need description of Arduino Grove shield for blind user

I am totally blind and am just getting started with Arduino. I have purchased a Grove starter kit to get familiar with the platform.
Unfortunately, most of the information describing the Grove Shield is very visual.
What I’m looking for is a text description of where each port is on the shield. I know the analog ports are on the left side, but am unsure what all the ports on the top of the shield are. I know most of them are digital, but don’t know which order they go in. For example, if something tells me to plug a cable into digital 0, is that upper left?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

This description is based on the picture at this page:

I am orienting the shield with the switch at the bottom left corner, Grove connectors and female headers facing up.

The shield has a number of Grove connectors on it. This makes it easy to connect accessories that use those connectors, such as the ones included with the Grove Starter Kit. I will list them in columns from left to right: First column: A3, A2, A1, A0 Second column: D4, D8, I2C Third column: D3, D7, I2C Fourth column: D2, D6, I2C Fifth column: UART, D5, I2C

At the right edge of the shield there is a 2 by 6 male header. This is the ICSP header and connects directly to the ICSP header on the Arduino board.

At the bottom left corner of the shield is a three position switch. The positions from left to right are 3V3, VCC, 5V.

To the right of the three position switch is a reset button, marked RST.

To the right of the reset button is an LED marked PWR.

Running horizontally along the top and bottom edges of the shield are female headers. These connect directly to the pins on the Arduino board and thus have the same pin numbering. I'm guessing you already have a description of each of these pins on these headers but am happy to provide one if you want.

So to answer your question regarding digital 0, this would be in the same position on those female headers as on the Arduino board the shield is connected to. Therefore pin 0 is at the top right corner.

Just to clarify, I listed the grove connector columns in top to bottom order.

Wow! This is perfect! I've been playing around with justa basic buzzer and button, and did manage to get it working, but it was a lot of trial and error. That's because the ports are in nothing like the order I assumed they would be in. Thank you so much!

This may be a slightly harder question. This Grove starter kit came in a plastic box with all the parts inside. Assuming that all these packages are created the same, can anyone find a description of which parts are in which slot in the package? I think my kit has 19 parts, including the cables. I can identify the speaker, button, LCD, and rottery sensor. Some of the other parts are harder to ID by touch.

I’m not sure if I’m looking at the page for the correct kit. There are multiple Grove Starter Kits listed on I’m referring to the “Grove - Starter Kit for Arduino” listing but from the description it sounds like there are multiple versions. Quote from product description follows:

This Grove - Starter Kit for Arduino is upgraded version of our Grove Starter Kit plus. We included more frequently encountered modules in this kit to support your concept buildup.

End of quote from product description.

Here is the parts list from the product description:

  • 1x Base Shield
  • 1x Grove - LCD RGB Backlight
  • 1x Grove - Smart Relay
  • 1x Grove - Buzzer
  • 1x Grove - Sound Sensor
  • 1x Grove - Touch Sensor
  • 1x Grove - Rotary Angle Sensor
  • 1x Grove - Temperature Sensor
  • 1x Grove - LED
  • 1x Grove - Light Sensor
  • 1x Grove - Button
  • 1x DIP LED Blue-Blue
  • 1x DIP LED Green-Green
  • 1x DIP LED Red-Red
  • 1x Mini Servo
  • 10x Grove Cables
  • 1x 9V to Barrel Jack Adapter
  • 1x Grove starter kit Manual
  • 1x Green Plastic Box

End of parts list from product description.

So that’s 16 parts if you count the ten cables as one part.

Here’s a listing of the contents of the compartments in the kit box. The lid hinge is oriented at the top. There are nine smaller compartments. I’m listing them in rows, left to right, top to bottom. Note that there is no guarantee the kit ships with the similar sized modules in the same compartments as shown on the product image. I’m providing descriptions of each module following the module name so hopefully you will be able to identify them by touch even if they’re out of order. Module descriptions are oriented with the grove connector at the top of the module. I’m using as a reference in addition to the product page.

First row:
Light Sensor
On the left side of the module is an 8 pin surface mount IC with the pins on the top and bottom sides of the package. On the right is the light sensor, a photoresistor. This is circular in shape about 5mm diameter with a flat spot on the top and bottom of the circle.

