jonesypeter
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Breadboards

Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:23 pm

Hi,

I purchased a small breadboard from Tandy, and it has blue tape on the back, which on peeling off keeps the pins in place.

I'm sure when I did electronics in my youth they were more sturdily built. Can anyone suggest ones with stronger construction?

Thanks

Peter

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Jednorozec
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:22 am

When I did electronics in my youth solderless breadboards didn't exist. :(

I've never had any trouble with any of the solderless breadboards that I've purchased. Here's one of the places that I've gotten them from http://www.adafruit.com/category/82
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meltwater
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:07 am

I can remember having that issue with a board at school (many years ago) the issue was that the board had an adhesive back for mounting. Of course, being a kid, I peeled the back off and stuck it to the table...as you do...removing it pulled the backing off and all the pins out with it.

To this day, most boards I've found have adhesive backs (although not re-tested what happens when you stick them to the table). I'm sure many other kids will try this experiment though.

I guess one solution is to peel the back off and stick it to some card (or plastic) - perhaps print the GPIO pin-out table on it as a bonus.
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Tandy
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:12 am

That is the way breadboards have been made since they were introduced in the 1970's and you will find all breadboards are made in this way. There are two types of backing used on breadboards a vinyl tape or a double sided foam, the problem with the foam is that if you don't stick it to something the backing peels off and they end up sticking to things you don't want.

If you are concerned about the back of the breadboard getting damaged then you could attach it to a backing board of some kind or buy one that comes with a backing board such as http://www.tandyonline.co.uk/universal- ... board.html perhaps a breadboard attached to its own backing board is what you remember.
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Tandy
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:17 am

meltwater wrote:most boards I've found have adhesive backs
Seems our replies got posted at the same time the small breadboard 276-175 as used in the In Control articles doesn't have an adhesive back for that very reason, it has a blue vinyl covering. But as you say most have the double sided adhesive that unless you stick it to something can be a pain.
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morphy_richards
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:52 am

Tandy wrote: Seems our replies got posted at the same time the small breadboard 276-175 as used in the In Control articles doesn't have an adhesive back for that very reason, it has a blue vinyl covering. But as you say most have the double sided adhesive that unless you stick it to something can be a pain.
Wow! I've heard of corporate consciousness but I didn't realise they could actually talk. Hello Tandy, I can remember when you were just a little shop in the town centre where I bought batteries sometimes and now just look at you! (my haven't you grown) ;)

boyoh
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:13 pm

Advice on getting a bread board is get the
Best you can afford, It will last a life time,
If possible get one with in/put connectors for
A portable power supply I have attached
A photo of my lay out , You will see the
Interface board I designed between
The Pi and the bread board
Also on the interface board I fitted
4 opto Isolators , not the DIL type
But some surpluses I bought
That could be a future project for you

BoyOh
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Pi Board 006.jpg
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scruss
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:27 pm

morphy_richards wrote:Hello Tandy, I can remember when you were just a little shop in the town centre where I bought batteries sometimes and now just look at you! (my haven't you grown) ;)
Hey, if you're of a certain age, you'd remember getting free batteries from Tandy … just bring along your Tandy diary once a month.

Here in Canada, Tandy is something quite different. We don't have a Radio Shack (= fairly close to the UK Tandy stores of old) any more, but what's left of them became (the rather dismal) The Source.

Good breadboards come with a metal plate that can go over the sticky bit to provide a tiny bit of RF shielding. Really good ones come with a coated metal plate, so you don't short stuff out if you accidentally poke a lead in too deeply.
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:25 pm

Tandy wrote:That is the way breadboards have been made since they were introduced in the 1970's and you will find all breadboards are made in this way.
I certainly used to have some from RS ages ago (15-20 years), that had grey plastic backs. These could be prised off and the contact rows taken out individually for replacement, then the cover snapped back in. However I have never had to replace any contacts so I'm not sure it was much use!

But that's being pedantic. Most of the ones I see now have foam on the back, which will pull off in the same way.

However these http://www.tandyonline.co.uk/electronic ... board.html ones from Tandy appear to have screw holes on the front, which is an improvement over the ones I use currently. Think I'll get some of those in a few weeks.

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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:39 pm

jonesypeter wrote: I purchased a small breadboard from Tandy, and it has blue tape on the back, which on peeling off keeps the pins in place.
I'd guess that's double sided tape so you can peel of the blue covering and stick the breadboard down onto something more solid.
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Tandy
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:56 pm

The 276-175 breadboard has remained the same since 1979 when it was first introduced by Tandy.
breadboards.jpg
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There are 4 screw holes in it for mounting.

