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I am working on a project that has a radio control unit.  I just taped my Mega to a piece of foam board, taped a small breadboard and plugged in my joysticks and other components.  It was time to make something better, but I am still working on my project so I want to be able to remove, or add things to it.

I wanted to mount everything on one board including two joysticks.  I wanted to be able to unplug the mega so I can use it for something else, then plug it back in without rewiring everything.  I wanted the major components to be removable, not soldered in.  And, I wanted to be able to put it in a box, so the components need to all be at the right height so I can put a face plate on it.

After searching the internet, I came up with this idea.  I found a cheap shield idea that uses bent header pins for the 8 pins that are offset.  With this you can use standard perf board.  An oversize piece of perf board worked great and the components could be mounted at the right height. The best part, I had everything I needed in my parts box.

I used the standard perf board, no copper pads, and cut it to size.  To mount all my headers securely, I fastened them with super glue.  Now I can put a wire to only the pins I need now and make a nice solder connection to them.  For the 8 pin header that is offset, I took a dremmel and cut a slot to the length I needed, and glued it in place using another shield as a guide. This way I didn't need to bend any header pins.  I even glued a small piece of perf board up from the main shield board for the transmitter because it was to tall mounted vertically. All the major components like the joysticks, radio and buzzer are connected with wire wrap so they can be removed if I want.  The wire used is wire wrap wire.  The connections to the headers, the LED and resistor are all soldered in place.

If you never used Wire Wrap, you should give it a try.  You need a wire wrap tool and wire wrap wire.  It makes a surprising strong connection and it's easy to remove.  I put header spacers on the end of the pins just for a little extra protection, but you don't need these.

I think this turned out nice, it's small and all in one piece.  The Mega plugs into the bottom, the TFT shield plugs on the top.  And, it made a good weekend evening project.  I thought this might be a shield idea others can use.

I am still working on the project and this is just one part of it.  It's a simple drone airplane (maybe not so simple). This is the controller I am using for sending pre-flight instructions, and manual control if it decides not to cooperate.


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« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 11:45:39 pm by GunnerCAF » Logged

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Love that wirewrap - that's how I do all my non-PCB projects that make it past breadboard stage.

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at
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