Rapid Prototyping Made Easy with the Jumper less Breadboard

Published  July 20, 2023   0
S Staff
Jumper less Breadboard

The breadboard, a staple tool in the realm of electronics, allows for rapid prototyping of electronic circuits without soldering or PCB creation, despite its drawbacks like high parasitic capacitance and resistance. Kevin Santo Cappuccio has introduced a modern twist with his jumper less breadboard design, utilizing 12 analog cross point switches beneath the PCB to establish connections. These CH446Q 8x16 analog switch matrices enable flexible interconnections between any two points on the breadboard and the Arduino Nano pins at the top. Moreover, RGB LEDs beneath each row offer visual feedback, displaying information like circuit status or voltage/current sensing details.

The jumper less breadboard boasts onboard power derived from USB output, switchable between +/-8V, +5V, and +3.3V. Additionally, the design incorporates digital-to-analog converters (DACs). While the second version features an MCP4728 12-bit I2C DAC with waveforms up to 100Hz, the upcoming third iteration will utilize the higher speed MCP4822 SPI DAC capable of clean waveforms up to 400KHz. Controlling the device and establishing connections can be efficiently achieved using the Wokwi software in conjunction with a bridge app. There are plans to develop an Arduino library and a Python module to simplify voltage application and signal measurement. The jumper less breadboard is powered by an RP2040 MCU, and both the firmware and the entire project are open source.

RP2040 MCU powered Breadboard

Despite some trade-offs, like the switches' ON resistance of approximately 75 Ohms, which might impact circuit performance, the jumper less breadboard remains a promising option for breadboard projects. This resistance, though, can act as a current limit to safeguard devices. Moreover, the switches have rated current limits of 15mA per connection and 100mA per chip. Considering its feature-rich design and advantages, the jumper less breadboard proves to be an exciting choice for electronics enthusiasts and prototyping needs.