Author Topic: 3M breadboards for cheap  (Read 10458 times)

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Online tooki

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3M breadboards for cheap
« on: June 16, 2017, 09:48:16 pm »
So there's a fairly wide consensus on here that 3M breadboards are among the very best, perhaps the best, on the market, discussed in e.g.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/quality-breadboards-on-ebay/
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/what-is-so-great-about-3m-breadboards/
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/quality-breadboards/


Anyway, 2 years ago I bought a single 3M breadboard from a local distributor. The actual item that arrived says "AP PRODUCTS MENTOR, OH" on it. (As do some items on the third page linked above.)

A bit of googling seems to indicate that while that company still exists (and lays claim to being the inventor of the modern breadboard), it doesn't look like they're still making breadboards, nor have any locations in Ohio. A bit of further googling, however, ends up with an Ohio company called Assembly Specialist, whose products include breadboards.

This page contains this nugget:
Quote
Bread Boards
Popular for protoype building and home hobbies. We offer 7 different size boards, all specifications can be found on our website. These are high quality boards originally produced by AP Products in the 70's and 80's and now owned and proudly produced in the U.S.A.by Assembly Specialist.

And indeed those breadboards look suspiciously identical to the 3M/AP ones -- all the way down to product names ("Super Strip" and "Circuit Strip") and part numbers (e.g. my breadboard, which is a 3M Circuit Strip, part number 923253, vs Assembly Specialist CS253), and errors in the data sheets (that item is erroneously described by both 3M and Assembly Specialist as having 620 tie points in 2x48 rows + buses, but it's actually 610 points on 2x47 rows + buses).

So I'd be willing to bet that Assembly Specialist is still the actual OEM making these things for 3M.

And they sell direct.

And they're incredibly cheap.

For example, the 3M 923253 is about $27 on Digi-Key, while the CS253 is under $9 direct from Assembly Specialist.

For the gold-plated version, the 3M 923749 is a $121 special-order item from Digi-Key, while the equivalent CS749 direct from Assembly Specialist is $40:o

I'm thinking I may order some from them to see. Figured you all would appreciate knowing about this, too.

FYI, they charge $11 shipping in USA, but their Paypal seems to not be set up for international, as it wanted to charge me no shipping at all to Switzerland, which can't possibly be right.


For reference, here are the product pages:

All 3M breadboard products
Assembly Specialists breadboards on baseplates
Assembly Specialists bare breadboards
 
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Offline rdl

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 10:50:22 pm »
I think you've made quite a discovery here. These look to be the real deal and the prices are fantastic. My favorite, the #318 is only 1/3 the cost of the same 3M board from Mouser or Digi-Key.
 

Offline ZeTeX

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 11:09:55 pm »
They also have the exact jumper links that 3M sells on their site, the same thing but with different logo.
but 3M jumper links cost about 47$ in digikey, while it cost 15$ on assemblyspecialist.com.
http://www.assemblyspecialist.com/WebStore/jumberWires.html

excellent find! now, everybody who want a suggestion for top quality breadboard, I will suggest them this.

 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 11:13:50 pm »
Hey look, I just stumbled (by pure chance!) on hard evidence that it's the correct company (such that we have an uninterrupted corporate chain of custody, so to speak). Look at the test clips on page 12 (PDF page 14) of the Nov 1986 Radio-Electronics. There's 3M and AP Products, clearly associated in a 3M ad. Was 3M just rebadging stuff? Or did they own them as subsidiaries or something, I wonder?

Assembly Specialist still makes those things, too.

In any case, in non-grocery retail (other than computers and similar complex finished goods), it's standard for the wholesale cost of an item to be no more than 40% of the retail price. This is right along what we are seeing here -- looks like Assembly Specialist is just selling them at wholesale. (Of course, when there's a middleman, you've got them buying at an even larger discount, so Assembly is surely charging more than 3M pays.)
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 11:15:14 pm »
I guess I should place an order for myself before all of eevblog inundates them with orders, hahahaha! :D (It can't be a large company, if their website tells you to contact Mike Such-and-such with questions!)
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 11:20:58 pm »
I think you've made quite a discovery here.

