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The Awesome Art of Bodacious Breadboards
9/10/2013

A genuine Max Maxfield breadboard-based prototype. (Click here to see a larger, more detailed image.)
A genuine Max Maxfield breadboard-based prototype.
(Click here to see a larger, more detailed image.)

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Caleb Kraft
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good intentions
Caleb Kraft   9/10/2013 4:44:52 PM
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I always start out thinking I'll make a project perfectly neatly. I trim everything to length, I lay out everything perfect, and then when I blink, it all comes undone. A spaghetti mess lies in front of me each time and I'm helpless to stop its arrival.

David Ashton
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Bookshelf Art
David Ashton   9/10/2013 7:35:24 PM
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All I can say Max is, if you can afford to use that number of breadboards as bookshelf art, you're getting paid too much :-)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Bookshelf Art
Max The Magnificent   9/11/2013 11:05:08 AM
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@David: ...if you can afford to use that number of breadboards as bookshelf art, you're getting paid too much :-)


Paid? I do this for the fun of it LOL

I actually picked these breadboards up pretty cheaply from a local electronics shop that was closing its doors.

Also, you never know if I might one day want to resurect this little rascal, in which case I certainly don't want to wire it up a second time LOL

antedeluvian
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Neat Wiring
antedeluvian   9/11/2013 9:32:59 AM
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Max

Your board is indeed a masterpiece. Coming from Southern Africa where wiring in the house is (or rather was) inside a conduit, looking at wiring inside a North American house was a real shock (pun unintended).

I remember watching a telephone technician installing a switchboard and he took forever. Every wire had to be level and at right angles even though the walls weren't. He had been trained at British Telecom (I am talking 30+ years here) and he said the inspector would come in after the job with a spirit level.

More recently I was working on a project for hammer mills (those barrel type things that smash up yard waste into smithereens so that it can be used as compost) and the guy who built the panels apparnetly had a doctorate from some Beijing university. I don't know what the doctorate was in but the beauty of his wiring (and this was in production) was something that was on a par with yours. I wish I had taken some photos.

As for me, I start out with good intentions, but by the third wire it is a bird's nest.

I will select the one that best matches, complements, or contrasts the other components on the board. Am I the only one who does this, or is this common practice?

From what I have seen in the industry you are in a definite minority. Come and join us on the dark side!

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Neat Wiring
Max The Magnificent   9/11/2013 11:06:45 AM
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@Antedeluvian: I remember watching a telephone technician installing a switchboard and he took forever. Every wire had to be level and at right angles even though the walls weren't. He had been trained at British Telecom (I am talking 30+ years here) and he said the inspector would come in after the job with a spirit level.

That's the sort of attention to detail I love -- but you rarely see it anymore...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Neat Wiring
Max The Magnificent   9/11/2013 11:07:51 AM
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@Antedeluvian: ...the beauty of his wiring (and this was in production) was something that was on a par with yours. I wish I had taken some photos.

I wish you had too -- maybe next time...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Neat Wiring
Max The Magnificent   9/11/2013 11:08:35 AM
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@Antedeluvian: From what I have seen in the industry you are in a definite minority.

I dare to be different :-)

Aeroengineer
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Re: Neat Wiring
Aeroengineer   9/11/2013 11:14:48 AM
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I tend to go from a rats nest to refined.  As I confirm that I have indeed gotten things wired out correctly and that I am not likely to make any changes to that section, I then start nailing things down a bit better.  This is somewhat the way that I do my PCB work as well.  Everything is a bit of a mess, but then I play and refine till I get what I am looking for.  I hate leaving things as a rats nest.  Even messy computer wires on the back of a computer bother me.  I usually end up bundling them up into nice wire bundles. 

 

bblack
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Breadboards
bblack   9/11/2013 9:39:42 AM
Sometimes rats nests aren't all bad. Many years ago I wire wrapped a dynamic memeory board for a prototype. It didn't work properlly due to capacitivecoupling between the wires. The wires were all laid out in neat rows together. The cure was ro rip out the wiring and go point to point resulting a real rat's nest. The board worked just fine after that.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Breadboards
Max The Magnificent   9/11/2013 11:10:43 AM
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@bblack: ...It didn't work properlly due to capacitivecoupling between the wires. The wires were all laid out in neat rows together...

That is a really good point -- fortunately not a problem in my circuit due to relatively low clock frequencies and edge speeds, but I can see where it could easily become an issue.

Max The Magnificent
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I took my pain pill...
Max The Magnificent   9/11/2013 12:55:59 PM
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I'm surprised that no one has commented on my "I took my pain pill..." bird thingy...

David Ashton
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Re: I took my pain pill...
David Ashton   9/11/2013 8:39:37 PM
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@Max...I was going to, but then I followed the "Why are you still here?" advice and went somewhere else.....

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I took my pain pill...
Max The Magnificent   9/12/2013 12:27:45 PM
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@David: @Max...I was going to, but then I followed the "Why are you still here?" advice and went somewhere else.....

