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  • Writer's picturefezec

The 5eBoard

Updated: Feb 18, 2019

I have often stared at some of my simpler circuits occupying an 830 tie-point solderless breadboard and wished that I had a few 180 tie-point solderless breadboards lying around for projects like these. However, I've never purchased them as I greatly dislike that they lack a power bus-which is a really convenient feature. Needless to say I continue to rely on my 830 tie-point $7 Jameco solderless breadboards for projects such as the one below. What a waste of 809 tie-points.

5v Capacitor as the LED Power Source

You'd think that after I finish such a project that I might pack the components up and relinquish the breadboard to another project... but you'd be wrong. I'm very fond of my experiments big and small. Furthermore, I especially like the way my collection looks beside one another.

About 6 months ago, I came across a unique solderless breadboard that likened itself to LEGO. I was instantly intrigued. The boards are compact in size at 2"x2" or 4"x4", and either can easily satisfy smaller projects. However, they can combine with additional 5eBoards using their provided fasteners to allow for larger projects.

Two 5eBoards connected with their fasteners

The face of the breadboard, seen in the image below, lacks any tie-points. In their place are holes not intended for jumpers as would be possessed by a typical breadboard. Instead these holes are used to interlock with their patent pending assembling blocks (beside the board).

The standard 5eBoard kit contains 24 of these blocks with two protruding pegs located at each end. The advanced kit provides 48. Rather than inserting jumpers into the board itself, you instead plug your jumpers into these blocks, which can be arranged in any manner as you see fit-much like LEGO. They can be stacked, placed horizontally/vertically, and even at angles using the actual board as their base. Each of the 25 blocks possesses 5 .1" hole-to-hole tie-points. Furthermore, the kit also provides two special blocks that comprise the power bus consisting of 26 .1" hole-to-hole tie-points.

At $3.99 for their standard kit, I immediately took a chance on it and am quite pleased with the quality thus far. The connections appear tight and are have so far been reliable, which wasn't expected for such a cheap breadboard. While I'm not terribly keen on their selection of colors-violet, green, yellow, orange and blue, I believe this to be a fair trade off. In all fairness, I believe their color palette is specifically chosen for children. According to their faq page, the product name "indicates that 5eBoard is a new education platform based on the 5E instructional model of teaching and learning."

Child or not, I like this breadboard so far. I'll continue to update this post down the road to reflect my current reactions.

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