Literal Breadboard Hack Forces It To Accept Dual Pin Headers

Usually when there is a clear demand for something, some entrepreneur will fill that demand. Unfortunately, no one seems to think there’s a need for a solderless breadboard product that can handle boards that have a dual row header. These devices have 0.1″ spacing in both directions, so while they will fit in a standard breadboard, the contacts will short out the adjacent pins on the device, which makes it worthless.

[Baz] needed to connect an RF24L01 module to a breadboard. Instead of connecting leads to the device or devising a breakout board, [Baz] actually hacked his breadboard. To make an area to plug in a dual row device, he took the breadboard apart, pulled the spring contacts, cut them, and then put them back in.

Of course, you have to make sure the cut is wide enough that the two parts of the spring won’t touch. It looks like [Baz] used a small screwdriver to help the springs keep their shape and cut them with simple diagonal cutters.

This isn’t the first breadboard surgery we’ve seen. This might be a good way to use those tiny breadboards that accumulate, but never seem to get used. If you’d rather hack the module instead of the breadboard, you might get some ideas from the video below.

37 thoughts on “Literal Breadboard Hack Forces It To Accept Dual Pin Headers

  1. Use a dremel and get clean cuts instead of doing the wire cutter squishing and it works better. Been doing this hack for a couple of decades, I just dont understand why we cant get them made that way.

      1. Seconded!

        I like this solution better than the modified breadboard. I’m not sure I would trust the springs to stay in place and to always make good contact with leads once they have been modified. I also wouldn’t like the idea of suddenly having nonstandard breadboards. I might forget later that this breadboard was modified and wonder why some circuit does not work. Although.. I suppose that could be rectivied by marking the top side.

        I don’t like the idea of using an IDC cable though. It can flop around. It can get in the way. It’s weight could pull the pins out of the breadboard if it isn’t caried carefully. Using a dual row female header should solve all that.

        Of course.. some boards might have male female headers in the first place. I think I will solder up a bunch of both to have ready for when I need them.

    1. ive done a slightly less elegant variation on this with female headers. i just get a piece of perf board and put the female headers in the normal way. then i take some male headers, push the pins into the plastic strips so they are flush. insert from the top on either side of the female headers and solder on the bottom, then solder bridge the gaps.

      i made several 4-pin banks and i can use as many as i need, ive sanded them flush so they can line up well. if you want male pins you just use long pin male headers as a gender changer. i find its good enough for prototyping.

  2. I wouldn’t do this myself, because I’m too lazy. I have an assortment of female dupont wires and pin headers at hand and use them for connecting up the device.
    But I agree with y’all, how hard would it be to manufacture a slightly better bread board? Hows about an integrated 5/3.3v regulator and a battery/usb hookup? (Yes I know there are bread board/regulator combos cheap on eBay, but since it is two parts, I’m bound to misplace at least one of them)

    1. This is one of the reasons I still regularly use my old RadioShack 300-in-1 for a breadboard. Sure, it’d be nice to have USB on board (this predates USB significantly) or a 5v regulator, but it’s got a built in 6 AA holder broken out to the top in 1.5v increments….

  3. Back in the day, when wire wrap was king, I modified a bunch of two row female wire wrap pin header sockets. The long wire wrap pins (18 to 25mm) made it easy. Several ways to bend the pins to get the desired socket orientation and span the center of the BB.

    I always thought about cutting the center out of a BB and rejoining the halves for 0.100″ across the center, but never did. Losing the hole or two would be annoying for IC’s, I think.

    1. yeah me either (I’m the breadboard butcher). I had no header sockets, no DIL and more importantly no time. The breadboard cost me less than £1 so it was the cheapest hit to take.
      Nice link though, I highly endorse you endorsement.

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