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I am interested in teaching young kids how to build arduino projects. I was thinking that using a breadboard may be difficult for them, as the holes are all very close together. It is easy to put the pins in the wrong hole.

Are there any breadboards with larger hole spacings that could make it easier to use for kids?

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    Honestly, I think kids would be very likely to plug in things wrongly, even if you've got an awfull lot of spacing. This might be due the fact that they don't really understand why/how to wire stuff. I would suggest adding some dedicated irreversible connectors with GND&5V to your board. And add the same kind of connector to all the peripherals. You should also add a current limiting resistor on every Arduino-output pin. From there, you can add some nice "banana-connectors" as signal lines to all the devices you want them to be able to control. – Paul Mar 4 '16 at 12:03
  • What should they be able to connect or learn? – Paul Mar 4 '16 at 12:10
  • I'd also suggest that you'd use Ruggeduino's rugged-circuits.com/ruggeduino, they're meant to be tolerant to errors. – Avamander Mar 4 '16 at 14:45
  • What age? How secure? – Mikael Patel Mar 4 '16 at 17:45
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The problem (probably) isn't only because it's too small, wiring can be hard to understand.

I think this might be a solution: enter image description here

It'll cost you some work. But it will get difficult for them to wire it wrongly. Also, I believe coloring them, will make the kids understand it much better. This way they would also be less likely to short out pins etc. Saving you some rangers/arduinos.

Be sure that the power-connectors are not reversible. And you should use a separated supply (with overcurrent protection and what not) and tie the GND to the arduino GND. This way you could even use the supply power for heavier devices.

I'm not a 100% sure on the resistors though, they might interfere with some things you want to make/show.

Maybe even add blue color for inputs and yellow for outputs (or whatever the standard is). Or you might even make generic connectors, like on the Lego NXT robots, that's some really easy wiring! http://www.philohome.com/nxtldraw/NXTkitLDview.jpg

Or check out projects like: "LittleBits Arduino". https://s3.amazonaws.com/lb-spree/spree/products/2003/large/ArduinoDetail4.png?1423167488

And, check http://www.rugged-circuits.com/ruggeduino/ on 10-ways to destroy your arduino. If you take these things into mind, you can make a pretty solid Arduino, so that wrong wiring won't lead to any damaged Arduino's etc.

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Breadboards are made to work with components of a standard size - a breadboard with larger hole spacing would not be able to fit standard through-hole chips. I have never seen such an item.

Having said that, I have had a lot of success using alligator clips. You can clip them directly on to wires for LEDs, resistors, capacitors, so long as you make sure they legs/clips don't touch.

Then there are made-for-children systems, snap-together, like http://www.vk3bq.com/2013/08/17/snap-circuits-electronics-kits/ or http://mashable.com/2013/05/21/lightup-magnetic-building-blocks/#t5Kq_yIDpaqr

  • I have one of those snap-circuit systems right here. However it probably doesn't lend itself to Arduino projects. – Nick Gammon Mar 4 '16 at 7:22
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enter image description here

or

enter image description here

or

Maybe use something like Littlebits, which uses magnets, but is kind of expensive.

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Build your own breadboard!

Literally, a wooden board with a grid of small woodscrews screwed into it, each screw holding down a cup washer.

Connections are made by trapping component leads and wires under the edge of the cup washer before screwing it down.

You need components with reasonably long leads, and it might still be necessary to solder longer wires to the leads in some cases.

I am told that in the olde days, this is how hobbyists used to do it...

Here's a link to an example (I read a copy of this book as a kid): http://www.mds975.co.uk/Content/george_dobbs_trf_radio.html

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    Alternatively you could use something like an "Electronics springboard" learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/…. By pushing the spring sideways, you get some space to push in the wires. When you release the spring, it will put tension on the wire, and trap it. – Paul Mar 7 '16 at 9:37
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    I just wanted to mention that your example is a very good read, it's an old source (which makes it even better) but is very informative. – Paul Mar 7 '16 at 9:45

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