Skip to content

ITP PCom: Lab 1: Breadboard

May 22, 2009

 My apologies to all for the crap low-light iPhone resolution.  I will in future posts endeavor to take a little pride in my work. First off, gathering up the tools and making a general mess of the kitchen table:  

I found the wire stripper at an auto show. It automatically gauges the thickness of the wire while stripping it.  No guessing or tugging, and remarkably cheap.  Its awesome, if you get excited about this sort of thing:


Need the Jameco manifest to figure out what are in the bags of goodies. No other labels yet. Plenty of organization to do.


Need this to figure out what are in the bags of goodies.  No other labels yet.  Plenty of organization to do.

For the first part of the lab, I figured I’d continuity test the breadboard.  Of course the leads don’t fit in the poxy little holes, so the headers immediately came in handy, and they break apart quite easily.  Notice as well the battery lead–I forgot to get some hook-up wire, so I had to cannibalize that poor part.  It’s made up of stranded wire which is pretty hard to get into the same little breadboard holes as it bends like a braided pigtail.  I now fully comprehend why solid wire is recommended, and rushed out and bought some today.







Next step was to figure out which way to insert the 5V voltage regulator.  There is no obvious guidance on this component, but from the black wire in the lab photo it was clear that ground is the center post.  Without that, there’d be some trial and error.  Power in and out was a guess although careful attention to the lab photo there too showed the way.  I figured it might have no direction, like a resistor, but a quick check on the multimeter would have cleared that up.  Rory showed us the errors of our ways.



I’d like to say that I have successfully copied the schematics, but I’m going to have to admit it was mostly the photo.  Now to see if it works.  First I checked my power supply to see if it was close to 12V, and polarity:



All good.  Now to see how the regulator fared:


5.046V.  Comfortingly close to 5V in this imperfect world.




  1. Shawn permalink

    Ahh.. Comfort in an uncomfortable world.. Such an elusive thing, beautiful when it happens.

    Did you make an LED go blink blink yet? I want to see video once you do!

  2. mfleisig permalink

    You got it. It’s going to be an SOS, so be forewarned.

  3. Karen permalink

    nice job Morgen! when you start communicating with Margie in C++ and Java, tell her I’ve got the number to a support group

  4. this is heady, fascinating stuff. My brain was reeling at the idea of binary bit patterns blinking from beautifully arranged LED lights on wafer-like circuit boards. Keep it coming. Anonymous, Enrico Fermi Electronic Day Camp, Cap D’Antibes, France.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: