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Powering a breadboard

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Webb, Jun 2, 2006.

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  1. Webb

    Webb Guest

    I am completely new to electronics and just picked up a breadboard. I
    have a 12 volt power supply with a 2.5mm plug that I want to connect to
    the breadboard. I went to Radioshack and found the salesperson was
    completely useless. With power supply in hand, I asked him what I
    would need to connect it to a breadboard and he said "what are you
    going to use as a power supply?"

    I'm assuming that I need a 2.5mm power jack but, I'm not sure how they
    work or if there is a certain type that I would need. The breadboard
    does have 3 binding posts if that helps. Can someone please help me

  2. Bob

    Bob Guest

    You could just cut the plug off of the power supply and attach the wires to
    the binding posts.

    What are you trying to do with the breadboard? Do you have a voltmeter? Do
    you have health insurance?

  3. Well there are many ways!
    If you want the fast method, just cut off the output plug and connect the
    wires to the required binding posts. I assume you can check polarity with a
    VOM ?
    Perhaps a better way would be to mount a DC socket (that suits the output
    plug) into the breadboard and connect it to the posts underneath the
    breadboard (Once again check polarity).
    You will have to find somewhere or someone with practical experience for
    buying parts.

    Lots of luck with your learning, you will get help here if you make an
    effort yourself.
  4. Guest

    Bring your 2.5mm plug to the shop. Ask for a matching jack. Solder two wires
    on this jack and connect to the binding posts.
    Next time bring photo urls so we easier can get a grip on what you have. ;)
  5. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Hi, Webb. You've got a good start here. I've got to assume you've
    also got some kind of voltmeter, too. You can get a digital multimeter
    (DMM) for less than $12 just about anywhere. I'm also assuming you've
    got access to some 24AWG or 22AWG solid conductor wire, and a wire
    stripper. (Hint: look around for some older 4-conductor phone wire --
    it's got 24AWG solid, and is great for breadboards).

    Now the binding posts on the top of the breadboard can accept banana
    jacks, but you can also unscrew them to reveal a couple of holes in the
    metal center of the post. With the 12V supply unpowered, curt off the
    plug at the end, and strip off about an inch of insulation. Then cut a
    couple of lengths of the 24AWG solid wire, and strip off an inch or so
    of insulation on each end.

    Now, for both conductors from the wall wart, twist together the
    stranded wite and one of the solid wires. Insert the two wires into
    the binding post, and screw the binding post down on the two wires.
    You've now made a connection between the power supply and the jumper

    Briefly plug in the wall wart, and see that the red binding post has
    the + end and the black the - end. Unplug the wall wart. If your
    polarity is reversed, turn 'em around.

    Now you can finish. Route the + wire to the top row of the protoboard,
    strip off 1/2" of wire, and insert the wire into any of the holes in
    the top row (the horizontal row of holes in the top rows are connected
    together). Do the same for the - wire and the bottom row of holes.

    Now you've got + on the top horizontal row, and - on the bottom
    horizontal row. This should be sufficient for you to get started.

    The reason you've got three posts is if you wanted a split supply (say,
    +/-12V). Typically, the topmost row is +, the bottom-most row is -,
    and the two other horizontal rows are common. This is the easiest and
    most common way to hook up a protoboard with split supplies.

    Here's a good educational link showing some protoboard basics:

    Good luck with your studies!

  6. flank

    flank Guest

    I agree that the simplest way is to cut 2.5mm the end off of the wire.
    Take a meter and determine which is the positive wire and which is the
    ground wire. When your volt meter reads 12V, the wire tied to your
    black lead (the common) will be ground; the wire tied to your red lead
    will be the positive. Now tie the ground wire to the black binding
    post and the positive wire to the red binding post. If you have a 12V
    supply, then you probably have limited current, maybe 300mA, so it is
    relatively safe. You can fry components, but you are not likely to fry

    FYI, Radio Shack used to be a place to go for electonics advice. Not
  7. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    surplus solid cat5 wire is good too, and plentiful in commercial
    consstruction-site dumpsters once the network guy has started
    "terminating", but the best stuff is the wiring on the ancient
    phone exchanges as it's tinned (plated) so it doesn't tarnish as
    quickly... and comes in lots of different colours.

  8. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Go to a construction site while the phone installers are there - they
    throw away spare remnant ends of that 25-pair trunk cable - a lifetime
    supply of #24 solid, already color-coded! :)

  9. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    all covered in lovely "monkey snot" grease.

    No thanks.
  10. Melodolic

    Melodolic Guest

    The grease is to prevent ingress of moisture when used externally - cable
    for internal use is dry.
  11. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    He might mean the grease that they use to pull long runs through conduit.

    But if you can put up with greasy hands for a little bit, if you find its
    ripcord, you can pull that, and strip the jacket off the whole bundle in
    one swell foop. ;-) (leaving the jacket and the rest of the grease there,
    of course. :) )

  12. aims44

    aims44 Guest

    Hey, Webb

    Sounds like you and I are in the same dilemma! I went to Radio Shack
    and they thought I was going to use my shamefully limited knowledge of
    electronix for evil!! The clerk laughed at my expense when I asked him
    about powering my Archer Universal Breadboard with a 1.5 Volt to 12
    Volt @ 800mA AC to DC power supply. He said to cut off the wires and
    hook them to the black and red leads. Yeah, right! I'm not ready to
    die yet. Take the soldering route. Do you solder? Oh, it's lots of
    fun. I soldered some rockin' Seymour Duncan pick-ups into my Fender
    Bass guitar. Heat the work, not the solder... Use a 2.5 mm jack for
    your 12 volt AC adapter. Solder wires to it, one red wire for
    positive, one black wire for ground (common). Then hook those wires to
    your breadboard's leads. No cutting wires or electrocution. Yeah, it
    takes a little longer, but it's so mucher safer and professional.
    Electronics is an art. The nicer your circuits and connections look,
    the better. It sound like you will be breadboarding analog
    electronics. Use a power bus -- the horizontal strips at the top of
    your breadboard -- to connect them to your voltage supply. It saves
    time, wires, and cuts out a lot of agony. Thanks for asking a great
    question. Stay with electronics and you will be very happy in the
    long-run!! Good luck to you.

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