Forum 2005-2010 (read only) > Frequently-Asked Questions

Multiple Shields ?

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2GMario:
Hey guys

So, I've seen the shield extenders on makershed.com - and I Think thats what I need, but I still wanna ask

For my project, I wanna be able to control motors with a motor shield, play some sound with a sound shield and control some led's

so that's 2 shields on top of a arduino - and I still need access to the actual arduino to control some leds

Is this even possible or would I have to use multiple arduino's and sync them somehow ?

-Mario

Grumpy_Mike:
In principal you can do this but in practice you have to make sure that the shields don't want to use the same pins and often they do. It can be tricky diverting the pins they require because of the hardware behind them inside the processor chip.

2GMario:
ok, so i'll take that as a no

so then, maybe to save some money, i'll use my duemilanova as the motor arduino

i'll need another duemilanova for the sound shield and i could probably get away with one of the mini arduino's to control the led's

if i connect a sound sensor to trigger the action to a mini one, i could probably use one of the pins to trigger the 2 bigger ones with the shields on them as a cheap way to sync them - for halloween - everything doesn't have to be dead on, just close enough to look cool

Grumpy_Mike:
Well what I would do is just to make the electronics on strip board then I could use what ever pins I wanted. That way you would only need one Arduino and save you the problems of syncing them.

kg4wsv:
Check the schematics of the shields to see if they use any of the same pins.

Even if they do use the same pins, this may not be a show-stopper.  For example, I'm helping student put together a 3-shield stack.  All 3 have 2 SPI devices, and one has an I2C device on it.  The SPI pins (11-13) are shared on all three shields, with each shield's peripherals attached to a unique SS line.

There may be the issue of mechanical interference as well.  For example, my home-brew ethernet shield can't have anything stacked on top of it, since it's too tall.

-j

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