My first Arduino project

I just received my Uno and am looking froward to putting it to good use. It will be used to monitor the gauges on our LeMons race car and alert the driver when anything need his/her attention.

I'm making a shield that will:

  • Provide protected and regulated 5V dc to the Uno
  • Monitor the analog inputs
  • Light an LED corresponding to a particular gauge when the reading is out of safe range
  • Flash a bright light (shift light) when any gauge is out of the safe range.

The programming will trigger a digital-out pin when any analog reading is past a preset threshold for more than 1 second and will keep the LED and shift light lite for at least 3 seconds, long enough for the driver to take note.

I've designed the shield already and am about to push the button to have it made. I'm using ExpressPCB to draw it up and make my boards.

I have all the parts I need already, except the bare shield, and the connectors that mate it to the UNO. On this last item I might need a little help. It looks like the shield will bump up against the power and USB connector on the UNO, those parts being a bit tall. How do others handle this? What connectors/spacers do you use on your shields?


Make a notch around the barrel jack and USB so the shield can sit flat.
(the larger notch fits around the RJ45 connector on Ethernet equipped boards)

I thought about that, after I drew up the circuit, which I could easily modify, but I was hoping to be able to find connectors that would give me the room I need.

I looked at some other shields and they don't seem to require cutout outs, so either they are using such connectors or are doing something less elegant.


You could simply use extra long pin headers like these.

Remove the plastic from some of these, and place it on the underside of your board over the pins to act as spacers.

Thanks. I think that’s what I will do.

Thanks. I think that's what I will do.

Just pull the pins out the header one at a time and the plastic will remain intact. Cut this to the lenths you need (6 pins and 8 pins) and it will keep everything nice and tidy.

I finished up the schematic and PC board layout last night then decided I want to log the gauge readings. It looks like all I have to do is avoid using certain digital I/O lines for the LED and shift light lines.

I'll stop by Metro Electronics tomorrow to pick up the remaining last of the connectors, etc. I need.