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Topic: Permanent proto shield installation (Read 2463 times) previous topic - next topic

bkenobi

I have a circuit that I've mocked up on a breadboard and am now ready to install it onto the proto shield. This is my first project to use this shield, so I was surprised to see that the shield does not use stackable headers like I thought so there is no open locations to solder to for by digital I/O pins (among others). What is the best practice for using the Adafruit Proto Shield v.5? The only options I see are a bit ugly.

1) Just plug jumpers into the header
2) Solder male header pins to each wire and plug that into the header
3) Solder to the bottom side of the female header or top side of the male header
4) Remove the female header

I think option 4 is the best, but that could potentially be difficult if the pins don't want to release. That could result in damaging the solder pads and surrounding traces. I presume this is a common issue, so I'm hoping it will be a graceful solution.

(Cross posted on Adafruit forum for visibility)

Nick_Pyner

If you actually have the board, I think the first thing to do is put it over the Arduino and check what is going on. It looks like the silk screen printing is wrong  and it will take stackable headers in the normal manner. I see it has fourteen columns of holes while mine has thirteen.  This might not be enough to make any difference, they just use the space a bit better.  At worst it will stack but uses separate male and female headers.

MichaelMeissner

#2
Feb 02, 2013, 05:25 pm Last Edit: Feb 02, 2013, 05:37 pm by MichaelMeissner Reason: 1
Another option is to get a different prototype shield.  I've bought the following:

  • http://www.robotshop.com/productinfo.aspx?pc=RB-Dfr-98&lang=en-US -- I just got this shield, I like it because it has screw terminals to connect the wires.  In my other proto shield, I had the wires coming out of the headers when the shield was moved around.  However, the pads on the board aren't as well laid out like a breadboard.

  • http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=93 -- this is the shield, I've used for some time.  It doesn't have a second row of pins, so you have to attach the wires to stackable headers, which if you move the shield around, they can come out.  It has two leds and an extra button on the shield that you can attach to any pin.



Two others that I've thought of include (note, these aren't assembled, you would have to solder the headers to the boards):

bkenobi

It looks to me that the second board is virtually identical to what I have.  It has the same issue with male and female headers taking up all the solder pads for I/O pins. It looks like the last like may be the same header setup.  I like the wing board, but it's a bit large for the enclosure I was planning.

It sounds like the answer is if the shield doesn't work, try again.  If that's the case, I might as well desolder the headers since I'd have to replace it either way.

Nick_Pyner

#4
Feb 03, 2013, 02:50 am Last Edit: Feb 03, 2013, 05:22 am by Nick_Pyner Reason: 1

It has the same issue with male and female headers taking up all the solder pads for I/O pins.

It sounds like the answer is if the shield doesn't work, try again.  If that's the case, I might as well desolder the headers since I'd have to replace it either way.


Are you sure this is the case?  It looks to me like you simply put stackable headers in the outer rows of holes thereby freeing up all the inner holes to solder whatever you like, just like the boards I have, and it is your choice whether you use stackable headers or not. I don't know why the picture shows male and female headers being used to fill up all the holes, but the explanation could be very simple - the board is actually designed to receive plug-in cables, hence all the gnd and 5v points grouped together. I don't think this stops you from using the board the way you want.  

MichaelMeissner


Are you sure this is the case?  It looks to me like you simply put stackable headers in the outer rows of holes thereby freeing up all the inner holes to solder whatever you like, just like the boards I have, and it is your choice whether you us stackable headers or not. I don't know why the picture shows male and female headers being used to fill up all the holes, but the explanation could be very simple - the board is actually designed to receive plug-in cables, hence all the gnd and 5v points grouped together. I don't think this stops you from using the board the way you want.  

On my prototype shield (2nd link in my post), there is only one row of holes (which have the stackable headers).  Most of the other prototype shields seem to have two rows of holes, so that you could attach wires from the shield to one row, and the stackable headers to the other row.

bkenobi

If the board i have wasn't already assembled, a set of stackable headers would be a solution.  As it stands, there is a set of male headers in one set of holes and female in the other.  I'm going to try removing at least the female headers that are in the way.  My next proto shield will certainly not be assembled so I can put things together how I need

Nick_Pyner


If the board i have wasn't already assembled, a set of stackable headers would be a solution.  As it stands, there is a set of male headers in one set of holes and female in the other.


