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Topic: A Silly Question (Read 3505 times) previous topic - next topic


What are these breadboard jumper wires? Dont you guys strip and use single core wires for breadboarding? I like these jumper wires but don't seem to be finding any good deals.. 6$ for 140 pieces... i can get 100meters of single core wire for this... that can make for a lot of jumper wires. Any ideas where i can find good deals?



Yup, I use the.....brace yourself....Radio Shack solid core wire.  It wasn't exactly a great deal, but it seems to work alright for me, plus it comes in three pretty colors ;D


Feb 19, 2010, 03:20 pm Last Edit: Feb 19, 2010, 03:22 pm by programmer Reason: 1
The "proper" breadboard jumper leads that you've seen have metal pins soldered onto the end, so that they can withstand being unplugged and plugged in multiple times. Single core wire tends to bend as you plug it in once it's been used a number of times.

However, theres nothing wrong with using single core wire, and if it does start to bend you can just chop the end off and use the wire again.

The other benefit to the jumper leads is that they come in a number of different colours, which makes it easier to trace circuits, but again it's not a major issue if your wires aren't different colours, just makes life a bit easier.

I`ve bought a load of the jumper leads just for convenience, which were about $6 but that isn't likely to bankrupt you  :)


I use a little of everything

solid core, which is a pita to strip, but after a little while you have a pile of them

one of those 140pc kits, found it on sale for like 5 bucks at radio shack

and some of those flexi jumpers with the moulded plastic pins like

tho they have gone up a buck since the last time I looked


I`ve bought a load of the jumper leads just for convenience, which were about $6 but that isn't likely to bankrupt you  Smiley

Well in a developing world it might ;) No I'm just looking for some cheaper ones for a kids program we are working on. I want the contents of the kit to be affordable to all alike and i can tell you that 6$ for wires can be something on the higher side for a lot of people...

Single core wire tends to bend as you plug it in once it's been used a number of times.

True thats why I'm looking for some other alternative..

Anybody has any DIY for these jumper wires? or anybody wants to sell me a boxfull for CHEAP!!!  :)


For my prototyping, I use a combination of things; I will typically start out with my "straight-and-bent" prototyping wire kits (solid core, different lengths and colors, 90-degree bends at the ends for the part you put in the breadboard), then once I run out of those, I will use my "junk wire" (more on that in a bit).

I have been thinking of picking up some of the cheapo flexible wires with pin ends to try them out (I have heard, though, that the solder joint inside the pin connector is flimsy and can break, causing intermittent connections). I also use alligator clip leads on certain parts (mainly TO-3 case devices - on a current 2N3055 h-bridge I am working on, I need them to hook to the collectors).

So far, though, the "best" in terms of price-performance has been my "junk wire":

1) 24 AWG multi-conductor solid wire

2) Some larger gauge (probably 18-22 AWG) two strand twisted telephone wire

Basically, the first option is either old CAT5 (4 twisted pairs, 8 wires) I get here and there (in many cases, you can get hundreds of feet free if you know who to talk to and where to look - old office tear-outs are great), or many conductor (24?) telephone wire; personally, I like the telephone wire better, many more colors - but you get what you can get!

The second option come from a couple of rolls of telephone hookup wire I bought from some guy a long time ago at a 2600 meeting; I paid maybe $5.00 for both rolls. It has two conductors loosely twisted together (one white, the other purple), and was used for connections on punch-down blocks and such in telephone wiring. Its really multi-purpose (I once made coils for a simplistic coil-gun demonstrator project once with it); its thicker gauge fits into breadboard holes better, but its lack of multiple colors means a breadboard made exclusively with it can be confusing (so I try not to do that!).

The most bang-for-yer-buck can be had with the multi-conductor, multi-color, solid-core telephone cable; if you can find that cheap per foot (say a dollar or two), you can buy 20 feet, strip the outer cladding off, then use a pair of wire dikes to cut it to the lengths you want. You'll never run out (or at least it will seem that way). The next best is the CAT5 cable.

I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


No I'm just looking for some cheaper ones for a kids program we are working on.

So get the kids to strip their own.  Tell 'em "It builds character"   ;D

I've been working with solderless breadboards for over 30 years.  I started out with the "strip a piece of telephone wire" jumpers,  and still use them occasionally.  But I got tired of the iffy connections from oxidized bare copper,  the jumpers that break because the wire got nicked in the stripping,  and the wires that got accidentally pulled loose when connecting off-board because they aren't as flexible as stranded.

So I was glad to see the pre-made stranded jumpers arrive.  Until I saw the price (which was a lot higher than today's).  The ones available now aren't as high in quality,  but they're still better than working with solid wire for a lot of purposes.

So I maintain a mix of the (still relatively cheap) ready-made stranded ones,  a box of the cut-and-formed (and plated,  so they don't gum up with oxidation) solid ones,  a bunch of custom ones I've made with D-sub pins and header connectors for hooking up to other projects,  and the excess leads from resistors and capacitors I've soldered into boards over the years.  I also have pots,  switches,  solenoids,  and other parts that I've prepped by soldering pieces of the stranded jumpers (or high-density D-sub pins,  which put less strain on the breadboard contact springs than stand D-sub pins or header pins) to them.

If you're setting up a program for kids,  you should be able to get a wholesale deal on ready-made jumpers,  and use "child labor" to split the bulk parts into kits.  If they complain,  tell them they need more character-building...


I like the ones you get in the Arduino Starter kit, or ones like these : http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/150-Breadboard-Jumper-Wires-Ideal-For-Arduino-UK_W0QQitemZ280463261663QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_3?hash=item414ce9bfdf


I started out with the "strip a piece of telephone wire" jumpers

The second option come from a couple of rolls of telephone hookup wire

And i was thinking I was the only 1 using them ;) only thing is they tend to break often... i use 22awg solid core now.

perhaps should focus on character building... ;)


I have never used anything but solid conductor wire.  For $3.99 I can get 75ft at Radio Shaft - or even cheaper elsewhere.  24 AWG is OK, but 22 AWG is a little better at holding up against tight breadboard holes without bending and doesn't get as loose over time as the holes wear out.

I've gotten really good at stripping thin wires without nicking them using just a pair of diagonal cutters.  The larger wire strippers that have a different hole for each gauge and usually have some sort of crimper in them work the fastest and best.  The little "V" shaped wire stripper/cutters suck IMO for small wires.  They are OK for thick wires and coax though.

The pre-made jumpers are too expensive and just seem like they are way overkill.  They also aren't available in as many lengths as I can make with bare wire.  ;)  The multitude of colors is kinda nice tho.

BTW: Use a small pair of needle-nose pliers or forceps to insert your jumpers (and resistors, diodes, etc) into the breadboard.  It is much easier and will save your nerves, especially on small or tightly packed boards (think of the Protoshield from SparkFun).


The little "V" shaped wire stripper/cutters suck IMO for small wires

I sharpen them with a triangle jewelers file (that radio shack used to sell), they work much better when they are 2 v shaped razor blades


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