With all the new MSP430 projects running around, here are a few breadboard tips to get you get going quicker with less frustration and more ease. These hacks have been collected by scouring the web. Do you have any that you wish to share? Tip us here.

1. Inline LEDs

This tip is from the RobotRoom. This comes in handy when you are testing your circuit output pins. One LED inline with a resistor connected to a two pin female header is all you need, to attach it to a breadboard. You can also extend this tip to using Bicolor LEDs, to test direction control in H-Bridges.

2. Power Supply Connector Paper Clip Hack

Not for the faint hearted, you say. This is for one of those quickie moments when you need an extra supply line for your circuits. As long as you  are careful about not shorting your positive and negative terminals, you’re good. All you need is a paper clip, preferably a jumbo one and you can hook all the wires you want to it. This is only for bench top supplies that have short circuit protection in them. MachineGrid explains this in detail.

3. Breadboard Pin Label Reference

Always referring back to your microcontroller’s datasheet to make sure you got the pins right and you are not reverse biasing the power. This simple tip will surely save you some time and a smoke scare. You do need a printer for this. Todbot has one for the Arduino. Hopefully someone comes up with one for the 14 pin MSP430 series.

4. Staples [] as Breadboard Jumpers

No jump wires? No worries, use staples! No more stripping or cutting your wires to extreme short lengths. Use this tip to get your breadboard layout neater. Thanks to [J]immy from Instructables.

5. Coin Cell Powah

This is one wicked instructable hack. Want to know how your low power MSP430 project runs with a 3.0V coin cell ? It involves just two double row male headers which fit a CR1212 battery nice and snug. Good thinking [P]cairic.

Have a prototyping tip that has made your life easier or is just too cool? Share it with us in the comments and we’ll publish it in the next round of “Prototyping Hacks.” If not, leave a comment, makes us feel all warm and good!


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