Breadboard Bit for Xperimenters

I thought I might  submit this to the BitLab until I  read some of the criteria. With all due respect, I understand  rigid  protocols stream line the submission process, but  I'm a tinkerchimp, not a designer or engineer, all the technical details  are over my head, but this is a simple little rig anybody should be able to put together without much trouble, so just build it if you want one. 
 I  think it would sell as a 'Bit Kit' with an LB pc board, Bitsnaps, power strip/breadboard etc. requiring the user to do final assembly/soldering. Introduce soldering, working/experimenting with discrete components and prototyping using the good ol' 555, or other chips to students and Bitsters ready for a Bit more.
  I cobbled mine together out of stuff I had and the Bitsnaps that came with the HDK, but it's simple enough that anybody can put one together I think. You'll need a pair of Bitsnaps, a roughly 3"x3" piece of perf-board, a 3.25" breadboard power strip, a 170 point mini breadboard, (I'll probably use a 400 point breadboard in version 2, eliminate socket) a 14 pin chip socket, and female headers, a 2 pin female header with a jumper to bring the signal topside, and some 2 sided tape, soldering iron etc.

Notch the perfboard to fit the Bitsnaps and solder them in. I reenforced mine with JB Weld, you’re on your own here. Gently pull the tape off the power strip and carefully pry the ends up enough to solder wires to both ends of both metal strips, 2 black, 2 red, one of each on both ends, so that you can still push them back into place. Push them back into place. Cut a strip of 2 sided tape and put it on the back of the power strip, but don’t peel the backing yet. Figure out where you want the power strip, trim and strip the wires ( when you’ve got the wires the right length, go ahead and and solder them to the plus and minus of both Bitsnaps. Put the two pin header w/jumper where ever you want it and connect to center terminal of both Bitsnaps. If you used a socket and headers, test each pin for continuity with meter, test other connections for continuity. Attach a power module to the male and an led or buzzer module to the female, switch on to check continuity. (Hard lesson learned; Don’t use a probe on Bitsnap pins, I bent the pins on the first pair I tried to test this way.)
Partial Parts/Sources List; 170 point Mini breadboard; Jameco #2155452
400 point breadboar; Jameco# 2157693
555 CMOS chip Jameco #2146433
Bitsnaps LittleBits
If you have a friend who wants to build one, look at RadioShacks #2760327 Mini Breadboard kit for Arduino, it has 2 of both size breadboards ands some hook-up wires you can divvy up, go halves on a dozen Bitsnaps and you’ve got most of what you need for both of you to build a couple of 'em each.
In the video I’ve got a CMOS 555 in the socket with an led flasher circuit to experiment with different capacitor values.
Now, instead of flashing those leds with that 555, I can…?

P.S. The voltage on that battery after shooting the video was 5.5v
Hope ya’ll find fun in this, enjoy.


Very cool @waxmoose!

Your perf board DWARFS the official one. I especially like the built-in breadboard, it makes for a nicely compact, well integrated experimenting station. And yeah, 555s rock! They were my introduction to ICs many (many!) moons ago. And I still love playing with them. There is one in the heart of the pulse Bit I think.

Thank you very much! @chris101
That LB perf-bit is just too pretty for me to mess up until I know exactly what I want on it.

@waxmoose, do you have a closeup of how you notched the bitsnaps? I’m trying to the same.

Agreed, I have the same dilemma every time I look at that @ my $12 perf-bit.

I have a freshly hewn bitSnap tongue sitting on my workbench:

wow! how did you get those exact measurements? Did you use a dremmel to cut that out?

See my reply to you in the other thread for details (and bloopers).