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7: Circuit Boards

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    Circuit boards allow you to connect a variety of electronic components to a circuit. 


    • Good for prototyping
      • 5V or lower voltage
    • Bus bars are common connectors that are used to connect devices to a circuit


    clipboard_e1d9807f81a8fd62df03d753602bbeee6.pngFigure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Common prototyping breadboard. (Belford CC-BY)


    clipboard_e28926b444170fc2b8a002ba1b2e546cd.pngFigure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Damaged rails on a bread board. (Belford CC-BY)


    Video \(\PageIndex{1}\): Science Buddies video on use of Breadboards (


    Note, the power and ground bus on some breadboards stop halfway across the board.  This allows different circuits with different voltages to be run on the same board.  If the red or black lines stop half way across the board, you will need to run jumper wires to connect them if you want to have a common ground or power supply.

    clipboard_e9af616772a219a8ddf97906cbe606dd0.pngFigure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Split rail breadboard. (Sparkfun CC BY-SA 4.0)

    Breadboard Tutorials

    The following are excellent tutorials and this list will increase over time


    Collin's Lab and the Real Breadboard (

    Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)

    Printed Circuit Boards are ubiquitous in electronic devices.  

    • Good for mass production
    • Good for miniaturization
    • Beware of ESD damage (Electro-Static Discharge)
    • Minimize issues of lose wires


    clipboard_e4f83531f2206edfbe37e0beb5ecac40d.pngFigure \(\PageIndex{3}\): LPKF Laser & Electronics ProtoMat S62 circuit board machine (left), simple DHT22 circuit board (center) & Solarid smart insect zapper circuit board (right) (Belford & Bouzid, CC-BY)

    In this class we will design several circuits using breadboards and then create simple circuit boards to solder the components to.  Breadboards are great for prototyping, but their connections are not reliable enough to be deployed in real world applications.




    This page titled 7: Circuit Boards is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Robert Belford.

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