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Is it possible to connect an SD card to an Arduino without buying a shield?

I know for pins like supply voltage and ground, I could just solder a wire. But for the data lines, do data travel on "normal wires", or is that a special connection and not just a voltage/current input?

Thanks, sorry for the ignorance  smiley-roll-sweat
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If you have  3.3V Arduino, the connections are just normal wires: SPI using SCK, MOSI, MOSI, SS.
If you have a 5V Arduino, you need a 3.3V source and a level translation chip, 74HC4050 is commonly used.
Most SD cards can need 250-300mA. The 3.3V regulator on a 5V Arduino only supports 150mA, you need one that can support more.
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Have you considered using a breakout board?you can get some really cheap at eBay.
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Check

http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-DIY-SD-card-breadboard-socket/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Memory-Card-Shield-for-Arduino-UNO/

i tested and work fine.
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