Lets say you want to do a very simple circuit, you just want to light up an LED using a battery pack. It's a simple hookup with only 3 parts. Here's the schematic:

  • Connect the battery positive (red) wire to the positive (longer) leg of the LED
  • Connect the shorter leg of the LED to one side of the resistor
  • Connect the other side of the resistor to the battery negative (black) wire.

Despite having only three connections, wiring this up with alligator clips makes for a large and unwieldy tangle of wires

Compare to how neat and organized it is with a breadboard! No long wires, and its easy to swap in a different resistor or LED when you feel like it

Adding DIPs and Modules

Wiring up a single LED is no problem, so lets continue and add more complex components. Parts like DIP (dual in-line pin) chips are a perfect match.

When new, the pins are not quite straight, they're bent out a little like an /--\ shape. You can carefully press the pins against a tabletop, and rock them forward together to bend into a |--| shape

Then carefully press into the center of the breadboard. Watch out for bent pins!

You can remove the chips easily by slipping a thin screwdriver or awl down the center ravine/divider and carefully prying upwards.

Pry from both sides if possible to keep the pins from bending by accident.

This guide was first published on Sep 06, 2016. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Breadboard Usage) was last updated on Sep 04, 2016.

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