While we are talking about the history of Tandy. The early company originally started out as family-owned leather goods company in Texas founded in 1919 by Dave L. Tandy and was Later taken over by his son Charles Tandy. Charles bought a small American electronics retailer called Radio Shack that they expanded massively across the USA. In the 1970's the Tandy name was used instead of Radio Shack to expand into Europe and Australia. The Leather goods company was separated from the Electronics business and the electronics business took on the name Radio Shack. The various Tandy electronics businesses outside the USA were all sold and in most cases re-named.

Tandy in the UK is no longer linked to Radio Shack in the USA as what was left of the assets of Tandy were acquired from Radio Shack in 2012. As a result the Tandy in the UK is the only remaining electronics retailer using the Tandy brand. Although we still stock many of the same products that were sold during the Radio Shack days we are in fact independent from Radio Shack and so are able to pursue a very unique direction for the revival of the Tandy brand rather than a clone of Radio Shack.
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:59 pm

I thought Tandy in the UK had disappeared years ago, they certainly did in the town near me.
You live and learn :D

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Tandy
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:05 pm

DougieLawson wrote:I'd guess that's double sided tape so you can peel of the blue covering and stick the breadboard down onto something more solid.
Just to clarify our breadboard 276-175 that I think the original poster was referring to has a blue PVC backing that should not be removed, it has screw holes for mounting the easiest thing to do being use some wood screws to screw it to a piece of wood or chipboard.

Our Twin Bus Modular Breadboard 276-002 on the other hand has a double sided sticky foam backing that you can peel off the backing and stick it to something.
Last edited by Tandy on Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:17 pm

gordon77 wrote:I thought Tandy in the UK had disappeared years ago, they certainly did in the town near me.
The UK shops have all gone they were sold off to Carphone Warehouse by Radio Shack when the UK company was struggling in 1999. They were at the time converted into Techno Photographic stores or Carphone Warehouse outlets. So although the company still existed it had all but disappeared from the UK for almost 10 years. The current incarnation of Tandy is on-line only at the moment essentially starting from scratch in 2012.
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Re: Breadboards

Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:05 pm

And Lovely to see you it is too.

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TonyD
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Re: Breadboards

Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:44 pm

jonesypeter wrote: Can anyone suggest ones with stronger construction?
I can't suggest a stronger constructed breadboard, but I can suggest one that plugs on top of your Pi

Image
Tony

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Re: Breadboards

Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:29 pm

I remember when Tandy had a shop in York ( UK )
I used to buy faulty electronic toys , and repaired them
For my twin grand sons . On closing down sale I
Bought a Radio Shack multimeter for £10 ( $6 )
Full price was £60 ( $45) & a half price
Wirless burglar alarm
But it was from Tandy's to Maplins UK was my next
Move, but I still follow Tandy's on the net
Last edited by boyoh on Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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meltwater
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Re: Breadboards

Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:24 pm

Maplins ends up being quite overpriced unfortunately, but the service is usually quite good.

I've always been pleased with my orders through Tandy (http://www.tandyonline.co.uk/) good prices and fast delivery.
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Re: Breadboards

Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:15 am

Maplin used to be good value and have a good range of components in their shop (yes, I used to go to the original shop near Southend), while Tandy were the expensive option.

Unfortunately Maplin seem to concentrate mostly on consumer-type goods and kits now and the component side isn't so good.

I shall start looking at the new online Tandy to see what they have to offer now :)

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Re: Breadboards

Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:49 am

rpdom wrote:Unfortunately Maplin seem to concentrate mostly on consumer-type goods and kits now and the component side isn't so good.
If you had a high-street shop, and on average you had one customer a week asking for a 4k7 resistor, and a thousand customers a day asking for a http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/ihealth-wirel ... cker-n52qu or similar, what would you stock?

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Re: Breadboards

Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:01 pm

As rpdom says the reason Maplin have moved away from the hobbyist and have become more of a 'boys toys' shop is primarily about the economics of running a shop. Back in the 70s and 80s when both Tandy and Maplin were selling components in the shops electronics and repairing or modifying equipment was popular.

However move into the 90s and there were two big changes happening. The rise in the popularity of the chip (integrated circuit) and the dramatic fall in the cost of ready made electronic equipment. Electronic equipment essentially became un economical to repair and building your own circuit became more expensive than buying a ready made product. This all resulted in a steep decline in electronics as a hobby so only a small group of enthusiasts would continue to build their own circuits just for the enjoyment of it. The Raspberry Pi illustrates this phenomenon perfectly because it is such a very low cost item that consists primarily of the Broadcom SoC. Manufactured using such tiny components that require precise manufacturing techniques means spending time trying to repair it or indeed build your own would be futile in most cases; so it is easier to replace it.

