Help Me Fix My Freakshow Breadboard!

Hey Folks.

I am a programmer who is new to electronics but my first project is done and its time to get it off the breadboard OR onto a more ‘stable’ breadboard platform.

My frankenstein is a bunch of loose wires stabbed into my breadboard and is about as portable as balancing 10 china bowls on my index finger. Can anyone give me some advise on how to make my wire connections a bit more ‘solid’. Terminal Blocks? Different Pin connectors? Different Board ? I am all ears.

I may still make some final changes so I am not super keen to solder it up just yet. Thanks gurus. Photo below so you can see my horror show. I need something a bit more stable :smile:

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It looks like you’re using stranded wire. Using solid 22awg would probably help . In addition, 2.54mm Terminal blocks like these would probably also do the spiff things up. Also, keep in mind that when using a protoboard, desoldering and resoldering isn’t that big of a deal (though I might use pin headers so you don’t have to solder the actual Spark down). I’d recommend getting a good supply of solder braid though, and some liquid flux always helps I find as well when doing rework.

You are correct on the wire :slight_smile: Most are 10k sensors with stranded wire attached and boy is stranded + breadboard = headache.

Love the terminal blocks idea I was checking them out earlier this week but wanted to ask for some help before I blindly bought a bunch of stuff and find out you ‘pros’ have a way smarter way of doing it.

I own one of those protoboards but I have soldered exactly 3 boards in my time as an electronics ‘newb’ and good news is it was easy and all 3 boards worked after.

The only reason I am against soldering is because I am not that good at it yet plus I know the more I ask the more I am going to learn how to do things ‘smarter’. I am learning as I go and it shows the only aspect I am good at is the code :smile:

@mumblepins here is some of what I have ( still adding stuff but wanted your feedback ). This is not how its wired currently but how I am thinking of doing it using a terminal block to ‘clean things up’. They are all 10k stranded thermistors with 10k resistors hooked to them. I am actually pretty open to ditching them and buying a different thermistor if I can make it work easier I just happened to have these laying around.

Do you see any other obvious things I can ‘do better’ to tighten things up and have less ‘rats nest’. Thanks again for the help!

First try at Fritzzing may have done it wrong

A big ditto on the solid core wire! You could also “tin” stranded wire with a bit of solder in a pinch if you don’t have the right gauge solid core. 22 AWG wire is perfect. You can pick up “kits” with pre-stripped sections for prototyping. But if you’re planning on doing more than one project don’t waste your money. Just buy a spool and strip it yourself. I work with network cable so I use this. It works quick and smooth. If you cut the wire to the exact length you need you can keep it from “rat-nesting”. A needle nosed pliers will help bend the wire around other componants on the board. Any wire coming off the the board can be bundled together and then taped down to the breadboard so it can be moved. If you do end up soldering, save yourself some headache and go with this solder. It has a lower melting temperature so it is quicker and less heat on your components.

Also, I like putting resistors across the devide of the breadboard. It seems like it gives you more room to work with, and it just looks nicer. That and some other good tips can be found here.

It looks like you are already using Fritzing, in case anyone else is wondering how to make a schematic like that it is free software, but they do ask for (optional) donations when you download. I was amazed when I discovered it. It lets you record your breadboard design visually and lets you take that over to a circuit diagram. Even just using the breadboard mode makes it really easy to save a working layout before breaking it apart. It has almost every Arduino already in the database, you will have to add the Spark Core graphic / schematic to use it for your project. Luckily someone created it!
Fritzing Download Page
GitHub Repo for the Spark Core schematic file

To add the spark core schematic right click on the “Parts” panel in Fritzing to the right and choose import. The file from that github repo that you need is in /lib/SPARK_CORE_v10.fzpz

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Thank you awesome comments. Please feel free to share more :slight_smile: I am still learning and am as green as it comes to electronics. That said I work in a technical field so I have tools, multimeters, wire, etc. I had even considered tinning the wire but was afraid I would not be able to ‘stab’ it into the bread board. I might try in a few minutes just to see.

JUST FYI you do not need to download the spark schematics they are in the last 2 versions of Fritzzing :smile:

Thank you for sharing :slight_smile: Saved me asking lol. How does this look? ( I definitely like how your image shows the actual points on the board )

I notice your board in Fritz actually shows the connection point names on the chip I will have to update mine to get that info.

Updated with better board image.

Wouldn’t it be better to connect both ends of your external components in a terminal block? As far as stability goes, wobbly components stay put better underneath a screw as opposed to in a breadboard.


Thanks for your feedback. This seems more logical I agree. Is this what you were thinking? Thanks again everyone for such solid feedback so far.

I would personally use one terminal block per external component. This allows the wires to be both of the same length, as well as enable you to change them more easily. For testing purposes you could even put your sensors directly into the blocks, without wires.

Just throwing this out there, I love these jumper wires, very good quality :slight_smile:


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I totally agree I have a whole box full of them and LOVE them :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the tip on which terminal blocks to buy I found a whole whack locally and the ones you suggested worked like a dream.