Restoring an E&L Breadboard System, Part 1: Assessing the Wreckage

Electronics breadboards are a tremendous aid in experimenting with and developing prototypes of electronic designs. Heck, in 1977, I built an entire 16-bit computer on one!

The E&L Industries Elite 2 may have been the the most elaborate breadboard on the market at its time. At a price of US$ 1300 in 1971 (more than US$ 9000 of today’s BidenBucks, and more than I paid for my first [albeit awful] car in that year), it included not only a large prototype area, but three power supplies, a function generator, a separate pulse generator, de-bounced input buttons and switches, and buffered neon display lights.

Finding a vintage unit on EBay, our intrepid retro-technology team asked, “How bad can it be?” They are about to find out.