Cigar Box Breadboarding Tool – Part 1

As a kid, I always like those 300-in-One Electronic Project Lab toys. Although not really useful for real work, it was nice to have everything in one place. I decided to attempt to build one the way I want it to be. So far, I just have the power supply and external connectors set up. I can set it to unipolar +9V ¬†or +18Vor bipolar +9/GND/-9 volts for analog work. Plus dedicated +5V and +3.3V rails. I used the dead simple method of generating a bipolar supply, I simple used two battery packs in series. Eventually I may upgrade to some sort of switcher circuit, but you can’t beat the pair of batteries for a low noise power source.

I included easy attachment points for connecting an oscilloscope or multimeter and phono jacks for routing audio signals and testing homebrew audio effects. By putting them near the edge I can move the board around without the cables interfering with teh breadboard or falling out.

I am using a random cigar box, they make great project boxes and can be gotten cheaply or for free from cigar shops. It turned out quite attractive if I do say so with its red/black motif. I wonder if I can find solid black breadboards to keep it on theme.

After this, I will add some panel meters and LEDs, some of the more common things needed when breadboarding. I am leaning towards a rotary encoder, a couple buttons, and a Voltmeter at the moment. Unlike the 300-in-1 style kit, I will have proper debouncing and quadrature circuitry built in to give nice clean logic level outputs and high impedance inputs.

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Comments 2

  1. Dan E. wrote:

    What, no https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11822 ?

    Posted 04 Feb 2014 at 8:22 am
  2. John Meacham wrote:

    Heh, no. I actually was thinking of using those ground clip things in the upper right for power rails but they ended up taking up a whole lot of space. Maybe I will throw in some springs. Would be easy to aligator clip.

    I am using those ribbon connectors as makeshift breadboard headers, I was worried they wouldn’t get enough contact but they seem to work just fine and apparently you can get one amp per pin on them which should be plenty.

    Posted 04 Feb 2014 at 5:23 pm

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