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Tutorial: Make a breadboard wire
tibman wrote in arduino_related

Ok, starting off with an easy tutorial. Making your own breadboard wires. I would just say "go buy em!" but personally, i just couldn't part with 10$ for a dozen tiny wires. My best friend Dan got some really great flexible ones with his Sparkfun arduino starter kit. I was very jealous and just had to have some nice flexible ones too!

Tools/Parts needed:
1x Soldering iron
1x A little bit of heat shrink tubing (1mm wide, a foot long)
1x Lighter
1x old phone line or very flexible junk wires
1x stiff wire or leg trimmings from resistors/leds and stuff, must fit into breadboard perfectly

1) Cut the flexible wire into lengths you'll want.
2) Strip around 1/8" of insulation off the ends.
3) Cut stiff wire/legs into 1/2" pieces
4) Pre-tin your wire and stiff end
5) Carefully solder them together
6) Cut small piece of heat shrink and slide it over the exposed solder joint
7) Using the lighter, shink the material down without catching anything on fire
8) Repeat until bored or tired :)

I wanted to have pictures for each step but my camera routinely only coughs up fuzzy pictures. Anyways, here are some of the steps.

Tinning the wires

Solder them together

breadboard_wires_tutorial breadboard_wires_tutorial
Cut the heat shrink tubing to size

Get the heat shrink ready

Nice and tight covering

Works perfectly with a breadboard/arduino

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Another Idea for the Pins

Go to WalMart or other big box store and get some cheap straight pins that have a steel core and a nickel coating - usually the cheap ones from China are this way.

Take your stranded or solid wire and make a wrap or two up near the head. Solder to the pin. Add shrink wrap.

Take a good pair of end-nippers and cut off the pin to the desired length. Round off the end so it doesn't tear up the breadboard contacts.

These will be much stiffer than component leads, but still small enough to fit solderless bread boards correctly.



I am teaching Microcontrollers to a large group of students in the Autumn and will use this as a first soldering exercise. Have just bought the tubing on ebay. Thanks for the excellent suggestion.

To shorten the pins I found holding them with pliers and snap them sideways worked well.

Why even bother with that just buy 22AWG solid core wire and your set make all the breadboard wires you want. BTW anybody heard of ?

Good suggestion on nordevx, haven't heard of them before.

The phone cord and part trimmings were used to show that there are some great ways to repurpose the scrap and junk at the bottom of the bin. Old network cable works well too and you get a bunch of nice colors and stripes to choose from.

With standard phone wire you get black, red, yellow, and green colors. I use them to differentiate from pos, neg, clock, and signal wires.

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