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Cheap bread board jumper wire!!
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Cheap bread board jumper wire!!

by whiskey on Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:52 pm

If your looking to save a few dollars you can always pick up some CAT3/CAT5 (ethernet,phone) wire from your local hardware store for just over a $1.00 per foot. The good thing is that it consists of 8 pieces/different colours/8 feet in total of AWG22/24? wire perfect for bread boarding :D

I also recommend picking it up in small lengths (around a foot) because the wire is wrapped in pairs of two so it's going to take a little elbow grease and patience to get them unwrapped but what else you got planned for the day!

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Re: Cheap bread board jumper wire!!

by granzeier on Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:10 pm

Great idea! I use this myself and it is pretty cheap.

One thing to beware of: some CAT-5 comes in stranded-core format. The solid core is great, but stranded-core and proto-boards do not play well together.

Something else that I like is using male pins from DB-xx type plugs. Crimp one of these on each end of your jumper wire, and then use a short piece of shrink-wrap tubing on the crimp part of each pin; walla! instant professional proto wires. These are much more durable and will last much longer.

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Re: Cheap bread board jumper wire!!

by rct on Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:12 pm

Scrap wire can be useful in places, but you need to be careful not to damage your breadboard or break off a wire inside one of the holes, especially if you bend solid wire too sharply or too many times.

The adafruit breadboard jumper wire kit for $6 which has the pins on it already seems like a modest enough investment. It looks like the Arduino starter kit and experimenter's pack include them too. ... cts_id=153

When I was a kid, I got a lot of my hookup wire supply from a 30+ ft piece of 25 pair telephone cable that had been discarded. it was a project to break out all of the pairs and roll them up but you get a lot of different colored pairs.

Discarded cat 5 patch cables (because the tab on the RJ-45 connector has broken off) can be a good source of stranded hookup wire. Not for breakboarding though.

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Re: Cheap bread board jumper wire!!

by adafruit on Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:06 pm

we also used to use telephone wire, but those wire bundles are nice for the first 'run' of prototyping (which is why we snapped them up!) usually for a proto we start with 'em but then move to 22awg to get nice small jumpers that are less messy

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Re: Cheap bread board jumper wire!!

by extremesanity on Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:53 pm

Not a bad idea, I think I will try that. Currently I've been using 22 ga solid wire from radioshack, works very well and is relatively cheap: ... Id=2049742
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.