Previous Shop Tips:
Power to the Bread Board:
Until retirement, a couple years ago, I did very little bread boarding of circuits. While my job kept me immersed in the very specific niche of electronics that pertains to Dental Equipment servicing almost no free time was available to experiment or explore further. One of the small problems that was encountered, as I began to bread board, was how to best deliver power to the board. At first I hooked up the banana jacks that came with the bread board kit but, quickly, these were found to be clumsy and not very flexible. I tried alligator clipping to components or to bare wires sticking up from the board. In both of these scenarios the wire or component was often pulled from the board.
It was decided that the best solution would be to make up some power supply wires specific for the needs of my shop. The power supplies in my shop all use the standard banana jack / plug for their output connection. So I ordered some good quality test lead wire and some banana plugs.
Here is a link to the wire that I chose. It is available in Red and Black, has a 10kV silicone rubber insulation and the wire core is 18 AWG consisting of 192 (41 GA) copper conductors. The feel of the wire is soft and very flexible like a long piece of spaghetti.
While it was a little pricey it is better to have a little initial $ pain and not regret every time the wire gets used. The extra wire will come in handy and some of my buddies will want a cord or two also when they see how nice this wire is.
Here is the procedure that was followed to make up the bread board power cord that I wanted.
Wires are cut and tagged so resistance can be noted
Banana Plugs are attached to one end of the cords.
On the bread board end of the wire a "Y" is soldered into place.
The "Y" Assemblies.
Wire ends of the "Ys" are completed by adding proper sized pins for the bread board and insulating with shrink tubing.
Completed cords with ID and Resistance labels.
If I feel that my circuit will require higher current I double up the wires on each rail.
If higher currents aren't an issue it is really nice to be able to pull V+ and V- both from the upper and lower power rails.
Occasionally while conducting an experiment it is necessary to have a separate voltage source. While it is perfectly acceptable to build up a small regulator or converter or even just a resistive divider, I have found that a small battery pack with bread board wires is often easier and quicker. Here are my battery packs for bread board experiments.
These are simple tools and modifications but they continue to repay the effort of making them by simplifying hookup and minimizing the problem of having to jury rig hookups and patches to bread board experiments.