard has 65 rows.

How does breadboard work?

Breadboard using consists of 2 types of rails. 2 rails on each side of the breadboard running up and down 2 columns of 65 rows running left to right. This is shown in the picture below:

Breadboard has no power supply, so you will need to provide power to the board yourself. The rails running on both sides running up and down are usually where you would provide power to the board. This can be achieved by connecting a positive and negative terminal to each rail. The rails running from left to right are where electrical components go. Every 5 rows are labeled with the row number and each column is labeled a – j.

Generally, an electrical component will take up more than one row. You will use jumper wires to connect the power rail to your component and also any other components you may have.

When your prototype is complete, depending on the project the next step would be to transfer the circuitry onto a PCB.

Why is it called breadboard?

Before breadboard as we know it today, people use to build electrical circuits on planks of wood or breadboard. They would hammer nails into the board at the appropriate places and either solder or wrap the wire around the nails to build their circuits.

Where to buy breadboard?

My go-to when buying breadboard is this 3 Pack Solderless Plug in Breadboard with 3 Pack Jumper Wires @ Amazon. This pack contains 3 boards like the one pictured above and also, all the necessary jumper wires you need to get started.

Check out some of these cool projects I’ve built using breadboard!

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