Breadboarding Aid

I have been using solderless breadboards since the beginning and am continually looking for ways to make their use easier and less prone to mistakes. Lately, I have been using the Draw program to organize things. I created a template with three layers, Breadboard, Wiring, and Components. On the Breadboard layer is a replica of my solderless breadboard, with everything on a 0.1" grid for easy snap placement. The Wiring and Component layers are just that. On the Wiring layer, I have drawn my precut jumper wires in their actual colors. I just copy and paste them onto the Breadboard as needed. The Component layer is used similarly. I have separate pages where I'm gradually collecting all the components that I use.

I lock the Breadboard layer so it doesn't accidentally move around and do the same with the other layers when appropriate. I can lay out a whole circuit and double check it against the schematic before I start wiring. The GUI with Draw is a little clunkier than I would like, but all in all, it has worked out well for me.

Attached is an example of a project.

ws.tiff (261 KB)

Sounds a lot like what fritzing does.

Sounds a lot like what fritzing does.

Yep. I tried Fritzing and I like this better. Can't say why really.

You have more control this way I think.

On the Arduino, pins 5, 6, and 7 are filled with a thin border. Three of the MAX pins have similar adornment. Does that indicate they are connected based on the color coding?

Yes. Those are the color codes of the 6" jumper wires that I normally use to connect an Arduino to the breadboard. Sometimes I'll make a text note off to the side if there is a chance of ambiguity.

You should share this on the playground or somewhere - I could see this being useful for others... :slight_smile:

It should be sharable through Google Docs. Which is even better. Simple, easy, effective collaboration with versioning.

Please do share it!
And I love the Open Office and Libre Office tools.

You think so, huh? Okay, I'll try Google Docs.

Oh crud! I apologize. I read this ... Draw ... and my mind saw this ... Google Draw.

Okay, I'll try Google Docs.

Don't bother. You can't even change the snap grid setting.

It looks like you can share any kind of document on Google Docs though. Maybe the playground is the best place. I haven't used either one before. I'll play around with both.

Another way is to capture your layout in
Here's one of my wirewrap board layouts on a 80x100 Velleman board. Too complicatad too show the wiring, but you could use a box around groups of dots to show the solderless breadboard holes. Can add top/bottom traces in 2 colors.
Prints out as black on white.

Here's the link in Google Docs. I need to upload some instructions as well.