I'm now 4/5 of the way through the starter kit and I've noticed that all the circuits have started giving me trouble. Not because the circuit is wrong, but because of component issues - ie the h bridge, potentiometer and buttons not working properly because they won't sit properly in the breadboard. They pop out. Judging from the forum this affects many others as well.
There are some good solutions on this board like soldering headers onto the pins, and I went and bought a solder to do this, but taking a look at the 16 pin H bridge I decided this was a step to far for someone with no soldering experience. It's only after I bought an expensive good breadboard that I realised why these problems are occuring, and found the solution.
As you know the starter kit breadboard is mounted on a wooden platform, with parts that you remove in order to do certain projects. But, when those parts are removed, it removes support for the breadboard that sits on there, so the metal bars that conduct inside the breadboard seem to sag as you use the breadboard in projects, which lowers them. This lowered rail means the component no longer seat properly because the component legs won't reach down to the lowered internal conducting rail anymore.
It's a simple mechanical thing - the wooden cutouts means there's no backing support for support the internal rails, so they sag. Sagged rails means components can't reach and won't seat.
Easy to fix!
- Turn the whole thing over
- Push all the bars back up by pushing on the sticky bits that show (because you've removed wooden bits as instructed in the book!)
- Turn the whole thing back over
- Now try reseating the components
- Voila, they should now seat properly again!
Worked for me