I have multiple add-ons connected to my Pi that currently use all of the 5v pins. I want to run more add-ons to the Pi that need 5v power.

The 5v pins are connected using male to female GPIO jumper cables such as this one enter image description here

Is there a cable which is similar to a headphone splitter for a 5v pin so I can put addition male connections onto the pin?

I have heard that I could split the cable but I have no means to solder it to the pin nor the confidence to pull the cable apart (unless there is a tutorial to do so)

Many thanks!


1 Answer 1


You could use a breadboard to create a "bus" for distribution of the RPi's +5V (or +3.3V) power to your "add-ons". You should understand which sockets/holes on the breadboard are common before you get too far along with this. You should also keep in mind when patching connections from the RPi's GPIO pins that many of these pins are "electrically fragile", and the RPi is easily destroyed through wiring errors. The Raspberry Pi GPIO pinout guide is a good resource to have at hand.

Read the information in the breadboard link above. I think it will show you how the breadboard is built. Pay particular attention to the figure below as it shows the patterns of electrical connections. For example, if you connect your +5V pin from the RPi to a hole in one of the 4 "bus strips", then all the other holes now have 5V on them also. You can then power your "add-ons" from another hole on that same bus.

enter image description here

Some who are starting as you are use a tool called fritzing to plan their wiring layout. It may be of some help to you. There are videos and tutorials available.

Finally, keep in mind that the +5V (and +3.3V) power outputs on the RPi are limited in terms of the current they can source. The pinout guide linked above supplies some estimates as to their current limits. This suggests that you may need a "budget" for powering your "add-ons".

  • Thank you! Just for confimation, the breadboard will only be used to distribute the power to the additional add-ons? The breadboard can't be used to add additional data transfer pins? I'll still have to use and be limited by the amount of data transfer pins on the RPi? Oct 19, 2020 at 9:24
  • or if i use something like this link will the breadboard extend all the pins and allow for addition 'add-ons'? Oct 19, 2020 at 9:35
  • @HelenJohnson - I've edited my answer in an effort to answer some of your questions. As to how the breadboard can be used, I'd say, "No, it needn't be limited to power distribution. You may interconnect anything that can "plug in" to the hole patterns on the breadboard."
    – Seamus
    Oct 19, 2020 at 10:01
  • @HelenJohnson: Wrt the device - I'm not sure you'll need that. Most of my projects only involve a few GPIO pins, and the device seems to move all 40 GPIO pins to the breadboard. That may not be necessary. Personally, I'd rather spend £7 at the pub :) Perhaps you could provide a brief description of your project?
    – Seamus
    Oct 19, 2020 at 10:07
  • 1
    I'm more of a fruity cider girl myself :D I'll treat myself to some classic alska from aldi instead ;D Oct 22, 2020 at 13:56

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