Ok, so Electronics.StackExchange.com recently got a redesigned header. Some people like it, some people hate it, some people don't care.

However, I have a problem with it:
The IC layout in the breadboard is wrong.

Basically, as shown, all the ICs/Buttons have pin 1 and 14 shorted together, 2, and 13, etc...
The same also applies to the "LED displays".

Personally, I think that the wiring should also be shown, or the solderless breadboard should be replaced by a cool-looking PCB.

If you have to use a solderless breadboard (and solderless breadboards are horrible tools), at least get it correct.

At least set the ICs across the connection divider, like they're supposed to be in a breadboard.

(This is kind of nit-picky, but the header is shown on every page, so it should exude good electronics practices as much as possible. Right now, it's like having 5 nested tables in the header image for https://webmasters.stackexchange.com/ )


2 Answers 2


This was already discussed. Jin made a design with the wiring, this just did not look good.

The PCB design was considered not as visually pleasing. I can understand your issue with the operation, but is really there to showcase our look and make a site that attracts the eye. Sometimes going for realistic detracts from the look. People like those little perfections, but do you want to sacrifice the appearance of the site.

Look at the iphone 4 antenna, the marketing probably did them well in the end.


We talked about this for some time in Chat, and this question was a request for feedback on the design. In it, Jin wrote:

For the header I'm using a breadboard. I thought about PCB board but the color and texture just don't play well with the design elements. It also makes the header overwhelm the content.

For the site title text treatment, I'm mimicking a 5x7 LED matrix. I tried 14segment LED first, but the text was hard to read.

I'm most likely wiring the breadboard wrong. As I said, I've forgotten so much stuff from my college days. Feel free to correct. But keep in mind the breadboard elements are for decoration purpose. I didn't want to make it too "authentically busy." I do want the wiring to be somewhat accurate so you experts won't laugh. :)

The impossibility of doing 24 letters with dot-matrix LEDs was discussed, as was the error in placing the chips in the field rather than across the divide. However, the header is not a reference design, it's a header. It looks clean, the LED ICs look cool (I hear TI's integrating them in the next MSP430 chips...), and it's compact.

If you have a better design, which doesn't involve an ugly, unreadable dark green PCB (we tried white soldermask), which doesn't take up too much real estate, and which isn't unnecessarily complicated, we'd have loved to see it before the launch, and would probably still welcome it as a post-launch update.

The header doesn't have to exude good electronic practices, it has to exude good graphic design practices. It does that pretty well, IMO.


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