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Microcontrollers such as Arduinos are a great way to control your custom electronics projects. But you always need some way to connect the external components to the microcontroller board. Jumper wires can work for this, but having too many loose wires running around is just asking for trouble. A good solution for this problem is to use some kind of a shield. This is a circuit board that uses a set of pins to connect directly to some (or all) of the pins on the microcontroller.

A shield is an easy way to connect all of your external components together. You can use shields to control motors, relays, LEDs, or anything else. You can even use proto shields to prototype your whole circuit directly on the board.

In this project, I am going to show you how you can make your own custom shields for your microcontroller.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Here is a video walkthrough of the project.

<p>This looks very pro</p>
wow this is informative.... :-)
<p>Very nice!</p>
<p>I Made This (a few weeks ago)! Great Instructable, and I made by own remix of it. Take a look at it and vote for it in the Remix 2.0 Contest.</p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-A-PWM-Motor-Speed-Controller/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-A-PWM-Motor-S...</a></p>
<p>Cool! I will check it out.</p>
<p>I now this is a kind of random question, but what kind of lighting do you have above your workbench? I tried taking pictures with mine, but the flourecsent lighting made it look bad.</p>
<p>That is something that I am trying to work out myself actually. Right now I am using 13 100W equivalent CLFs with daylight color (5000K). I have them spaced all around the room so that don't make distinctive shadows.This color was the closed match that I could make to the light that comes in a nearby window. But no matter what color cfl you use, it will always look a little off. </p><p>All lights have have something called a CRI or color rendering index. This is a number that tells you how close the color is to the labeled color. Flashes are the best. Incandescents are ok and CFLs are the worst(usually below 85 on a 100 scale). But I can't use a flash because I am shooting video at the same time. I can't use incandescent lights because they make too much heat. So I am stuck with CFLs. No matter what I do the color is a little off. So before each shoot, I color balance the camera. Then I have to do a little more manual color correction in photoshop. Light room is the best program for it but I haven't decided t spend the money on that yet. </p><p>I hope this helps.</p>
<p>Great Instructable! What voltage are you using for the Motor Speed controler? Thanks</p>
in this example I am using a 12V battery pack because it is a 12V PC fan
<p>based on known prices it could be cheaper to buy them from china than to make them yourself.</p><p>even tought its a good isntructable, in case you need more power than the provided on the readytogo ones</p>
<p>Ideal solution. I started the same way.<br>To bad I can not get my hands on the headers with the long pins as used on a shield.</p>
<p>You can order the stacking header pins from adafruit: http://www.adafruit.com/products/85</p>
<p>Thanks for the link</p>
Good,great
<p>Very cool instructables, thanks</p>
<p>A very informative instructable when you don't want to go to the lengths to make a custom PCB. The 7-8 pin spacing is really a major pain for using standard proto-boards though.</p>
<p>ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my god </p>

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Bio: My name is Jason Poel Smith I am a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time, I am an Inventor, Maker, Hacker, Tinker ... More »
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