Introduction: Arduino Breadboard Shield

Are you tired of having a hard time trying up a circuit on a breadboard because your arduino takes up a lot of space?
This shield can be a solution to your problem!

The Arduino breadboard shield is again, an accessory for your arduino board and can make your life easier when trying up circuits.
It features an external reset button, a small breadboard with +5V and GND rails. It also has an LED in series with your pin 13 to show reset status.

This project is really easy and I hope you can feel how useful this is after trying out this project.

Difficulty: Ridiculously easy

Most of my materials are found in e-Gizmo so I included those that are included with the links
P20 x1 PCB 89x66 mm
P65 x1 Breadboard 92x53
P10 x1 1x40 male headers 
P20 x2 6 long pins
P25 x2 8 long pins
P2   x1 Led (yellow/green/red)
P0.50 x1 Resistor 220 ohms
P2.50 x1 Tact switch 2 pins
TOTAL: P145! 

Tools/consumables used:
- Soldering gun
- Soldering lead
- Acrylic paint (optional) and 
- Paint brush (optional)
- Glue gun 
- Stranded wire
- Multimeter

Step 1: Design

Basically, we are just like expanding our arduino pins so that you can access them easier using jumper wires.
You can see the actual design on the image above.

As you can see from the sandwich diagram, the breadboard of course goes on top, and the Universal PCB acts as the holder. This is for those who are not actually used in making a shield and wanted to do this shield for a start. Don't worry, there'll not much hassle doing this project.

The next image shows the design we are trying to make. As you can see, the long pins will help us actually reach the breadboard easier when trying up a circuit. 

Step 2: About Breadboards

Now, we should now know how breadboards are used. Normally, people would get confused because it's like just a board with holes on it however, there is just a simple trend for it. 

From the image above, the horizontal holes are all connected which we shall call rails. It's a long strip of holes you can see on your breadboard. The vertical lines are also the ones connected. It's that simple. 

Step 3: Project Proper

It's now time to prepare our materials for soldering and such. 

Occasionally, some would prefer coloring or painting their PCB's. That is actually an option. If you wanted to feel like your own "Sparkfun" or "Adafruit", then do so. I actually do that for aesthetic purposes and I use acrylic paint. It's non-conductive and dries up fast.

Next, on the third image above, is how you actually cut a set of 1x40 male headers. You first put the headers on your arduino then you cut it with your thumb nail. Make sure you count the number of headers which you'll need. For this tutorial, you will need 2 pcs of 6 male headers and another 2 of 8 pins.

After that, with the 4th image, flatten one side of the male header until the pins are actually long enough so that you can use it for the arduino. 

Now I want you to put those pins on your PCB so that it will exactly fit on your arduino. This is because you might accidentally wrongly solder the pins and it will appear that you will have to adjust the pins so that it'll fit. (This happens to me a lot)
The pins should fit like what is shown in the 5th image. Solder those pins right after.

Step 4: Soldering

After soldering the shield pins, we should now solder the long pins. This will be where we will be placing jumper wires.

It should appear like the first image above. You should at least connect the long pins and the pin headers by partnering them with the long pins.

After a few minutes, you should be done and your project should look like the 2nd image. Now, I want you to test the connectivity of each and make sure that the adjacent pins are not connected (like pin2 and pin3 shorted).

After that, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Soldering Pt 2

Now, let's get our shield more useful by soldering stranded wires on the left and right rails. One for the +5V and the GND. This will seriously make our life easier.

After that, put back the electrical tape below your breadboard. If it doesn't have one, make sure you put one but usually, they have those protective tape so that the grayish metals will stay put.

The ends of the stranded wires should go to the +5V and GND of our shield. As seen on the second image.

You could also now solder the reset button as seen on the second image. Just connect the first leg to the RESET pin and the other to your ground pin.

Step 6: Rail Test

Now, inserting jumper wires on both rail, I want you to check if they are actually connected. This is by supplying +5V on the shield and ground.

We are almost done. Stay put.

Step 7: Add LED Indicator

Next is to add an LED indicator every time you reset the arduino. It's simply placing the positive side (anode) or longer pin of your LED to the pin 13 and its negative side (cathode) or shorter pin to one leg of a 220 ohm resistor (this is because I used a yellow LED). The other leg of the resistor goes to the ground.

Step 8: Glue Everything

To make the wires and connections secure, apply hot glue on the stranded wire below the PCB. You may now also glue the breadboard on your PCB. It should appear like the images above.

Step 9: Labels

This is actually optional. If you are a professor or a student, you might want to put labels next to your long pins so that it's easier to use.

Step 10: Done!

Congratulations! You are finished in making this basic arduino shield project. I hope this could actually help people learn Arduino easier and made their life more convenient.

Please visit my blog for more projects and tutorials:


- D


KSam37 (author)2015-12-26

You know you can just buy the Arduino protoshield for this