Today I’m posting about something mundane but very important to electronics hobbyists: breadboards. The breadboard is one of the first things you buy when you are learning basic electronics or Arduino for instance.
If you try to do anything complex with one, though, you find out the limitations of the standard wiring and pin layout right away. For instance, not all components can be used on them as is, and when you place ICs, large DIP format components, or 0.1″ (2.54mm) pitch breakout boards on them, you quickly run out of space.
The other day, I was perusing the supplier web sites trying to decide which size breadboard to use as the semi-permanent base for my solar switch. Basically my choices were half or full size, or so I thought, until I noticed that the Japanese electronics supply maker Sun Hayato (actually pronounced sanhayato) had breadboard parts broken down into smaller sections that you could snap together to form alternative layouts. On top of that, I noticed they also had a series they call their “new” breadboards. It turns out that those were exactly what I was looking for to do arduino + sensors + wireless projects. So this post is to talk about those boards in particular and to recommend them to you.
Sun Hayato’s new breadboards have three primary differences, but they are important ones for arduino users. The first is that they connect 6 pins in each row instead of the usual five in the main component layout area. This is a big deal because when you place an arduino pro mini or xbee or an LCD on your board, it takes up quite a bit of space by covering a few unused pin holes in either direction. So, the extra pin in each row gives you just that extra bit of room to wire your component. The next addition is that instead of two banks of connected rows with a single slot down the middle to seat DIP components on, bracketed by voltage and ground lines on either side, you get a whole 4 banks of connected rows with three DIP sized slots down the middle, and the power strips are at the *ends* rather than the *sides*. Finally, there is one more block of connected rows at the end on the other side of one of the power strips that is perpendicular to the other blocks. This extra block is therefore the perfect area to place IO components like connectors, especially if you plan on putting your breadboard into some kind of case as is, as I plan to do, instead of transferring the circuit to a PCB board first.
Sun Hayato’s lineup of boards, including the usual layout as well as other snap on parts, is available at most Japanese domestic electronics shops both online and offline. However, I did not see much info about them in English, so here is a link to the export side of Japan’s number one online mall, Rakuten Ichiba, called Rakuten Global Market. Just search for the part name and you might be able to shave a few cents off the price that I’ve linked to. Also, this is a good site to search for stuff that cannot otherwise be sourced outside Japan.
Sun Hayato new solderless breadboard model SAD-11 (with added banana plug connectors for power)
These aren’t affiliate links by the way, so I don’t profit if you click on them and buy something.