Indeed. Now to see if there's a cost effective way to get them in, or delivered to, anywhere other than the USA.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline CJay

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2017, 08:03:08 am »

Indeed. Now to see if there's a cost effective way to get them in, or delivered to, anywhere other than the USA.
Well if a group buy would make it cheaper by sharing the transit costs then count me in, I've got a load of breadboards already but they look a cut above.
M0UAW
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2017, 04:35:57 pm »

Indeed. Now to see if there's a cost effective way to get them in, or delivered to, anywhere other than the USA.
Well if a group buy would make it cheaper by sharing the transit costs then count me in, I've got a load of breadboards already but they look a cut above.
If only I were in an EU country I'd offer to do that, since I'm going to USA in less than a week. But then you'd all be stuck with customs fees, not to mention the relatively high postage from Switzerland.

If any of my fellow members in Switzerland want one of the boards without the metal baseplate (sorry, weight concerns!), I'd be happy to bring you some, as I will be ordering some for myself.

As for what these boards are like, my experience with having one: mixed blessing in a way. Compared to the cheap Chinese ones, the contact resistance is beautifully low, they don't loosen up with use so components and leads don't fall out. So the circuits built on it is far less likely to act up due to a poor connection or component popping out.

The reason for this, but also consequence of it, is that the insertion force is much, much higher than in cheap breadboards. It's practically mandatory to cut the legs on good-quality resistors on the bias to produce a sharp point; a blunt straight cut won't enter easily. Even so, it's usually better to use tweezers or small pliers to insert component leads with. By hand, you end up with resistors bent like spaghetti. Similarly, forget about forcing in massively oversize leads as you can in a cheap breadboard, they just won't go in. (A cheap breadboard's terminal strip will be permanently damaged by this, so it's not a good idea anyway, but it can be done in a pinch.) For such components, regardless of breadboard type, I highly recommend moving them off-board using sacrificial M-F DuPont jumpers, or male DuPont to minigrabber/alligator/IC clip leads. For power transistors and MOSFETs, using flat-jaw pliers to twist the legs 90 degrees is essential, they will not go in otherwise (this trick is helpful for cheap breadboards, too, as it avoids loosening their cheap contacts).

The high insertion force also means that you really should mount the bare breadboards on a baseplate, or hold them down on a bench when inserting components (no holding the breadboard in your hand!), because otherwise, you can actually press out the terminal bars, which are only held in place by double-sided foam (as on cheap breadboards, too).
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 07:57:36 am »
I'm gonna give them a call later today to ask about shipping to Europe. If there's anything you want me to ask while I'm at it, lemme know.
 

Offline Ash

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2017, 10:52:18 am »
So I attempted to place an order using their shipping cart last night, and I just got a notification that they refunded it and sent me a message saying they don't ship overseas..  :(

Looks like if we want to get these we are going to need a kind USA member to assist with shipping on some kind of group buy...

------
EDIT:

I've started a conversation with Mike at AP as he did offer to ship using my courier account.. He has confirmed to me that they white label to 3M so these are the real deal!

He also said that they don't keep everything in stock, but the lead time would be around 2 weeks.


I don't want to step on anyone's toes here, but I would be happy to help with a group order. However Australia is not the best place to redistribute from, but I've previously shipped products I've manufactured all over the world.

Anyone interested?

Ash.


« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 12:03:03 pm by Ash »
 
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Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 02:14:57 pm »
I really like those boards. The jumpers are first class too. I wouldn't mind to buy a bunch of them.

Offline cdev

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 02:29:39 pm »
The original "3M" breadboards last forever too. I have one which I know I bought in the 1980s and its still going strong.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline jwm_

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2017, 04:18:35 pm »
Yup. definitely 3M boards, I know because they accidentally put the wrong label on one of mine.

 
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2017, 05:29:43 pm »
Good find, tooki! Bookmarked.
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2017, 01:29:28 am »
The original "3M" breadboards last forever too. I have one which I know I bought in the 1980s and its still going strong.
Same here.  :-+
 

Offline cdev

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2017, 01:33:51 am »
You know they are the real deal because at the beginning its almost impossible to force your wires in there.

Note: I meant appropriately sized wires.. Good breadboards don't really lose their grabbing capacity with use, and the stiffness always remains to some extent, but lessens with a bit of use.

In my experience they work better than I would tend to expect, knowing how they are constructed.

Good breadboards are a real success story in terms of helping make electronics experimentation easier and more user friendly.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 06:02:46 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline evb149

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2017, 02:06:08 am »
What is the situation with what kinds and sizes of component leads can safely be used with these?

