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Topic: Hole Alignment Standard for Breakout Boards (Read 2358 times) previous topic - next topic

SimLego

Pardon me if this has already been suggested, but I haven't found it anywhere yet.

I think it's a really, really bad thing that the breakout boards don't follow any noticable standards. IMO, the hole configuration should follow a standard. Then, Arduino cases could be made to host one or more breakout board easily and safely fastened inside the box. No matter if it's a real time clock, a relay, or any other kind of module.

And, better yet, using a grid of multiples of 8mm c/c, holders with LEGO stud compatible interface could be 3D printed to hold the boards to a LEGO baseplate instead of swinging around randomly and threatening to short against the nearest next board.

westfw

Which "breakout boards" are you talking about?   Shields in general, or something else?
A lot of shields (motor, ethernet, audio, etc) have special connectors, height, or cooling requirements that would make them really difficult to meet standards.)

spycatcher2k

Why? I manufacture and sell over 50 'Breakout' boards, and not a single one of them was designed for use with the Arduino! This is because there are dozens, if not hundreds of micro-controller/microprocessor boards out! Also, do you want to cater to the largest 'Breakout', even if the module you have bought is 1/20th of the size?
-=-
http://www.uk-pcb.co.uk - UK Based PCB Fab & Assembly Company
Design & Assembly work undertaken - Arduino repairs & testing - PM for details. Arduino & C# PC programming.

SimLego

Also, do you want to cater to the largest 'Breakout', even if the module you have bought is 1/20th of the size?
One word you might have missed here: multiples!

spycatcher2k

-=-
http://www.uk-pcb.co.uk - UK Based PCB Fab & Assembly Company
Design & Assembly work undertaken - Arduino repairs & testing - PM for details. Arduino & C# PC programming.

CrossRoads

"breakout boards don't follow any noticable standards"
Breakout boards for what? ICs? How many pins?
Displays?
Motors?
Buttons? etc.

If you have something specific in mind, perhaps we can help you locate it.
Or get one designed, you could have a bunch built and be the distributor for it.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

SimLego

Why? I manufacture and sell over 50 'Breakout' boards, and not a single one of them was designed for use with the Arduino!
Then why do you bother to trash my idea completely? What are you doing in an Arduino forum anyway, if you apparently aren't interested in Arduino stuff at all? You ask 'why?', so you don't understand what is so very bad with the current Anarchy and you don't see any benefits in a method to peg down the boards in a fast and easy way. But nevertheless you trash my vision. Now it's my turn to ask: Why?

SimLego

#7
Jun 08, 2017, 09:26 pm Last Edit: Jun 08, 2017, 11:01 pm by SimLego
"breakout boards don't follow any noticable standards"
Breakout boards for what? ICs? How many pins?
Displays?
Motors?
Buttons? etc.

If you have something specific in mind, perhaps we can help you locate it.
Or get one designed, you could have a bunch built and be the distributor for it.
Buttons, switch matrices, real time clock, displays of various kinds, sensors, multiplexers, and a lot of other stuff that don't come up in my mind right now...

I have absolutely no problems finding them, with signal levels perfectly matching Arduino pins. But I'm talking about the total Anarchy of the mounting holes alignment. Why not set a standard grid? (I would prefer 8 mm for resons already mentioned, but I can live with another grid, even an inch based.)

spycatcher2k

I'm in this forum to help support users, I'm also a member of a lot of other forums where I help. I also develop on many platforms other than Arduino. I design the breakout for the module/chip/sensor on it , not what people decide to connect it to. As far as cases go, I tend to mount the breakout boards required for the prototypes on stand-offs, using 2 part Araldite to mount the stand-off to the case, ultimately customizable to any breakout, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, etc.
-=-
http://www.uk-pcb.co.uk - UK Based PCB Fab & Assembly Company
Design & Assembly work undertaken - Arduino repairs & testing - PM for details. Arduino & C# PC programming.

CrossRoads

Most perfboard is on 2.54mm grid, 3 holes 7.52mm.
You could come up with a protoboard and put the holes for your breakout board where you wanted them, making sure to miss the USB header and power jack and ICSP headers like I did here
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

SimLego

#10
Jun 08, 2017, 10:35 pm Last Edit: Jun 09, 2017, 05:08 pm by SimLego
I don't see how that shield would help organizing a prototype project like this for example.
I still would find it extremely helpful if I could just snap the different boards on for example a LEGO baseplate, preventing them from accidental collisions.


westfw

#11
Jun 09, 2017, 03:20 am Last Edit: Jun 09, 2017, 03:22 am by westfw
So ... are you asking for boards that would, say, plug onto a lego base plate as "mounting" (for physical permanence and rigidity), completely separate from their size and electrical connectivity ?  Sort of half-Lego pieces that would mount the PCBs by screws on the top, and plug onto Lego blocks on the bottom?  Sort of like the free universal construction kit/

That's actually a pretty interesting idea...  As you say, the lack of ANY standardization for mounting holes makes it difficult to create a universal version of such a gadget, but something that converted the typical 0.1inch grid of prototype boards to the 8mm grid of lego studs would be a start...

I've always wondered if there were good reasons ways to  pick where mounting holes are placed.  Aside from obvious "matches the mounting holes in a particular box", Lego's 8mm grid is one of the first guidelines I've seen...


SimLego

Now we're getting somewhere! Sorry for getting a bit grumpy last night, but it gets quite frustrating when one doesn't master English enough to put things understandable.

There are already a number of Arduino holders you can attach to a Lego baseplate, to either buy or 3D print. It woud have been a lot easier (and cheaper!) to make if the Arduino Uno and so on had had a more Lego-ish mounting hole pattern. But, of course, this standard is set a long time ago so we just have to live with it. But, as said earlier, I think it would be wonderful to be able to mount other boards to a Lego plate, too. I was thinking of four identical legs, or pillars, to begin with. Either a snapping system on top or just a screw hole.

bobcousins

I think it is essentially a good idea, but Arduino is an Open Source project, and LEGO(tm) is proprietary, so I would not go that route.

I've seen a few ideas in a similar vein, eg. Gadgeteer, http://www.netmf.com/gadgeteer/ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modulo/modulo-a-simple-modular-solution-for-building-elec https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1959519816/stickybug-make-your-own-shields-for-arduino

Of course, if you create a new standard, how do you get people to follow one standard, or any standard?

I would look at using pegboard https://www.lowes.com/pd/FashionWall-Hardboard-Pegboard-Actual-47-75-in-x-0-155-in/3014308 The most common standard is 25.4mm pitch with 6.35 holes, but other dimensions are available. Then all you need is a standoff to plug into the baseboard and your module.
Please ask questions in the forum so everyone can benefit. PM me for paid work.

westfw

I looked at this a bit more.  LEGO is *really huge* compared to a lot of the breakout boards that we'd be talking about :-(
I generally try to stick m2 (2mm) holes in the corners of my boards, but have to leave out a corner now and then because I have too many components.  Lego needs 4.8mm holes, and probably more than one in a group, if you want anything remotely sturdy :-(

I'll try to keep the spacing and hole size in mind on projects, but it looks a bit unlikely.
(The big problem is that the "sweet spot" for having PCBs made is (was?) 50x50mm, which is pretty small.  You generally like to fill that up with parts.  The area taken up by 4 2x1 Lego-brick hole patterns exceeds 20% of the board area, without including the space you lose by having to awkwardly route around the holes...)


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