Go Down

Topic: Freetronics LCD shield pins used up (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Hi all,

I am new to electronics and I would like to build a thing that displays message and some music for my gf at her birthday/valentine.

I am using the  freetronics LCD display shield with keypad with Arduino experiment kit

After the shield is installed there is no free pins left, so what should I do to connect other components like speaker and LED?

Your help is much appreciated.



I think you are simply referring to the number of holes left (zero) after you plug the shield into the Arduino.  The LCD only uses a few of those pins exclusively, those you nominate in the code.  You can attach wires to the tops of the other pins for your other purposes. The obvious choices are A1>A5.

The Freetronics board is quite a good design, I believe unique in that it centralises the display over the Arduino below. Unfortunately it is also unique in that it does not provide convenient solder points beside the unused pins like all the cheapo eBay LCD shields do. This is something you only find out after you've bought it.

If you are averse to soldering, you could put a proto board between the two, and there is one available with screw terminals, but I think nit would be better to come to terms with soldering.


Hi I seen that you are from NSW, I am from Brisbane btw.

Well in that case I will go to Jaycar and get a soldering kit, if not, do you have any proto board recommendation? or can I just solder to Arduino  prototyping area directly?


It sounds like you have a Freetronics Eleven. I don't know anything about them but the pictures suggest that connecting the ports to the proto area is more a matter of moving the problem than solving it.

I submit that getting a proto shield for the job in hand is a bit of overkill and getting the Freetronics screw terminal proto board is only for the desperate. It would be cheaper to replace the LCD with one off eBay.

You won't regret getting a soldering iron and attaching a couple of wires to the top of the LCD pins isn't so hard. Check the details of the proto area of the Arduino. It may be easier than I think!


Thanks mate, greatly appreciate your reply.

I am not asking for spoon fed, but my issue is that I don't really know how to connect the LCD screen got from ebay. I have very limited knowledge on the Electronics stuff. I understand like connecting resistor to LED to prevent it from blown etc. But I have forgotten most of the things sadly. Maybe it's time to pick up a book and start again  :~


Mate, we are coming towards the end of the twentieth century. The last thing you should be doing is pick up a book. You can get all you need right here.

I understand your eBay display is just a bare module with 16 holes along the edge, not a shield. I'm sure they are fine but they are messy to use, probably with a breadboard and bits of wire all over the shop . For your job, you are probably better off using a shield and I understand you already have one. 

If you intend to build your project into a case, that is a different story and the bare LCD becomes more practical. The Jaycar flow meter is a notable example and you should check it out no matter what your intentions are.  It is the best example of practical application I know of.


Nick is right,
this Google search turned up pages of tutorials "lcd sheild with buttons tutorial", I recommend  SparkFun, Adafuit, Evil Mad Scientist, and Tronix Stuff. Follow any one from the beginning and you'll have a good start.
Einstein once said you don't really understand anything until you can explain it to your Grandmother

Go Up