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Steve explains how a breadboard works and why they are used when prototyping hardware.

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Transcript from the "Breadboard Overview" Lesson

>> Steve Kinney: Probably the first question that you might be asking is, why is it called a breadboard? And the answer to that question, in my family we have these thing called friendly facts, which is when someone presents something in a fact, but it's probably true. Is that earlier when people were working on building circuits, you had all of these different components that you were wiring together, so you used a breadboard for putting bread on.

[00:00:23] And you could staple or pin down all the different components. These days you would not put bread on this. It is very small. And not really useful for something. Maybe you could possibly put a cracker on it, but let's not do that. So a breadboard is basically a way, when you're prototyping a circuit, to kinda put in all of your different components.

[00:00:46] And it might stress you out a little bit, but I promise you there is a logic to all of these at the holes on the board. So let's talk about it. So if you think about it, there's really four sections to this breadboard. There's those top two rows which are very similar to the bottom two rows.

[00:01:05] And then there's a kind of middle set of five with a little channel in the middle. So you could almost cut that breadboard in half. And the top half is effectively a mirror image of the bottom half. So we've cut the problem area down in half already. Let's talk about the very top, the plus and minus.

[00:01:27] So along the top is all of these are connected, right? So if you bring a power wire and you put it into any of those holes along the top, that is shared across that entire row. Similarly, the other channel is also connected, right? So if you put two wires in any two holes on that row, they are connected.

[00:01:51] So that's the way to take your one, you have, I think, effectively three ground ports on the Tessel, right? Different devices, you might have more or less. But it's a way to take any one of those and depending on the size of your breadboard, the ones we have look like the one I have on the screen, but you can buy longer ones, wider ones.

[00:02:09] You can get all sorts of different breadboards. But the ones we have, you can take any given one of those ports and turn it into 25, or I guess 24 cuz you're using one. But then you could do a jumper wire across and get another 24 as well, 23 plus 24.

[00:02:27] Same thing for the power. So in the middle, any given column is connected. So along the top and along the bottom, those rows are connected. And then, any given column in the middle is connected. The top are all connected to each other. The bottom are independent, right? And you could very easily take a jumper wire and cross over if you needed more.

[00:02:54] What you're doing on the breadboard is basically taking wires to kind of make connections across those rows and columns, but inside of the breadboard, they are all connected. All right, cool. So what we're going to do is we're going to wire up a LED with a breadboard, so that we can use it with port seven or pin seven.

[00:03:22] And so what is that going to look like? That is effectively going to look like this. We are gonna take from the ground and I could take it to this top row, but since I only need one, I'm just gonna take it directly. And so you can see with the green, every one of these holes here is gonna be connected to the ground.

[00:03:41] And every one in this very first column here is gonna be connected to, this looks like pin five in this case. Pin A-5, right? So and I could put the LED of this very first pair here anywhere up cuz they're all connected. So I am gonna switch over and we're gonna put that together.