A breadboard is used for designing circuit boards. According to the Electronics Club, "A breadboard is used to make up temporary circuits for testing or trying out an idea." A breadboard is usually a square or rectangle plastic board with many small holes arranged in a grid. Wires are used to transfer electricity from one part of the breadboard to a component or device on the electrical circuit. Neatness and efficiency are encouraged in order to create the simplest design possible. Breadboards allow the circuit designer to test out many variations before the final design is determined.
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Student Level Projects
Student level projects include random number generators, people counters, freezer alarms, car security alarms all the way up to ultrasonic tape measures and drill speed controllers. In general, creating single-function devices is the easiest place to learn about electronic circuits. Simple projects allow emphasis on design efficiency and component location.
Breadboard sockets, called "holes," are arranged in a grid shape to allow almost limitless design options. The top and bottom two rows run horizontally the entire width of the board. Electricity connects to the breadboard by using the top row for positive and the bottom row for negative. This arrangement allows for the components installed in the centre to complete the circuit by accepting positive and negative inputs from the top and bottom.
Supplies and Tools
Local electronic stores such as Radio Shack (radioshack.com) stock all the necessary items for simple electronics projects. Diagrams, instructions and project kits reduce parts and tools cost and provide hands-on educational materials. Tools required in addition to the breadboard and wire include wire cutters and strippers, an electronic soldering gun and solder, a small screwdriver set and a good source of light.
Education and More Projects
Larger, more complex devices are often made up of smaller projects. As skill and education increase project complexity can increase. Additional projects include graphic equalisers, guitar amplifiers and traffic signal sequencers. The electronic field constantly evolves, creating and re-creating electronic devices for business and consumers. Continuing education will ensure new projects take advantage of new technologies. With a little education, easy breadboard projects create stepping stones to new and amazing ideas.
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