LOL

alunh_1
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Re: I took my pain pill...
alunh_1   9/17/2013 4:44:16 AM
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I guess the Bob Pease approach would not make you happy:

See http://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/bob-pease-breadboard.htm

Ta

 

 Alun

 

David Ashton
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Re: I took my pain pill...
David Ashton   9/17/2013 6:24:18 AM
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And I'll bet he knew exactly where every wire went!   

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I took my pain pill...
Max The Magnificent   9/17/2013 11:39:11 AM
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@David: And I'll bet he knew exactly where every wire went!

I once met Bob -- I bet you're right :-)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I took my pain pill...
Max The Magnificent   9/17/2013 11:38:16 AM
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@alunh_1: I guess the Bob Pease approach would not make you happy: See http://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/bob-pease-breadboard.htm

Let's put it this way, which design would you prefer to debug -- mine or Bob's? LOL

jjulian274
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Re: I took my pain pill...
jjulian274   10/1/2013 6:14:32 PM
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I had to say it, but Bob's.  Mainly because I'm sure there wouldn't be any bugs to have to work out :)

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I took my pain pill...
Max The Magnificent   10/2/2013 10:26:23 AM
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@jjulian274: I had to say it, but Bob's.  Mainly because I'm sure there wouldn't be any bugs to have to work out :)

I think any bug would have been scared to raise its head in Bob Pease's lab :-)

Stargzer
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Re: Bob Pease Breadboard
Stargzer   2/7/2014 6:33:18 PM
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That photo of the Bob Pease breadboard reminds me of the BYTE Magazine cover from the early days, a picture of a hand-wired microprocessor (might have been all TTL, no 8080 or anything) that a hobbyist made.  His cat knocked over the part of it shown on the cover but the computer still ran.  It was a rat's nest! (Maybe that's why the cat knocked it over)

kfield
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Elegant!
kfield   9/11/2013 9:34:49 PM
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Max - are you obsessive-compulsive?

David Ashton
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Re: Elegant!
David Ashton   9/17/2013 6:25:06 AM
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(he is, but he doesn't like to admit it..... :-)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Elegant!
Max The Magnificent   9/17/2013 11:34:25 AM
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@kfield: Max - are you obsessive-compulsive?


Well, I was brought up as a Wesleyan Methodist, but I'm open to different points ov view LOL

Duane Benson
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Symmetry
Duane Benson   9/12/2013 11:05:20 AM
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I try, as much as possible, to put symmetry in my PCBs. I try to keep trace spacing the same and even put parts consistently oriented. It's not always possible, but I always seem to at least try to do it that way. It is kind of an obsession.





 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Symmetry
Max The Magnificent   9/17/2013 11:36:28 AM
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@Duane: I try, as much as possible, to put symmetry in my PCBs.

Yes! That's what I'm talking about -- you don;t havwe to spend time doing tyhis -- but you choose top because it makes uyou more "satisfied" with the final product -- right?

Duane Benson
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Re: Symmetry
Duane Benson   9/17/2013 1:17:02 PM
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Max - In aviation, they used to say that an airplane had to look good to fly well. I'm aware that it's not necessarily true, but I pretty much have that same attitude about PCBs.

But now, I'm sad. I have no idea how I missed it, but the top pin on my ICSP header on the right side of the board image is 0.1" lower than the I2C header on the left. That's going to bother me, like forever, I think.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Symmetry
Max The Magnificent   9/17/2013 1:31:38 PM
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@Duane: I have no idea how I missed it, but the top pin on my ICSP header on the right side of the board image is 0.1" lower than the I2C header on the left. That's going to bother me, like forever, I think.

I wasn't going to mention that :-)  Maybe you can gome up with a reason to re-spin the board :-)

Wnderer
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Fritzing
Wnderer   9/17/2013 9:52:07 AM
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Have you seen Fritzing? Fritzing is this free program for converting breadboarding into PCBs and schematics.

 

http://fritzing.org/

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fritzing
Max The Magnificent   9/17/2013 11:40:47 AM
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@Wnderer: Have you seen Fritzing?

I hadn't, but it looks very interesting -- thanks for sharing.

 

TomBurgmann
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On Display
TomBurgmann   10/21/2013 5:16:30 PM
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In high school an early project was to 'bread board' an entire AM/FM transistor radio kit. (1971)

I hammered in the nails for every connection node to exactly the same height and perfectly perpendicular. Every component lead was trimmed and soldered to those nail heads with a clean and shiny dome. The radio powered up and worked the first time. It was beautiful.

Then I learned the error of my ways. The teacher expropriated the project and put it in the school display case for the next 2 years. Meanwhile I got squat.

I now hide my artwork within robust enclosures. 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: On Display
Max The Magnificent   12/19/2013 5:23:44 PM
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@TomBurgmann: Then I learned the error of my ways. The teacher expropriated the project and put it in the school display case for the next 2 years. Meanwhile I got squat.

LOL, but I feel your pain.

Stargzer
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Re: On Display
Stargzer   2/7/2014 6:39:23 PM
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@TomBurgman: "The teacher expropriated the project and put it in the school display case for the next 2 years. Meanwhile I got squat."

The teacher was doing you a favor by preparing you for the real world, where everything you do is taken over by the company you work for, in some cases, even the stuff you do on your own time.  :- (

 

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