Pretty dumb, huh?  I can't see why they didn't put stackable headers on it in the first place.

Quote

My next proto shield will certainly not be assembled so I can put things together how I need


Good idea. That board would be quite good if it was bought bare.

bkenobi

Dumb and obnoxious.  It probably took 30 seconds to solder on all the components on the board.  It took me over 30 minutes to remove the 2 digital I/O headers and clear the solder from the through holes.  Granted a big part of that was my cheapo Radio Shack desoldering iron being a pain, but it could have been avoided if the right headers wer installed or none at all.

BillO

#9
Feb 14, 2013, 05:37 pm Last Edit: Feb 14, 2013, 05:53 pm by BillO Reason: 1


If the board i have wasn't already assembled, a set of stackable headers would be a solution.  As it stands, there is a set of male headers in one set of holes and female in the other.


Pretty dumb, huh?  I can't see why they didn't put stackable headers on it in the first place.


Actually, I MUCH prefer the offset male/female headers.  That method provides a way better fit than do the stackable headers which almost never fit right.  They won't even allow the shield to clear the USB connector on the Uno/Duemilanove (etc..)  Too bad about that prototype shield you got.  Definitely annoying.  How did they expect you to connect to your circuit?  I guess it was designed to be used with a mini-breadboard.

A nice design of prototype shield would not only allow for the offset headers for stacking, but would also provide at least one row of connected holes along the headers to allow for connecting to the rest of the circuit.


This is an Ethernet shield with stackable headers on a Duemilanove.  Horrible!



This is an shield with offset headers for stacking on the same Duemilanove.  Much, much nicer.
Facts just don't care if you ignore them.

bkenobi

Looks to me like that's a shim issue.  The stackable header does't have the plastic block by the board like the offset headers do.  The total clearance is about the same from what I see.  Couldn't a plastic block from a male header on a couple stackable pins accomplish the same thing?  I'm not sure, I could be wrong.

BillO

Certainly, but I am not aware of anyone that is doing that in production.  Probably too labor intensive.  As for me, I'll always just go for the offset board if there is one available for what I need.
Facts just don't care if you ignore them.

MichaelMeissner

#12
Feb 14, 2013, 06:56 pm Last Edit: Feb 14, 2013, 06:58 pm by MichaelMeissner Reason: 1

A nice design of prototype shield would not only allow for the offset headers for stacking, but would also provide at least one row of connected holes along the headers to allow for connecting to the rest of the circuit.

The DFRobot proto-screw shield has both screw mounts for external connections, and a second row of headers so can solder directly to the shield but still use it as a stacking shield (and it comes pre-assembled): http://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=prototype%20shield&page=3&product_id=468#.UR0jMCZQD4o

The Omega ProtoPro-B shield has a second row of connected holes to allow connecting wires directly.  That second row of pins is adjusted so that it is all at 0.1" spacing to allow for connection of multiple pin headers.  Note, this does not come assembled, and you would need to solder in the headers (and you could use extra long pins for the connectors, but you may have to buy the pins separately).  http://www.aztecmcu.com/catalog/i125.html

The seeed protoshield kit (that Radio Shack sells) has 3 rows of connected pins.  It does not come assembled: http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/protoshield-kit-for-arduino-p-318.html?cPath=132_134

This spanish prototype shield that is unassembled also has two rows of pins.  From the ebay listing, it looks like the pins are high enough to clear the USB connector on the Uno: http://www.ebay.com/itm/150979294406?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649

bkenobi


Certainly, but I am not aware of anyone that is doing that in production.  Probably too labor intensive.  As for me, I'll always just go for the offset board if there is one available for what I need.


But how do you stack a shield that has offset headers?  If you put the board on the top of your stack, it doesn't matter I suppose.  That may not always be an option though.

PeterH


But how do you stack a shield that has offset headers?


Same way as any other shield, surely?
I only provide help via the forum - please do not contact me for private consultancy.

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