How to use a Breadboard

20 Jan

A breadboard is a super useful piece of kit to connect up electrical circuts. This short tutorial explains how it works.

What is a Breadboard and why do you need one?

Breadboards are fundamental in the process of building and truing out electrical circuts. The boards allow you to build circuts without the need to solder making it easy to modify and alter.

Anatomy of a Breadboard

Terminal strips

Below you can see a breadboard with the backing removed. It consistes of lots of conducting strips. From above, little holes are placed along each strip allowing electrical components wire legs to be 'pluggied' into the strips and connected.

Once plugged in, an electrical component will be connected to anything else plugged into that row.

There is a 'ravine' in the centre of the Breadboard accross which there are no connections of rows.

Power rails

Along the sides of a breadboard, there are often long 'power rails'. These are metal strips that are identical to those running horizontally. They coonect along the entire length of the board and seve as a convenient way to supply power to many components. They are often helpfully makred + and -, but remember, there is no rule that these rows need to be connected to + or -.

Since power rails on either side of the board are not connected by default, you may wish to connect them using jumper wires.

A medium-sized breadboard where the power rails and horizontal terminal strips can be seen.
Source: How to Use a Breadboard - (n.d.). Retrieved June 6, 2021, from

Building your first circut

When using breadboards, practice makes perfect.

When building circut, follow the following steps to ensure things don't go zp or pop:

  1. Check the circut schematic and make sure you have the right components (of the right values) for the project.
  2. Build the circut, making connections with jumper wires. (There are many different ways to dom this on the board.
  3. Check that what you have built matcheswhat is on the schematic and you have not accidentally mixed up which rows are connected (happens all the time).
  4. Power up the power rails ensuring correct connection.


Circut which illuminates an LED from a 5V DC power supply.

This was built on the breadboard as shown below.


How to Use a Breadboard - (n.d.). Retrieved June 6, 2021, from

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