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Topic: Introducing the OMS Prototyping Shields (Read 4829 times) previous topic - next topic

Jan 05, 2013, 06:06 pm Last Edit: Jan 05, 2013, 06:13 pm by AztecMCUPrototyping Reason: 1
Happy New Year Everyone!

This is just a quick note to introduce you all to Omega MCU Systems little shield prototyping system kits.  They consist of a small 62mm x 52mm PCB that has a foil pattern made up of an Uno compatible shield layout so it will work with all of the Arduino boards and 100% compatible derivatives, a 170-point mini-breadboard layout and some additional pads for headers, connectors or other components.




There are 2 basic configurations available.  One comes with the PCB, 40 pins of male header for plugging into the shield base, a set of female headers and a 170-point mini-breadboard.  This configuration allows you to build a solderless shield prototyping platform for breadboarding and testing your design.



The other configuration is just the PCB and 40 pins of male header and is intended as an inexpensive platform for building permanent samples of your shield projects.  Since the foil pattern matches the mini-breadboard, transferring the finished design is a simple as possible.



The mini-breadboard version is only $5.95 and the build version is only $2.95.  They are available from our website, or in combination packages on eBay here, and here.

Thanks everyone.
Aztec MCU Prototyping

terryking228

I like the idea and layout; bought some.

But: You suffer from the Arduino Id/Ego Problem: "I'm The Shield On Top".

It would be good to offer an option using the tall-socket-long-pin type connectors like those used on Ethernet Shields etc. Then a user who put relatively short components on the board without the breadboard COULD stack another shield above yours...


Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

robtillaart

I would like a prototype shield that you can stack and where the prototyping area is "outside" not "inside"
typical size = 3x3 normal shields (get the idea?)

It contains of course some holes to easily connect something mechanic e.g. a PING sensor or a servo o wheels or solar panel or lcd or rtc ...

might give some balancing problems but still fun



Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)

Thank you for your patronage Mr. King.  Your orders shipped out this morning.

We hear you on the "Shield On Top" problem.  These shields could indeed be used with the 'stackable' female headers if the user wishes.  However, one of the reasons that they are not offered with long-lead 'stackable' headers is because those headers do no allow the boards they are used with to clear the components on a lot of the other shields properly and even on the MCU boards themselves.  Including the genuine Arduino UNO, Duemilanove and other boards with the full size USB 'B' connector.  Since the long-lead headers mount from the top, they are missing that extra 2.5mm of plastic that the regular male header has and just do not to fit very well in a lot of cases.  We have noted this with all the shields we have seen that use these headers.

We have spoken to the folks over at OMS and they have promised to respond by adding another board to the system that will have a staggered header arrangement so that regular male headers can still be used on the bottom of the shield for better fit.  This new board will share the same mini-breadboard foil pattern and will be ideal for building up mid-stack shields.  We hope to see those in the next few weeks.

So, for those that wish to stack on top of the current shield, they could go ahead and use the long-lead female headers.

It should also be noted that the current shield corrects the pin spacing along the inner (female header) rows.  That means a user could use standard 0.1" spacing perfboard to build piggyback boards to fit onto the shield via regular female headers in those rows.  Not a stacking solution, but a fairly unique little bonus.

Thanks also for your input, we appreciate it very much.
Aztec MCU Prototyping


I would like a prototype shield that you can stack and where the prototyping area is "outside" not "inside"
typical size = 3x3 normal shields (get the idea?)

It contains of course some holes to easily connect something mechanic e.g. a PING sensor or a servo o wheels or solar panel or lcd or rtc ...

might give some balancing problems but still fun



So something considerably larger than a normal shield, where the Arduino would mount to it like a piggy-back board, and that would have a series of larger holes around the perimeter for mounting to a chassis or to allow the mounting of other sub-assemblies.  Does that sound about right?
Aztec MCU Prototyping

robtillaart

Quote
Does that sound about right?

imho YES!
Can you see the potential?
Feel the extra degrees of freedom!
Smell the creative mind exploding with (litterly) out of the box ideas ...

talking about box...

Another shield I would like is a shield that acts like a box. No need to screw the arduino on some bottom, just plug in to the boxshield (tm) and ready.

The box-shield has the famous pin layout in its cover that can be plugged on top of an Arduino stack of shields.
Put the cover over the box and done.

One size cover fits many sizes of boxes. And there are many coversizes - MEGA, UNO, DUE, TRE, QUATTRO etc*  

"Of course they come in any colour as long as it is black"  ;)**

* A QUATTRO is a cover that can hold 4 UNO-stacks in one box.
** Mr Ford speaking about the T-Ford.
Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)

robtillaart

something like - http://shieldlist.org/liquidware/triple-wide - this , but then prototyping area with mr=echanic nuts & bolts holes ;)

Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)

CrossRoads

#7
Jan 07, 2013, 09:05 pm Last Edit: Jan 07, 2013, 09:08 pm by CrossRoads Reason: 1
I don't care for the 5 holes going across all connected. That really limits where ICs can be placed.
As is, you can get two 16 pin or two 20 pin devices only.
I'd rather see the whole area as "island of holes" so more ICs and other components could be accomodated.

