Cheap Custom Arduino Shield

Introduction: Cheap Custom Arduino Shield

About: I'm a Research Engineer at Adobe. Previously, I was a grad student at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT Media Lab. Before that, I worked at Instructables, writing code for the website and iOS apps and m...

Creating an arduino shield from a piece of copper plated protoboard is easy and saves you about 15 bucks.  The end product will snap directly to the arduino board, creating a reliable electrical connection between your circuit and the arduino pins.

As shown in the images above, solder header pins to the protoboard so that the arduino fits nicely onto the board.  Unfortunately, the spacing between digital pins 7 and 8 on the arduino is not the same standard 2.54mm as the protoboard, this means you may have to use longer header pins and bend them into the correct position if you want to get a good fit with these pins (fig 4).  I usually getting around this problem by designing projects that do not use pins 8-13 if possible.

As shown in the last two images, other components can be soldered to the protoboard and connected directly to the header pins.

Parts:
protoboard with copper Radioshack 276-147
male header pins Jameco 103393
extra long male header pins Digikey 929834E-04-36-ND

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    5 Discussions

    0
    Higgs Boson
    Higgs Boson

    7 years ago on Introduction

    If the etched side of the perfboard is facing up, how do you add components to the shield?

    0
    amandaghassaei
    amandaghassaei

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    yeah, you have to add them to the same side as the arduino, if you look at some of the pics you can see where I added components. I usually get a big piece of perfboard so I have a lot of extra room.

    0
    k.menon
    k.menon

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    How are you bending the header pins. When I try, the plastic around the pin breaks.

    0
    amandaghassaei
    amandaghassaei

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I got some extra long header pins and bent them with some needle nosed pliers so that they looked like fig 4. The link for the part is listed above.

    0
    k.menon
    k.menon

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I tried the same, thats when the plastic broke.I got my part off a chinese company on ebay. Maybe thats the reason.

    Nice instructable btw.