How to Power a Project

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Contributors: JordanDee
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Connections

How Do I Connect My Battery or Power Supply to My Circuit?

There are many ways to actually connect a power supply to your project.

Left to right: banana jacks, wire hookup, barrel jack, battery case, JST

Common ways to connect a power to your circuit

Variable benchtop power supplies commonly connect to circuits using banana jacks or wires directly. These are also similar to the connectors found on the multimeter probe cables.

Banana to IC Hook Cables

Banana to IC Hook Cables

CAB-00506
$4.95
6
Banana to Banana Cables

Banana to Banana Cables

CAB-00507
$4.95
2
Banana to Alligator Cable

Banana to Alligator Cable

CAB-00509
$3.95
2
Banana to Alligator Coax Cable

Banana to Alligator Coax Cable

CAB-00508
$4.95
1

Many projects are built on a breadboard first with wires as a prototype, before they become a final product. There are numerous ways to power your breadboard circuit, many of them involving the same connectors mentioned here.

Breadboard - Self-Adhesive (White)

Breadboard - Self-Adhesive (White)

PRT-12002
$4.95
41
Hook-Up Wire - Assortment (Solid Core, 22 AWG)

Hook-Up Wire - Assortment (Solid Core, 22 AWG)

PRT-11367
$16.95
30
Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M Pack of 10

Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M Pack of 10

PRT-08431
$3.95
2
Breadboard - Mini Modular (Red)

Breadboard - Mini Modular (Red)

PRT-12044
$3.95

Once a project is past the prototyping phase, it will usually end up on a PCB. If you plan on making the circuit once or twice, one can transfer the circuit to a prototyping board and wire the circuit up manually to secure project. If you plan on making the circuit more than a few times, you may want to look into designing the circuit with a CAD software (i.e. Eagle) to save time wiring the project or if you plan on shrinking the size of the overall circuit.

SparkFun Solder-able Breadboard

SparkFun Solder-able Breadboard

PRT-12070
$4.95
17
SparkFun Snappable Protoboard

SparkFun Snappable Protoboard

PRT-13268
$7.95
14
SparkFun ProtoShield Kit

SparkFun ProtoShield Kit

DEV-13820
$10.95
3
SparkFun Big Red Box Proto Board

SparkFun Big Red Box Proto Board

DEV-13317
$7.95
1

One of the most common power connectors used on a finished PCB, in both consumer electronics and hobby electronics alike, is the barrel connector, also know as a barrel jack. These can vary in size, but they all function the same and provide a simply, reliable way to power your project. Depending on your design, you can also pull power from a computer or wall adapter's USB port.

DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Female

DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Female

PRT-10288
$2.95
1
SparkFun USB-C Breakout

SparkFun USB-C Breakout

BOB-15100
$4.50
2
SparkFun microB USB Breakout

SparkFun microB USB Breakout

BOB-12035
$2.50
12
DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Breadboard Compatible

DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Breadboard Compatible

PRT-10811
$0.95
7

Batteries are generally held in a case that holds the batteries and connects the the circuit via wires or a barrel jack. Some batteries like Lithium Polymer Ion batteries often use a JST connector. Here are a few from our catalog.

Coin Cell Battery Holder - 2xCR2032 (Enclosed)

Coin Cell Battery Holder - 2xCR2032 (Enclosed)

PRT-12618
$1.95
1
Battery Holder 2xAA with Cover and Switch

Battery Holder 2xAA with Cover and Switch

PRT-09547
$1.50
9V Battery Holder

9V Battery Holder

PRT-10512
$2.95
3
JST Right-Angle Connector - Through-Hole 2-Pin

JST Right-Angle Connector - Through-Hole 2-Pin

PRT-09749
$0.95
2

To learn more about different power connectors, please see our connectors tutorial.

Connector Basics

January 18, 2013

Connectors are a major source of confusion for people just beginning electronics. The number of different options, terms, and names of connectors can make selecting one, or finding the one you need, daunting. This article will help you get a jump on the world of connectors.