As I recall there's been a problem with some leads and some breadboards where "oversized" leads fit through the plastic apertures but the spring elasticity of the contacts isn't good enough so that the contact springs permanently deform after accepting such a large(r) lead and thereafter never make good contact with smaller sized leads.

Are these types of breadboards much better in this regard?  The previous comment about "they must be genuine because at first it is almost impossible to get a wire in there" leads me to believe that the contact elasticity isn't perhaps that great and that they do significantly permanently deform depending on what you insert into them.

I feel a it conflicted due to this.  I long ago mostly eliminated using through hole passives and semiconductors though I still use development kits / modules which typically have something like 0.64mm / 0.025inch length per side square pins which I've always thought were "too large" for breadboards which were designed to handle mainly small DIP IC pins and 1/4 Watt through hole resistor leads and similar significantly sizes, though maybe they've started making breadboards with 0.64mm per side pins in mind with respect to elastic contact compliance?

I'd like something as small as a 1/8W THD resistor lead or maybe a 26AWG wire or small flat DIP IC lead  to work in the breadboard but also up to 0.64mm side length square pins.

Are these optimum for the whole range?

 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2017, 03:28:20 am »
Has anyone torn bad and good breadboards apart to compare and measure in some quantifiable way just what makes one BB good and another bad?
Here are a couple of them. I believe there are more.....



 
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Offline rdl

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2017, 04:25:55 am »
One of those SYB-120 boards (same as in the first video) got me once when a circuit didn't work because the power rails were split with no indication. Then they got me again when I jumpered them across the middle and the circuit still didn't work. A number of boards I have, including 3M, have power rails that are split in half. That SYB was the first I've seen that was split in thirds.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 04:30:49 am by rdl »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2017, 04:53:01 am »
What is the situation with what kinds and sizes of component leads can safely be used with these?
Max Size Ratings (per 3M)
  • DIPs of all sizes & .032"/20AWG diameter leads for discretes
  • 22AWG solid wire for interconnects

Here are a couple of them. I believe there are more.....
FWIW, the busses on 3M's full length Super Strips and 3/4 length Circuit Strips only connect for half the total length. So 25 connected points on the Super Strip & 20 on the 3/4 length versions. So links in the middle are necessary if you want them connected end-to-end.

Full & 3/4 distribution strips are connected end-to-end.
 
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Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2017, 04:36:37 pm »
FWIW, the busses on 3M's full length Super Strips and 3/4 length Circuit Strips only connect for half the total length. So 25 connected points on the Super Strip & 20 on the 3/4 length versions. So links in the middle are necessary if you want them connected end-to-end.
Not quite. That is correct for the full length ones: they are two halves. But the 3/4 length ones have a contiguous strip. (I just checked mine with a DMM.)

See http://www.assemblyspecialist.com/WebStore/TSandDS.html

You can see that the full-length ones expressly show that they are 8 half-busses. And that the 3/4 length ones have no such qualifier.
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2017, 05:57:15 pm »
The better quality breadboards are modular and can be disassembled into their pieces.
Not all high-quality breadboards are like that. The 3M ones here come in versions with built-in (not snapped on) buses, and I don't think anyone would argue that 3M breadboards are anything but top quality.
 

Offline Nuno_pt

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2017, 06:01:46 pm »
If they don't ship internationally, if someone in US is willing to make some buy for the ones that want and ship it to one address in EU, and from that address in EU the distribution will take place to the group, or other way is get a Shipito address, ship it there and the to EU.

They shure look cheap compare to the 3M ones.
Nuno
CT2IRY
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2017, 07:49:34 pm »
Not quite. That is correct for the full length ones: they are two halves. But the 3/4 length ones have a contiguous strip. (I just checked mine with a DMM.)

See http://www.assemblyspecialist.com/WebStore/TSandDS.html

You can see that the full-length ones expressly show that they are 8 half-busses. And that the 3/4 length ones have no such qualifier.
You're right.   :-[

I mis-read 3M's Solderless Breadboard and Accessories document on page 5 (P/N's: 923253 & 923749), as I don't have any 3/4 strips to test.   :palm:

FWIW, mine is an older 3M model (ACE 127 with 3 binding posts instead of 4 & the metal plate is painted blue steel rather than gold anodized aluminum). It uses the gold plated versions of full length distribution strips & circuit strips (Super Strips).
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2017, 11:39:27 pm »
FWIW, mine is an older 3M model (ACE 127 with 3 binding posts instead of 4 & the metal plate is painted blue steel rather than gold anodized aluminum). It uses the gold plated versions of full length distribution strips & circuit strips (Super Strips).
Gold anodized aluminum?!? Modern 3M ones use red painted steel. See the pic in the post above: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/3m-breadboards-for-cheap/msg1241680/#msg1241680

(The 3M catalog says they're steel.)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 11:42:26 pm by tooki »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2017, 05:02:08 pm »
Gold anodized aluminum?!? Modern 3M ones use red painted steel. See the pic in the post above: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/3m-breadboards-for-cheap/msg1241680/#msg1241680

(The 3M catalog says they're steel.)
Currently they're steel finished in red gloss paint, but that wasn't always the case.