With huge rents, business rates and staffing costs to cover; both Tandy and Maplin had to change their main source of income in the 90s and as it turns out Maplin made the better choice. I guess with Radio Shack being the dominant electronics retailer in the US they naturally tried to replicate their model in the UK, the problem being that meant concentrating on mainstream electronic goods such as HiFi, TV & Mobile Phones. This is where they ran into trouble because the likes of Comet, Currys and Carphone Warehouse had already established their leadership in these areas and they just couldn't compete. Maplin on the other hand probably because it was run by an electronics enthusiast at the time started to sell less mainstream items like disco lights, in-car amplifiers and various gadgets that continued to appeal to their core customer who likes to tinker with gadgets. Ultimately while Radio Shack ended up selling off the Tandy stores to Carphone Warehouse, Maplin managed to keep going all be it struggling. Then eventually Maplin was sold to a venture capital firm who look at the business in simple financial terms concentrating on selling high margin gadgets and essentially abandoning the component business.

The situation is that even at the high prices they charge for components it will be difficult to make it work. For example maplin sell the 7805 regulator for £1.89, I don't know what their cost price is but considering we sell the same item for 39p when you buy 5 we can assume it is at least a little bit less than that so their profit on that item is perhaps £1.25 - 1.50. That sounds like a lot but assuming they pay £6.31 minimum wage to their adult staff they would have to sell 5 an hour just to pay for that 1 member of staff. That same member of staff on the other hand could sell two £50 toys/gadgets in an hour making them perhaps £30 profit that would not only pay for the 1 member of staff but also cover, rent, rates and profit for the owners. It is therefore clear why Maplin are not interested in the electronics enthusiast any more who wants to buy £5 worth of components. So the obvious thing to do is reduce the range and use the space for more profitable items while raising the price of the few items that are still stocked.

Saying all of that you might be asking the question how can Tandy sell small value electronic components selling them at reasonable prices if there is nothing to be made. We believe that there has been somewhat of a resurgence of interest in electronics in recent years mainly driven by initiatives such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi and as electronics enthusiasts ourselves feel there is a place for a hobbyist friendly supplier and that the internet makes that possible by having much smaller overheads than a network of retail outlets. The popularity of the likes of Adafruit suggests that this is the case. Being able to supply components at reasonable prices however relies on being able to sell a high volume of products to keep us busy packing up lots of orders and being able to buy from the manufacturers in sufficient volume to get good prices from them much like amazon does with books and music. A big thank you goes out to all who have ordered from us your custom is appriciated, the revival of Tandy is an exiting time for us and if you like what we are doing we hope you will help spread the word.
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meltwater
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Re: Breadboards

Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:03 am

Accessibility of good value components and electronics is also very important for the likes of Raspberry Pi and Arduino too.

Shops have had to change a lot due to internet selling, and they are still adjusting to the shift. In a lot of cases, going to the physical shop to buy something is more hassle than it is worth, I've often needed a bulb or fuse for the car and it was easier, quicker and cheaper to just order one online than to go to the shop pay over the odds and take potluck to if they had it in stock for a decent price.
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Re: Breadboards

Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:59 am

Being an old-fashioned type of guy, I like to handle the goods before I buy.
Also, having a well-trained slave (daughter) to buy essentials like bread, milk & newspaper, the only time I get out of the house is a trip to Maplins to discuss the pros 'n cons of their latest offerings.

On the other hand, using the web for essentials like 10k resistors and multicore solder means I don't have to take off my dressing gown for days on end (though solder-splatters on one's pyjamas tends to lead to disturbed sleep).
So I'll be making use of Tandy when the need arises.

gordon77
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Re: Breadboards

Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:06 am

Burngate wrote:Being an old-fashioned type of guy, I like to handle the goods before I buy.
Also, having a well-trained slave (daughter) to buy essentials like bread, milk & newspaper, the only time I get out of the house is a trip to Maplins to discuss the pros 'n cons of their latest offerings.

On the other hand, using the web for essentials like 10k resistors and multicore solder means I don't have to take off my dressing gown for days on end (though solder-splatters on one's pyjamas tends to lead to disturbed sleep).
So I'll be making use of Tandy when the need arises.
One problem is you can't always find anywhere that actually stocks things to handle. They will offer to order it in, but I can do that, and going back to see it will take me another journey.

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