I love the Arduino Nano. It has all the thinkin' power of a full-size Arduino, but in a teeny-tiny package. On-board USB, volt reg, indicator LED's, even a reset button and all the size of a stick of gum. Alas, with all this greatness comes the fact that it is a royal pain to actually connect anything to it. 

                                                      The Rocket Brand Nano UnderShields to the Rescue.
                                                                                   Rocket Brand Studios

The Nano UnderSheilds are perfect for small robot projects with everything you need and nothing you don't. Power for motors and data is separate allowing for testing without the robot driving off the desk. Power going to the servos, sensors and other doo-dads can come from the Nano's on-board volt reg or from an external 5v source. The L293D motor driver will handle most small drive motors and is wired for full PWM speed control including electronic braking! It's just gosh-darn-good.

The UnderShield Kits are not only great as a stand-along start of a great project but are also included standard in the:

The UnderShield Classic, at just over 1"x2" has connections for:
  • 2 Servos or other digital devices
  • 2 Analog inputs
  • 1 Ping))) sensor or other digital device
  • Separate data and motor power inputs
  • 2 motors with on-board L293D motor driver 
  • In addition to the connections above, all the pins of the Arduino Nano can be accessed through female headers
The UnderShield with Pins (just slightly wider than the classic) has:
  • All I/O pins broken out to female headers
  • All I/O pins broken out to 3-pin male headers
  • Separate data and motor power inputs
  • 2 motors with on-board L293D motor driver

Step 1: Assembly Intro

Lets get started. This is a pretty darn simply kit and it is really nothing more than the grunt-work of soldering the many pins. You will need:
  • Soldering Iron
  • Flux core solder
  • Dykes (Diagonal Cutters, Nippers, Nippies, Wire Cutters)
  • Maybe a bit of masking tape
  • One of those "helping hands" things is pretty handy too
Now, if you have not soldered before, have no fear. The amazing tubes of the internets contain about 1.6 trillion soldering videos so I am not going to get into how to solder here. --Hit the YouTube and hit the Google and find a tutorial you like. I will say this though, for cryin' out loud, use a wet sponge to clean your soldering iron tip! Clean it well and often. Wipe, then re-tin with a wee bit of solder on the tip. You are soldering a circuit board, not a pipe under your sink!
Thanks, very helpful.(seriously!)

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