Gold Aluminum


Steel w/ blue crinkle paint finish (same as mine)


Keep in mind, both of these models were made decades ago (aluminum first, then steel).


 

Offline rdl

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2017, 05:38:40 pm »
The blue crinkle paint is what my two Radio Shack boards have. I bought them back in the late 80s. So to me that is more confirmation that, at that time anyway, time Radio Shack was selling re-branded 3M boards.
 

Offline knotlogic

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2018, 06:33:42 am »
So I purchased one of the Assembly Specialist breadboards, the full size SS252 model (the breadboard by itself without the metal mounting plate), and had a bit of a surprise.  It's the breadboard by itself without the metal mounting plate.

I should mention that I've never used or seen one of the 3M breadboards before, so I didn't think to look out for this.

It turns out that the bus rows along the sides aren't spaced 0.1" apart like I expected.  This isn't a fault in any way of the product itself, just that I have one of these SparkFun Breadboard Power Supply Sticks which are designed to plug straight into a breadboard.  And in this case, they can't.

As an aside, I also, for some reason I can't quite remember, purchased one of Assembly Specialist's DS293 "3-row Distribution Strip 6 rows of 6 connected 4 tie-point terminals", and the rows on that are spaced 0.1" apart.  I wonder if the same is true for the 2 row version, which would make it different from what comes in the full size breadboard.

Again, not a complaint about the product.  Just an unexpected finding.  :)

I also wonder what breadboard SparkFun designed that power stick for.  I have one of those brand-x-in-an-orange-box breadboards and it doesn't fit in that either.  While the adjacent bus rows on that are 0.1" apart, the rows on opposite sides of the board don't linen up with the mount points on the stick.

(Edited for clarity)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 01:40:18 pm by knotlogic »
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2018, 09:36:24 pm »
So I purchased one of the Assembly Specialist breadboards, the full size SS252 model, and had a bit of a surprise.  It's the breadboard by itself without the metal mounting plate.

I should mention that I've never used or seen one of the 3M breadboards before, so I didn't think to look out for this.
No offense, but the product images show clearly which items have a baseplate and which don’t. (I was just looking at the website earlier today.) No baseplate in the image = no baseplate in the mail.
 

Offline knotlogic

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2018, 12:19:56 am »
No offense, but the product images show clearly which items have a baseplate and which don’t. (I was just looking at the website earlier today.) No baseplate in the image = no baseplate in the mail.

Oh it wasn't the lack of a baseplate that surprised me - I wanted the one without a baseplate.  It's the way the bus rows weren't spaced 0.1" apart.  ;)

Now if I *had* received a  baseplate, that would have been a surprise.
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2018, 04:59:48 am »
Really weird wording, dude. You said it was a surprise, and the thing you mention is the lack of baseplate.

"Huh, this is weird. This fish tastes like chicken." - "OK, why are you surprised that this fish tastes like chicken?" - "Oh, it's not the flavor that surprises me. I didn't want broccoli."
 
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Offline knotlogic

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2018, 01:40:58 pm »
Yeah, reading it now it does seem a bit misleading.  :P Have edited it slightly to clean it up.
 
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Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2018, 04:18:27 pm »
And yeah, it is kinda weird that on most breadboards (at least, practically all of them I've seen/used) the bus holes don't line up.
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2018, 04:53:04 pm »
what are you talking about? The power rails?
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2018, 04:56:43 pm »
Yeah.
 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2018, 08:06:13 am »
I think this guy "knows" already quite a while: https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_ssn=paula111751&_from=R40&_trksid=p2499338.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.X3m+breadboard.TRS0.TSS0&_nkw=3m+breadboard&_sacat=0

I bought breadboards from him a couple of years ago, they are the real deal. Prices seems comparable with "Assembly Specialist"...

