What would you ask of a Bread Board, other then 'better, tighter connections'?
FTDI? USB in/out?
What would be your dream development 'Bread Board'?
Much more area. Like a table-top .... Oh yes, 6 contacts per strip, not 5, of course.
Other than the 6 contacts per strip, you could build this yourself out of the smaller boards. The standard 830 contact boards have 3 wedges on one side and 3 cutouts on the other and you can stick them together. Most come with an adhesive back too. About 100 in a 10x10 matrix would be about table-top sized. The rest of the features you can build to taste.
The 328P datasheet says VIL "Input Low Voltage, except XTAL1 and RESET pin" is 0.2VCC for VCC = 1.8V - 2.4V and 0.3VCC for VCC = 2.4V - 5.5V. If you are running at 5.0V, then VIL is 1.5V so it should be OK. Did you test this with a multimeter? Are you sure that signal is solid? What does it look like on a scope? Set a trigger level at 1.5V and see if it jumps up for some reason.
You could maybe combine one with a pot. Read the pot at startup to get a rough idea of where the wheel is then use the incremental encoder from then on.
Maybe for certain applications that would work, but in my opinion it eliminates one of the best features of the encoder, which is that there is no limit to the number of turns that the encoder can make.
First attempt went horribly wrong. After cutting the pins, the pads are extremely sensitive and did peel right off.
Sorry to hear that. ChipQuik works great for SMT devices. I have used it for 144 pin devices and it works as advertised. Hot air doesn't work well for many-pin SMT devices because it's almost impossible to get all the solder to melt at the same time. If any of it is phase changing back into solidus, you usually take the pad off with it.
Do they only depend on the A/D? Can I find "better" (e.g. more expensive) versions of pots that doesn't jitter and doesn't degrade (that fast) over time?
I just want to point one thing out. I have an Tektronix 2465B 400MHz scope from the 80s, considered a very good scope in its day, and every rotary control (except one) is a pot. It seems that all scopes from that period use pots. I have a new model 2000 Agilent scope and every rotary control is an encoder. It seems that all scopes now, even cheap Rigols, use rotary encoders. It requires no thinking to know there is a very good reason for this fact.
I have a pair of giant 15V 130,000uF capacitors, each about the volume of a pint. I have had these for about 30 years and can't even remember where I got them from, possibly a surplus store. They are new, no oxidation or bulging or any obvious cosmetic problems. Are caps like this good for anything? Are they likely even good? I will hook it up to my LCR meter, but I wondered what you all though. What should I use them for?
I had a limb blown off a tree about 50' from my home office window one day while I was sitting there. No way to lightning rod away that sort of issue. Nature allows for supernovae, so I think we will just have to accept the danger of lightning too.
All I need is for it to display one or two numbers with two columns in between them.
Dumb question possibly, but why even bother with 8x8 LED matrices if you want to display a one or two digit number, unless your requirement is to use matrices because that would be "like totally rad, dude"? Displaying a number like you indicate is an application for a 7-segment display. If you want to do graphics, scrolling, alpha characters, characters in other languages, etc. then matrices become relevant. MAX7219s are wonderful for 7 segment displays also (common cathode variety only).
And I should mention I have added devices to projects before simply because they would be totally rad, so if that is what you want, go ahead.