Multiple Arduinos: An arduino shield.

Has anyone here used surface mount pin headers before? If so, how well do they stand up to repeated use? The reason I was thinking of using surface mount instead of through hole headers is I'm thinking of making a stackable arduino. I know you can stack shields on arduinos now. I'm talking about an arduino as a shield. Then, if you need more pins or true multi-tasking, just plug another arduino on top. The MCU's can communicate via I2C, UART or SPI etc. The reason for the smd headers is to have the pins from the board below break out to the sides and the headers from the top board in their usual place. Because the bottom and top headers will be in exactly the same position smd is the only way it would be possible. I was thinking I could do an uno and a mega. Does anyone think this is a good idea or worth the effort? I was going to start a poll to see if anyone would be interested in an arduino shield, but I can't find the poll option. Have they removed it, or am I not looking in the right place?

Thanks for your replies, DigitalJohnson

plugging multiple arduino on top is a good idea in theory. The only thing you want to share are 5V and GND and the communication bus (lets say I2C) so the question comes up:

How to keep the IO lines free when stacking ? If you have a solution for that it could become an excellent idea in practice.

The Arduino shield should fit on a standard Arduino board, but also on an Arduino shield and make the underlying pins available.

  • Instead of stacking you might design a (flat) board with 4 x 328 (quadcore :) on it, some jumpers to either connect SPI/I2C ...

  • You could design a PCB that fits upon an standard Arduino and turn the IO pins to horizontal. Only the necessary pins are vertical (+ some placeholders)

just some thoughts

Samurai Circuits has something they call their Mama Shield

Duh! I was looking for the poll while I was writing this topic. It’s next to start a new topic. So, I’ll start a poll. Anyway…


The only thing you want to share are 5V and GND and the communication bus (lets say I2C) so the question comes up:
How to keep the IO lines free when stacking ?

That is the problem. Bringing all the underlying pins out in addition to all of the pins on the top board while still conforming to the arduino footprint. I was designing a PCB with eagle and came across some surface mount headers (male & female). I don’t think they’re in the standard libraries, but one I uploaded from the user libraries on the eagle website. Also, in sparkfun’s eagle library, they’ve made a footprint to mount vertical through hole headers(female) horizontally off the edge of a PCB surface mount style (good idea IMHO). Since there is an eagle library with footprints for them, someone must make them. I’m going to do some searching and try to find a manufacturer. If anyone knows where to get them it would be very helpfull. If anyone has ever used them I’d be interested to hear how well they hold up to repeated use. I’ve attached an image of my idea. Do you think it will work? After I post this I’ll start a poll to see if anyone’s interested in the idea.

Thanks for your replies,

board mockup.jpg

What about something like this:
Shield 2
Arduino 2
Shield 1
Arduino 1

You might as well just use a larger board for such an application, though.

Or just go with a dual '328 board, add a shield-receiver board on top…