Good source to buy outside of the US.
 
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Offline CJay

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2018, 08:50:16 am »
I think this guy "knows" already quite a while: https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_ssn=paula111751&_from=R40&_trksid=p2499338.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.X3m+breadboard.TRS0.TSS0&_nkw=3m+breadboard&_sacat=0

I bought breadboards from him a couple of years ago, they are the real deal. Prices seems comparable with "Assembly Specialist"...

Good source to buy outside of the US.

Loads of interesting things but wow, the shipping prices...
M0UAW
 

Online james_s

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2018, 06:18:26 pm »
If they don't ship internationally, if someone in US is willing to make some buy for the ones that want and ship it to one address in EU, and from that address in EU the distribution will take place to the group, or other way is get a Shipito address, ship it there and the to EU.

They shure look cheap compare to the 3M ones.

Well, I would be willing to work with someone to arrange a group buy. I don't want to go into business shipping breadboards all over the world, but if someone in the destination country would like to organize the buy and have a batch of them sent to me, I'd be happy to re-ship via USPS it at cost, prices can be estimated at usps.com. Maybe toss in an extra breadboard for me to keep if you're feeling generous but really I don't mind helping out other hobbyists as long as it doesn't become an every week kind of thing, it's been handy to have contacts in other countries willing to return the favor now and then. \
 

Offline thanasisk

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2018, 07:57:29 pm »
I think this guy "knows" already quite a while: https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_ssn=paula111751&_from=R40&_trksid=p2499338.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.X3m+breadboard.TRS0.TSS0&_nkw=3m+breadboard&_sacat=0

I bought breadboards from him a couple of years ago, they are the real deal. Prices seems comparable with "Assembly Specialist"...

Good source to buy outside of the US.

Loads of interesting things but wow, the shipping prices...

For one 804 pos breadboard the final price would be very close to the prices from mouser.. (compared to the similar sized backplate version)
 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2018, 06:23:13 am »
For one 804 pos breadboard the final price would be very close to the prices from mouser.. (compared to the similar sized backplate version)

Yes, for one it probably not so interesintg. I bought the package of 10 however, as I have multiple things going on at the same time, and like to keep it populated. Sometimes the breadboard if even the "final" version...
 

Offline thanasisk

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2018, 01:01:25 am »
For one 804 pos breadboard the final price would be very close to the prices from mouser.. (compared to the similar sized backplate version)

Yes, for one it probably not so interesintg. I bought the package of 10 however, as I have multiple things going on at the same time, and like to keep it populated. Sometimes the breadboard if even the "final" version...

Same thing here,  keep running out of breadboards  ^-^
 

Offline thanasisk

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2018, 10:11:59 pm »
Reviving this old thread.. Has anyone in europe been able to order any breadboards from assemblyspecialist?

Thr gold plated one (equivalent to the 3m 923749) looks very interesting. I guess robustness of the contacts would be better compared to the «normal» breadboards (as is the cade with the molex gold plated connectors). This breadboard is impossible to order nowadays from Mouser/digikey in europe without a minimum special order of 10 pieces..
 

Online ebastler

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2019, 03:14:54 pm »
I have bought one of the Assembly Specialist boards now (#BB336, four of the white modules mounted on a base plate); just brought it back home from a US trip. Unfortunately I do not find it as convincing as I had hoped it to be:

The contacts in all four plugboard modules are too stiff, in my opinion. I struggle mightily to insert wire bridges -- I often have to resort to a pair of needle-nose pliers to jam the wire ends into the spring contacts, and have already mangled quite a few wires in the process. And yes, that's using 22 AWG wires which the breadboard is intended for, including those from the starter kit I also got from Assembly Specialists.

The contacts in the separate, horizontal rails across the top prove that they can do better. These are smooth to work with, the way I had expected. Easy to insert a jumper wire with your fingers, without bending the wires.

Apparently, the tolerances in making the breadboard contacts are too loose to ensure consistent contact tension. Disappointing. Not being US-based, it is impractical for me to get a replacement from Assembly Specialists; so I will have to chalk this up under "learned the hard way"...
 

