March 14, 2011

How to Make your own Breadboard Jumper Wires

Jumper wires are handy little things that you can pay a lot to have them made, or you can make your own really cheap.

All you need are: 

  • A piece of LAN wire (you can buy this for 50 cents a meter, or a couple feet), this is what the inside of it looks like. Strip the outer insulator, and get the 4 couples of wires. So we have 8 wires that you can cut at the size you want.

  • A strip of these female pins. These are also very cheap, you can probably buy a 20pin strip for a euro, or a dollar.

  • Plus a soldering iron, solder wire and a breadboard to hold the pins. You can probably make these without a breadboard but it makes it so much easier.

  • Finally you need a wire striper, and a pair of pliers.

Now take the first two pins and place them on the breadboard, to keep steady. Then take one of the wires, strip the ends and put one end in the first pin. Trying not to touch the wire use the iron to solder the wire in the pin.

After you are done with the first, continue on the second pin, with the other end of the wire. 

If you get the hang of this, and have a steady hand you will finish quickly.

This is the jumper wire finished, it took me about 30 seconds to solder it, and my soldering skills are awful.

And these are the wires I made in 20 minutes.

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Happy Tinkering!

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  1. Clever, but it seems like this is the sort of thing it would be faster and easier to source on eBay than create yourself. I counted 18 dark spots in the image of your jumper, so that's 9 sets of jumper wire in 20 minutes.

    This random eBay seller ( no affiliation) will give you 210 of them for $16, or about 8 cents per jumper and you'd have them in a few days (and have plenty left over for the next project.) Doing it yourself if you need one or two extra might not be a bad idea, but this is the sort of thing where my time is more valuable than my $16 and I'd spend it doing something else than creating short lengths of wire.

  2. Obviously this is not something you will do to make money or save. Someone can make these for you cheaper and faster.
    But it's what you can do it when you can't wait for the delivery to arrive, or just what a beginner can do to improve his soldering skills.

  3. As headers over here are not so cheap, I just nuy them off of Dealextreme where they are pretty cheap. If I really need a special one I take a piece of wire I clipped off a resistor or diode. solder that to a wire and add a bit of heatshrink