Best wire gauge for prototyping

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by vindicate, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. vindicate

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 9, 2009
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    What would be the best wire size to get for general protoboard use?
     
  2. Potato Pudding

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
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    Try to find the kits of prestripped and bent jumper wires intended for protoboards.

    If you do it all yourself which is not that rough, make certain you remember that stranded wires are NOT what you want.

    Solid 20-24 wire in various colours.

    Have fun.
     
  3. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    You can buy one of the kits that includes bent and pre-stripped wires in assorted colors and lengths. 3M calls them jumper wire. Its kit number is 923351. Radio Shack and others probably have cheaper kits available. If you want to cut your own, I recommend 22 AWG solid insulated.

    John
     
  4. roadey_carl

    Active Member

    Jun 5, 2009
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    I just use the Strands from CAT5 cable. Just untwist them and cut them to length! Also if you require more current then just use a twisted pair!
     
  5. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I use solid 24 gauge wire myself, bought it specially for the purpose in several colors. I also bought kit boxes to keep it in, they are very inexpensive, so I could reuse it. I added a small length gauge on a set of strippers to help cut and strip it exactly to size.

    [​IMG]

    I want the protoboards to last as long as possible, they do wear out eventually, so I use wire that puts the least amount of strain on them over time (and still works).
     
  6. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
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    Bill brings up a good point; jamming large components (such as TO-220 packaged IC's) into breadboards will lead to a very short life. If you want long breadboard service life, solder on smaller gauge wires to insert in the breadboard sockets.
     
  7. vindicate

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 9, 2009
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    How about for perfboard/stripboard?
     
  8. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Are they meant to be reusable?
     
  9. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    I like the jumper wire kits myself, they come in common lengths that fit the breadboard perfectly. I do use Cat5 for stuff, just don't try to use Cat5E or Cat6 cabling, too many twists per inch annoying to get apart.
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I use too many wires myself for that approach. I wonder how many people have 5+ protoboards? :D And use them. To my mind the wire kits are way overpriced. I can buy a spool of wire ($5) and the box ($2) and have an infinite supply. The gauge I showed (not all the hash marks are visible in the picture) works very well for sizing wires.

    I have a better gauge now, thanks to a curious 4 year old.
     
  11. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
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    To amplify on this, I've seen students a plug T0-220 power components into breadboards and expect those tiny contacts to handle the current and heat these transistors/regulators deal with. You will know this by contact holes with brown rings...or completely melted plastic. :( Keep all high current components off the nylon breadboards.

    Ken
     
  12. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    Do you really need circuits that large on a breadboard? Once you can't fit an entire circuit on a single breadboard you should probably be putting it in a more permenant form on perfboard.
     
  13. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    Most of the breadboards I've seen the contacts are only rated for 1amp.
     
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