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Good day fellow enthusiast!

Here is one of my latest and simplest shield designs for an arduino board.

The thing here is, sometimes we have a hard time checking out which I/O pins are LOW or HIGH, especially when we are dealing with LED, motors, etc. Now, here is one of the solutions that you can make in order to have yourself a smooth sailing progress in programming your prototype or project.

One of the shields we sell at our shop in e-Gizmo Mechatronix Central, is an LED shield. It is one of the shields that can help you monitor your I/O pins. Another thing is, in some countries, this kind of shield is not sold and most probably, only prototyping shields are available.

I shall now provide you a DIY LED shield that will you a LOT in your projects.

Features:

19 LED in series with your arduino’s I/O pins for monitoring.

Step 1: Materials

Materials/tools:

Soldering gun,
Resistors (270 ohms),
5mm Green square LED,
Soldering lead,
Header pins or long pins,
Arduino MCU,
PCB,
Tact switch (2 pins)


Cost analysis:

(in Philippine Peso)

LED P2.50 x 19 = P47.50

Resistors (depends on the LED you used) P0.25 x 19 = P4.75

PCB (smallest size) = P10.00

Tact switch = P2.50

1x40 Header pins = P14.00

(OPTIONAL: x2 6 Long pins & x2 8 Long pins) = P48.00

Total = P78.75 (relatively cheap right?)

NOTE: The long pins are optional since you can also make a shield using header pins alone however, you cannot mount another shield on your shield if you did it the way I did it.

Step 2: Schematic

Here is how I soldered the shield and I know, I’m actually not proud of how I solder stuff since my soldering gun is not really that great.

The running “rail-like" solders are all connected to the ground.

Step 3: Procedures


STEP 1: Buy the materials! I am very particular with this since in some countries, hunting the materials are really tough. So I’m going to give you tips wherever you are in this universe.

In North America, check out Radioshack or try buying from Sparkfun through shipping.

In the Philippines, you can visit Raon and look for DEECO. They sell LEDs for a very low price wherein you can buy 20pcs for I think P25.00 only.

If you have the chance, visit our shop (e-Gizmo) in Taft. The prices of the materials are listed above and I made our shop as a reference for the materials’ prices.

http://www.e-gizmo.com

Step 4:

STEP 2: Start doing it! Now, you have to make a shield out of your PCB. Make sure you actually bought a PCB without connections since it is really hard to make a shield out of a PCB with connections.

Now, solder the header pins or long pins that you bought by doing it like the way I did it on the picture above!

If you are having a hard time, you can place the header pins on your arduino board like the 4th picture!

In this way, the pins won’t move as you solder it. I just ran out of long pins for this tutorial but it will be easier if you all 4 sets to help you out. You may also cut your PCB for aesthetic purposes by doing it this way: But warning, the PCB might break if you did it the wrong way. Figure it out first before trying to cut your PCB. Also, make sure that it is in the same size as your arduino board.

Step 5:

STEP 3: I’m sure you are done with step 2 and you wanted to start soldering the LED, which is your sole purpose for reading this tutorial.

Now, to start with the LEDs, make sure you follow the schematic or follow the pattern above in soldering it with the resistors.

In my case, I used square LEDs so it will look good and I can actually monitor the I/O of my arduino. Make sure you make the positive pin of the LED, which is the longer one (left) to the digital or analog pins. Meanwhile, it shall be soldered together with one leg of the resistor. Again, in my case I used a 270 ohm resistor so that the LED will not be burnt out. The other leg of the resistors shall all go towards the ground.

WARNING: Make sure you have a resistor in series with the LED’s negative side since you might just waste your money if you directly used the LED.

It should be arranged like the second picture.

Step 6:

STEP 4: Congratulations! You just made your own LOW COST LED Shield for Arduino!. I hope you learned something and was able to train your soldering skills in such a simple but nasty circuit.

Some special notes are:

You can also add switches to the shield since you have a prototyping area in the middle that will help you a lot.
I also sometimes add buzzers and stuff to utilize its prototyping area.
The reset switch is connected to the RESET pin of the Arduino and its other leg is connected to the ground. This gives you an additional external reset button.
If you liked this tutorial, pleaaase share my blog with other people who also wants to spend their free time or weekend with playing with electronics and Arduino.

http://iloverobots11.tumblr.com

Thank you and keep tinkering!

- D

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