This is what I was thinking of
http://www.freetronics.com/collections/protoshields/products/protoshield-basic
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.

DirtBiker

I think the OMS one is aimed a little different.  It seems to me that it's made to mimic a 170 point mini-breadboard so as to make breadboarding and transferring a design an easier proposition.  I kind of like the connected pads too.  Makes for a much tidier result, but I'm sure there is call for both methods.

Plus the OMS ones seems a lot less expensive.  3 for $14 with free shipping.  At that price I cant' go too far wrong.  I think I'll pick up a set too.
Dirt Biker

terryking228

I like Rob's example of the triple-wide form factor but different:

Sometimes we would like to build a permanent Arduino-based system with several added chips, modules etc.

The product I would like to see is about 10 by 20 cm with a functioning Arduino-328 onboard and intelligent combination of PCB features like uncommitted through-hole areas, SMT footprints, power supply options and external connector options, and optional shields above the 'Arduino' area..  Users could use a combination of jumper-wire, flat cable jumpers and wirewrap techniques to build one-off systems that are mechanically and electrically solid. 

Problem is that my definition of 'intelligent' and Rob's and Crossroad's would all be different  :)

MAYBE there is a middle ground between the rigidity of the Shield approach and totally custom boards.

Hmmm....
Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

MichaelMeissner

#10
Jan 08, 2013, 02:10 pm Last Edit: Jan 08, 2013, 02:34 pm by MichaelMeissner Reason: 1
I currently use the prototype shield that I got from yourdunio.com with the 170 point breadboard.  Generally, I like the idea of the prototype shield as I can do a small project on the breadboard, and take it off and replace it with another, if I want to experiment with a new design with fall back to the old design, or switch to something different.

One problem of these type of boards is the UNO layout restricts the width of the breadboard that can fit in it, and the breadboard doesn't have traditional power/ground rails.  The prototype part of the shield has the rails, but it can be inconvenient to attach wires and use the breadboard.

As I transition from breadboard to perf. board, I would have preferred the whole board to be similar to a breadboard in that I didn't have to make solder bridges underneath to connect the part to a wire connecting it to the port.  Instead the prototype shield I have only gives you about 12 rows of connected pins.  Your board does give more rows of connected pins, as well as some other connected pins for random components.

One other problem I've been having with with the prototype board I bought is there is only one set of pins for connecting to the UNO with stacking headers.  I bought the boards before I was comfortable soldering, and I could buy it with the headers already attached.  The downside is I wanted to use the project where there would be some motion, and I find the wires to the Arduino keep coming out.  Your board has one solution in that it has a second set of rows of pins to correct the historical Arduino error that there is an inconvenient gap that doesn't allow for straight 0.1" spacing.  If you had the row of pins on the outside instead of inside you could attach right angle pins to solve the board on top problem.  Another solution is a shield that has a set of screw terminals for each pin such as the dfrobot.com screw/prototype shield (or wingshield as others call it).  I just bought the dfrobot.com screw/prototype shield the day before you announced the OMS shield.

terryking228

DISCLAIMER: I sell these in my own shop...

The proto board is also available as a bare board for $2.50


and the mini breadboard is available separately.

IF you do quite a bit of this, and you have some selection of pins and sockets, I find you can quickly make a prototype that works with these boards with one DIP pattern, one surface-mount pattern and some uncommitted hole area.

Good for the simple stuff...
Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

Thanks everyone for your input.  This discussion is very helpful.

@robtillaart

I talked with the OMS folks.  They said they would draft something up in the bigger board department.  Ill post the pattern here for comment when it's done.  Unfortunately they are quite busy right now with custom work, which is their mainstay, so not too sure when it will be ready.


@CrossRoads

OMS say the have several different patterns coming, including one that is just plated through holes with pads like that one.


@DirtBiker

You got it right.  That's exactly what this particular board is for.  Thanks for your oder too, it went out this morning.


@MichaelMeissner

You have the right idea too.  That's what this shield is all about.  Thanks for your observations too.  Maybe the next time you need to stock up.  I know one the ones OMS are planning has a similar pattern all the way from end to end, but with 4 holes joined on each side.


@terryKing228 (& DirtBiker)

Please let us know what you think once your boards arrive.


Again, thanks everyone, I appreciate your input.
Aztec MCU Prototyping

DirtBiker

#13
Jan 15, 2013, 03:43 pm Last Edit: Jan 15, 2013, 03:46 pm by DirtBiker Reason: 1
My OMS shields came in yesterday.  Hey, maybe the post office is getting their act together :smiley-mr-green:

Anyway, nice little boards.  I put together this enc28j60 based ethernet shield on one of them.  Very versatile.  The long 5-hole connected traces allow for using Verro-board style techniques that make them very flexible to use.  I'll be getting more for sure.

It certainly fits more snugly than the commercially available shield shown below.
Dirt Biker

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