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One Enormous Breadboard

[Franklyn] wrote in to tell us about the The Hack Factory Big Board project. The Twin Cities Maker group, a Minneapolis/St Paul based hackspace, set out to provide an education tool to help students make the leap from schematic diagrams to bread board connections.   Naturally their conclusion was to create a humungous 10x scale bread board.  The board features scaled up yet fully functional capacitors, resistors, a dip switch, and the jumbo-est LEDs we’ve seen in a long while.

Like its 0.1″ pitch counterpart, passive components can be thrown in 1″ pitch breadboard to create a myriad of analog circuits. The Twin Cities folks even tossed together an optical theremin using a scaled up photoresistor.  Beyond analog circuits the board can also demonstrate various ICs using either a custom breakout board featuring an 8-pin DIP socket or a vacuum formed Atmega 328 which boasts an internal Arduino Uno. The cool thing about the giant 28-pin DIP is that it does not necessarily function as a microcontroller.  Instead the UNO will be loaded with chip emulation programs geared towards the lesson at hand,  jumpers  select programs to teach debouncing, logic, flip-flops, and a whole slew of other basic concepts.

We are a bit concerned that the next logical step is a gigantic soldering iron,  but at least we finally have something to interface to the huge liquid crystal display.  If you still want more giant circuit stuff check out this 555 footstool.

Check out a quick intro video after the jump!

Comments

  1. Mike Szczys says:

    That’s super fun. Nice work!

  2. karlexceed says:

    Awesome! And double awesome for Minnesota makers!

  3. n0lkk says:

    Of course an overhead camera and a projector would work, but lacks that far out factor that this has. Reminds me of the over sized slide rule that a professor in the physics department of a nearby university has setting on the top edge of his black board.

  4. Galane says:

    Macrochips!

  5. Jude says:

    This was a fun project. What may not be apparent is that it was constructed with mostly found materials. Although work on the project has slowed way down, it hasn’t completely stopped. I’m still working towards a furniture grade coffee table implementation.

    Young kids find building circuits in this size much easier.

  6. joesugar says:

    Reminds me of the demos my physics teacher used to do. And the fact that the parts are functional just makes it that much cooler.

  7. NewCommentor1283 says:

    its like at the science museum, execpt functional!

  8. HAD says:

    They should scale the voltage and current up too. 120VDC @ 5A seems about right.

    On second thought…. maybe that’s a really bad idea.

  9. Erik Johnson says:

    Have I just the RGB LED for you!

    http://lightbright.net/Lamp

  10. Hitek146 says:

    It would be cool if they made an IC with a flip-open door on top that you could open to reveal a control panel that lets you select a TTL IC from a list, and then have the microcontroller built in to the oversized IC emulate the selected TTL chip…

  11. Travis says:

    Also neat would be the ability to have the macro IC release smoke, as to simulate the destruction from mis wiring it.

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