It is common wisdom that solderless breadboards are only good for low frequencies. But how fast can they really go? There’s been a contest going on to see who can make the fastest breadboard-mounted oscillator and [Joe Smith] has been trying to keep his leading position. He’s already managed 6 GHz and now he’s shooting for 20 GHz, as you can see in the video below.
One of the biggest challenges at these frequencies is just measuring your output. You may have a scope, but how does it do at 20 GHz? So half of the story is how [Joe] managed to monitor his output.
You’ll see in the video that while the breadboard is just an ordinary-looking breadboard, it is covered with strange-looking cages, feed lines, and shields. The rules prohibit using ICs and crystals, so if you want to compete, you’ll need to brush up on your RF skills.
If you enjoy this sort of thing, there are several older videos on the topic from [Joe.] We aren’t sure what practical use there is to building a microwave transmitter on a breadboard, but we get the sport of it.