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Using a Breadboard

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A breadboard offers an easy way to build electrical circuits. Breadboards come in different sizes, but they're all used in the same way. They contain an array of holes where wires and components are to be inserted. We'll refer to the breadboard to the left.  Click on the image for a larger view. The holes in the center portion of the breadboard are identifiable by row (vertical in the photos) and column (horizontal).  There are two sets of 30 rows numbered by 5's, and each set of rows has 5 columns labeled a-e and f-j. The 5 holes on each row are electrically connected to each other (but not across the center channel), so any wires inserted into the same row would be connected just as if they had been touched together. On either side of the breadboard are two columns marked by blue and red lines. The 25 holes in each column are electrically connected, but the columns aren't electrically connected to each other.

To connect two wires using the breadboard, simply insert them into the same row. Suppose, for example, that you wanted to connect a battery to a resistor. Here's a way to do that with the breadboard shown in the photo.

a. Insert the two ends of the resistor in holes c5 and c10.
b. Insert one of the wires from the battery holder (or one terminal of the battery) into b5.
c. Insert other wire from the battery holder (or the other terminal of the battery) into b10.

Of course, you could have picked any 2 rows.  There's nothing special about rows 5 and 10. And within a row, you can pick any of the 5 columns.


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