Breadboard Tip: Twist the Wires Leading To and From the Breadboard

How can I improve my electronics prototyping skills?

Prototyping using a breadboard can be a rewarding experience. This can be enhanced by keeping all connections neat and tidy. This includes the wires leading to and from the breadboard as shown in Video 1. The results will make it easier to connect your breadboard. Perhaps more importantly, it will be easier to troubleshoot saving you considerable time.

Video 1: Short video showing the benefits of, and how to, twist wires using a power drill.

Tech Tip: Wire twisting is common practice. Twisted pairs are found in the common ethernet cable such as Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP). The twisting ensures close proximity of the wires and aids in reducing signal interference. The twisting prevents antenna-like action as the magnetic fields of the twisted pair tend to cancel.

There is a fundamental communications principle called reciprocity that tells us that antenna transmission and reception are nearly identical properties. Consequently, if the twisted pair tends to keep energy within itself it will also be relatively insensitive to induced energy. This allows multiple twisted pairs to be contained within the same cable. A perfect example is the four pairs in the UTP CAT 5E cable.

Procedure for twisting the wires

As shown in the video, it is very easy to twist the red and black solid-core 22 AWG wires that connect to the breadboard. This can be done quickly using a hand drill.

First, insert the wires in the drillโ€™s chuck.

Then use the drill to twist the wires.

And then, connect the wires to your breadboard as shown here for the power connection to this stepper motor drive.

Where can I learn more about prototype circuits?

A closely related topic involves the use of BNC adapters to connect the twisted wires to an oscilloscope or function generator. This convenient tip is described in this DigiKey TechForum post. You may also be interested in this landing page which contains a large number of related tips including this article describing how much current we may pass through a breadboard.


This simple tip takes moments to complete. It cleans up your circuit making it easier to see what goes where facilitating troubleshooting.

Best Wishes,


About the author

Aaron Dahlen, LCDR USCG (Ret.), serves as an application engineer at DigiKey. He has a unique electronics and automation foundation built over a 27-year military career as a technician and engineer which was further enhanced by 12 years of teaching (interwoven). With an MSEE degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Dahlen has taught in an ABET accredited EE program, served as the program coordinator for an EET program, and taught component-level repair to military electronics technicians. Dahlen has returned to his Northern Minnesota home and thoroughly enjoys researching and writing articles such as this. LinkedIn | Aaron Dahlen - Application Engineer - DigiKey

Return to the breadboard guide for additional construction tips.