Offline cdev

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2019, 03:44:58 pm »
You could try inserting a strong, conical piece of metal (Ive used the point on a cheap compass) in the holes to make them a bit more flexible. Of course, you don't need to poke every hole. Try every couple of holes or once in the middle of each row.. See if that loosens it up.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 03:48:39 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 
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Offline rdl

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2019, 03:59:32 pm »
A big problem people complain about when using cheap breadboards is flaky, intermittent connections. I have never had that problem using 3M boards. They are tight. I almost always have to use tweezers or something to insert leads and wire jumpers in them.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2019, 04:00:31 pm »
You could try inserting a strong, conical piece of metal (Ive used the point on a cheap compass) in the holes to make them a bit more flexible. Of course, you don't need to poke every hole. Try every couple of holes or once in the middle of each row.. See if that loosens it up.

Thanks cdev. Yes, I will play around a bit with various pointed objects, trying to find one which loosens the contacts up enough, without opening them up too far. Having to pre-poke each hole before pluggin in a wire would be annoying -- but still better than needing pliers to shove in the wire, and discarding one in four wires because I mangled it...
 

Online ebastler

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2019, 04:02:25 pm »
A big problem people complain about when using cheap breadboards is flaky, intermittent connections. I have never had that problem using 3M boards. They are tight. I almost always have to use tweezers or something to insert leads and wire jumpers in them.

Well, initially I was wondering whether "it's not a bug, it's a feature". But, as indicated above -- the contacts in the separate horizontal power rails have a tension that is much better balanced. Wish they were all like that!
 

Offline cdev

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2019, 03:13:55 am »
They loosen up with a bit of use, at least mine have. It doesn't take a lot of use. Any pointy object can be used, tweezers can do two rows at the same time.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline Peabody

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2019, 03:42:58 pm »
I've had good luck with breadboards from BusBoard Prototype Systems, most recently their BB830, which Arrow sells for US$7.84 with free overnight shipping.  Don't know about availablilty in Europe.  I've never used a 3M, so I don't know how they compare, but the BB830 gives reliable connections with easy insertion.
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2019, 12:35:46 am »
Also, it’s really helpful to snip component leads on the bias, so that they have a taper to push apart the contacts. This makes a huge difference in insertability. (Not just on 3M breadboards, on others too.)
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2019, 04:45:47 am »
Here are a couple of them. I believe there are more.....



I am puzzled as to why he's shorting power to ground. Not a fake video, is it?

edit: sorry about the time warp!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 04:47:19 am by dunkemhigh »
 

Offline jklasdf

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2019, 06:12:20 am »
Looks like it's for a split (+/-) supply.
 
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Online dunkemhigh

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2019, 06:25:23 am »
Ah! Good thinking :)
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2019, 09:08:58 am »
Split supplies are so common for some types of circuits, I wish they made breadboards with three buses on each side instead of two!
 
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Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2019, 12:54:52 pm »
ALL breadboards are made like that.  The metal contact strips are NOT made in continuous lengths.  They are made in discrete unit lengths. They are chopped into the groups of  5 for the vertical columns, and they are used "whole" for the horizontal (power bus) sections. 

The problem with this board is NOT how it is constructed.  The problem is that it is not labeled properly to show where the bus segments are.  I typically just solder jumper wires on the back side to make the horizontal nodes continuous.  Tempest in a teapot.  Nothing to see here. Move along.
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2019, 02:12:50 pm »
The problem with this board is NOT how it is constructed.  The problem is that it is not labeled properly to show where the bus segments are.  I typically just solder jumper wires on the back side to make the horizontal nodes continuous.  Tempest in a teapot.  Nothing to see here. Move along.
All the breadboards I used had a continuous busbar at the top/bottom that extended through the entire width of the board, except an ancient HP5035T that I used in the university labs. It was interrupted in the middle and caused a lot of trouble for us younglings... The only indication was a faint blue/red line on the component side - pretty easy to miss.

Tempest in a teapot.  Nothing to see here. Move along.
That is a common trait that, sooner or later, traps every Youtuber out there.
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline rdl

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2019, 04:51:00 pm »
Check out the SYB board front center. Rails are broken into thirds. Had me really confused for a few minutes first time I used it.

(click for bigger)
 

Online tooki

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Re: 3M breadboards for cheap
« Reply #57 on: June 01, 2019, 07:24:42 pm »
My Assembly Specialist haul:



1x SS748 (gold)
1x CS253
1x DS293
2x TS273
4x BB309
1x JW01
1x SS252

All told, this would have cost almost $650 from Digi-Key (and that's pretending you could order just one SS748; the actual minimum quantity is 10, which is kinda prohibitive at $262 each!), and it was $168 from AS, including $22 shipping (to USA).
 


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