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The use of solderless breadboards to teach son electronics


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I believe that the first thing you have to aim for is enthusing / motivating your son and you in the subject. For this reason I would recommend more practical work than theory for starters.

There are these kits that you can build 100s of circuits with. I grew up with this one:


But it was named just Kosmos 300 or something back then. I particularly like these ones as they have a breadboard-like working area rather than springs.

It comes with a manual that shows you how to build the circuits and also some very basic theory behind, transistors, resistors and capacitors usually using the water analogy.

After having completed the circuits, you can have a look at transfering them on a breadboard and possibly on matrix board to begin using a soldering iron etc. At this stage you will also get to know your local part supplier.

That would be a great way to start I believe. If you wish, you can also buy a book on basic theory. The best thing you can do is visit your local bookshop and find one that matches your level and learning expectations.

In any case try to go in small steps and not too fast as you risk losing your son's enthusiasm who I believe is rather young.

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Dear Alex

Thankyou for reply. At the moment my son is 8. He is pulling apart old telephones, fax machines and TVs under my supervision. He has completed a lot of exercises in the Jaycar Electronics Books here is Australia with the spring type boards. I am struggling to keep up with the amount of interest he has in this field. I have a 30VDC power supply regulated to provide the necessary power for any projects that he can build on a breadboard.

I am not pushing his interest. If any thing I am trying to slow it down. Doing the projects are also away that we can both learn together and have some fun.

I don't believe in setting kids in front of video games. Getting out and doing things with my kids in what they like is the way to go.

Kind Regards


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You sound like a good dad. Your son seems to have the nack:

Ok, maybe it is a good time to learn soldering then and implement some circuits on a matrix board. Before doing so you can try the circuit on a breadboard. In this way he will be introduced to 'prototyping'.

There are abundant sources where you can find little circuits. Magazines might be a bit too complex, online you will find all levels and you can choose what is suitable. Websites such as this one have a projects section. You might also find books with beginners project in your bookshop.

Be selective about the projects you do, ask you son too. They need to be well documented and do something at the end of the day. LEDs and speakers are popular.

Also, try to blend in some simple 'applied theory' circuits like a capacitor being charged with a resistor, or a diode and an LED. Your son will develop and intuition about what components do which I cannot stress enough how important it is.

Finally, take all measures possible to shield your son from mains voltage but I am sure you have done this already. Also use an isolation transformer and a residual current breaker if you haven't. Part of the protection is to explain why it is dangerous.

In a couple years time you can talk about logic gates and other integrated circuits. Stay away from programmable devices such as microcontrollers at the moment as they are a 'black box' to the beginner.

Dont worry too much about the course of learning you take. Although your son seems to be already autonomous with his hobby, some supervision is advisable. Soon your role will change from demonstrator to student therefore be prepared to recognise your son's achievements, as I am sure you would do anyway. Keep reminding him of safety though. Since you will be the one funding his hobby for the years to come, bite the bullet and choose high quality equipment with safety certificates. Even a simple screw driver can slip and injure your hand if the tip is made from a cheap soft alloy.

If you have any questions please do ask here. Good luck and well done for your efforts.
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  • 1 month later...

Would anyone know of any basic information, and circuits that I could put together on a breadboard to teach my son electronics as well as myself.

Thanks Circuits


Whatever you do, don't be tempted to buy a cheap huge breadboard on eBay from China - stick to the good ones, like the Wisher brand that Dick Smith might still sell/used to sell. And congratulations on your attitude towards the young fella, Australia needs more kids with interests like us.
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

:) bread boards  have one problem the jumper wires you use for them sometimes breaks off and its left stuck inside and you cant get it out  when you want to plug in a part or wire  and even my intergrated circiuts dont stay in at times they pop out and they fit loosely  and for the small sizes they are  to small for some projects  and if you make the project compact  you get confused with the mess of wireing all over it so jioning together the bread boards to make a bigger one is the only option if you need more space  and it dose help to biuld the circiut in separate sections  on separte boards  so you wont be so exhusted in trying to find problems

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