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Starting out in electronics - which items to go with?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Starting out in electronics - which items to go with?
I'd like to set up a programmable utility module using a breadboard, (components), and a microprocessor.

My first question: which type of breadboard should I be looking for? And how would I power it?


Which microprocessor? Some have affordable development boards which do quite a bit of the work towards prototyping.

Beyond that any basic breadboard that accepts 0.1"/2.54mm pins would work for setting up some simple prototyping for conditioning pots, jacks, etc into the uC. Type "solderless breadboard" into something like Amazon and many options will come up, almost all of them looking pretty much the same. There are deals to get 3-4 at once for cheap and it's a good idea to buy more than you think you'll ever need - they're easy to link and it's way better to spend an extra few bucks and have room to spare than try to cram things into a cramped board and get huffy about it. You can pick up some jumper wires if you'd like, or just buy a roll of solid core wire that you can strip as needed. Personal preference really, pre-made jumper wires are way cheaper than they used to be but I personally like being able to cut wire to size rather than string 10cm of wire across a 1cm length. If you go that route get solid core wire that's heavy enough to mate reliably with the breadboard sockets - 22AWG works in most cases.

Power is applied with a simple wire/jumper to the power rails in the breadboard (usually the far left/right sets of sockets) and then distributed to rows as needed with a bit of jumper wire. For that you can use a bench supply if you want to get professional, or just a basic supply you can build if you want to keep things a bit cheaper. MFOS and others have quick and easy builds for +/-12/15V supplies, and you can regulate 3.3V or 5V from those in a corner of the breadboard with a few components. For quicker solutions in 5V/3.3V/1.8V ranges you can buy pre-built mini breadboard supplies from shops like SparkFun, some even running off a USB port. But not a bad idea to get practice with building clean regulation from 12/15V rails since most systems will have only that.

Once the circuit gets complex enough where you can't keep track of the breadboards anymore you might as well start cobbling together a layout for it in a PCB. Generally you'll be able to get away with some pretty minimal prototyping elements until you're far enough into development to have a decent idea of what you'll need to get close to your end goal.
As far as solderless breadboards go, I found that the cheap ones from Amazon can vary considerably in quality.

I had an Arduino project that I was breadboarding that went south and I spent hours trying to figure out the problem only to discover that the breadboard was defective. I was using an inexpensive board from Elegoo.

I ordered this Jameco board, which is high quality.
Since the original owner has not replied in a couple days, I'll ask a question:

What are the things that I will definitely need to pair with an arduino nano to start making eurorack modules and custom input devices.

From watching Look-Mum-No-Computer I know I will need breadboard, potentiometers, arcade buttons, small buttions, wires, etc... but I do not know which types and without just copying what other people do, is there a nice list of parts that are always good to buy?

Good websites to buy from are always welcomed too! I have just been using ebay and aliexpress.

Thank you all!
It really depends on the project you are working on. Sam, on LMNC, can be a little short of details sometimes, but if you're just getting started in DIY there is nothing wrong with copying a project. It's a good way to get started on getting familiar with the various DIY components and assembly techniques. Tayda electronics is a great place for purchasing your standard components, caps, resistors, simple buttons, switches, pots, etc. Arcade buttons are kind of a specialty item but are available from Amazon or eBay. This place specializes in arcade controls, kind of spendy but they claim high quality.
These: look pretty neat. Anyone used one?
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