Ultimate Breadboard Goes Overboard

Overboard Electronics Reference Breadboard and Power Supply
(Image credit: Bolt Industries / Ian Dunn)

The humble electronics breadboard is where projects are born, and sometimes we need more than one to realise our dreams. For times like this the Overboard Electronics Reference Breadboard, a crowd-funded project by Ian Dunn at Bolt Industries could be the solution.

The Overboard Electronics Reference Breadboard and Power Supply has space for four full-size breadboards, interlocked in the center of the FR4-PCB. With this number of breadboards, we can build incredibly complex projects using our favorite microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi Pico W, or we can solder up another Z80-based microcomputer. But, this isn't just a large PCB with lots of breadboards, it has a couple of cool features.

At the top of the PCB is a variable DC power supply which when fed between 6 and 24 Volts, can step-down to the exact required voltage thanks to a potentiometer. A built-in 500mA self-resetting fuse will take the hit should you encounter a power issue. The power supply connects to the rails of a breadboard, and from there, it can be connected to other rails using jumper wires.

Around the perimeter of the board are a series of electronics reference tables and pinouts for popular boards such as the Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi Pico and the Arduino Nano. There is even a schematic for the venerable 555 timer, resistor color codes, and Ohms Law.

This level of quick reference is sublime. We've lost count of the number of times that we've forgotten the pinout of a 555 and mistaken a 1K resistor for a 10K.

Ian Dunn and Bolt Industries are no strangers to these pages. Previously, Dunn created Pico 87, an 87-key mechanical keyboard that uses a Raspberry Pi Pico as its controller.

Starting from $25 for the basic pledge (no breadboard), there is also an option for a $45 pledge for the full kit. Remember that crowdfunding a project is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product. Backing a crowdfunded project is akin to an investment; you believe in the project and want it to succeed. You are not purchasing a retail product.

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".

  • Nikolay Mihaylov
    I would rather like to see a breadboard with more than 5 plug holes on each side. Currently, if you put an RPi Pico you only get two plug holes for each pin - the other two are under the Pico (and one used to plug the Pico into). Why not put power rails in the middle and push away the two 5-hole groups so we get more usable plug holes?