The button has a square base with a smaller circular button on top. From the description this is a momentary button with a pull-down resistor. It outputs HIGH when pressed and LOW when not pressed.

The buzzer is cylindrical in shape and has a smaller hole on the top to let the sound out. It may ship with a sticker on top covering the hole. The purpose of this is to protect the buzzer from water damage during the manufacture of the module. The sticker may be removed and this will make the buzzer louder. From the description this is an active piezo buzzer.

Second row:
LED Module
On the left side is a round pin machined female header with two holes. This is oriented vertically with the hole for the LED cathode, marked with a negative sign, on top. The bottom hole is for the LED anode, marked with a positive sign. On the right side is a potentiometer used to control the brightness of the LED. This has a square base with a smaller squarish knob on top that sticks up above the base about 3 millimeters. The knob has a plus sign shaped indent on the top that can be used to turn the knob using a screwdriver. You may be able to turn the knob by hand. The knob is offset on the axis of rotation, which allows you to determine the position.

Temperature Sensor
This module has a very small rectangular surface mount NTC thermistor, which is the actual temperature sensor, on the left side, just above another surface mount component of the same size and shape. At the bottom center of the module is an eight pin surface mount IC with the pins on the sides of the package.

Sound Sensor
On the left is an eight pin IC with the pins on the top and bottom of the package. From the description this IC is an LM358. On the right is the microphone, cylindrical in shape.

Third Row:
Smart Relay
This is a larger module and has a larger, rectangular shaped compartment in the kit box. On the left side of the module, below the grove connector, is a rectangular screw terminal that allows you to connect two wires to the module. The screws are round indentations on the top of the terminal that can be tightened or loosened with a small flat head screwdriver. The openings for the wires are on the left side of the terminal. There is a metal plate that moves up when the screw is turned clockwise and down when the screw is turned counterclockwise. The wire is secured when it is pinched between this plate and the fixed metal plate at the top of the opening when the screw is turned clockwise until tight. If the bottom plate is raised it is possible to insert the wire below it and this will cause the wire to not be gripped in the terminal when the screw is tightened so it’s a good idea to completely loosen the terminal before inserting the wire. The screw will continue turning counterclockwise even when the bottom plate has reached its lowest position but you may be able to hear a slight clicking noise at each rotation when it reaches this position. To the right of the terminal there are some small rectangular surface mount components, including an LED that indicates the state of the relay. Below the terminal is a large rectangular box shape, this is the relay.

Rotary Angle Sensor
This is a potentiometer. It is a larger cylindrical plastic knob with smooth grooves down the sides. At the top of the knob is a raised circular piece of plastic a little smaller than the knob with rounded edges. There is a notch in this circle that indicates the position of the knob. It looks like you should be able to feel this notch.

Touch Sensor
On the right side of the grove connector are three small rectangular surface mount components, on the right side of the connector is a small surface mount IC with 6 pins along the top and bottom of the package and a small surface mount rectangular component. Other than that the module will feel like a blank PCB because it is a capacitive sensor that just uses copper traces on the PCB. There is a circle extending from the bottom of the Grove connector to the mounting hole at the bottom of the module that indicates the area of the sensor.

LCD RGB Backlight
This is the large rectangular module on the right side of the kit box. The LCD is oriented with the grove connector below the LCD.

Other parts:
Mini Servo
This is a larger rectangular shaped motor with a wire connected. The servo horn is connected to the shaft and is in the shape of a plus sign with mounting holes along each arm.

There are three colored LEDs, red, green, and blue. These are cylindrical plastic parts with a rounded top and a collar at the bottom with two metal leads extending out the bottom. Some LEDs have a flat spot on one side of the collar on the same side as the cathode lead. They will usually have one lead longer than the other, this is the anode. If one lead is longer than the other you will need to cut them to the same length with some dikes before they can be inserted into the female header on the LED module.

9 volt battery connector
This has the connector for a 9 volt battery on one side of the wire and the barrel plug on the other that can be plugged into the barrel jack on your Arduino.

Grove Cables
These are used to connect the Grove modules to the grove connectors on the shield. They are keyed so they can only be inserted in the connector one way. They have 4 pins. With the keyed part of the connector on the cable pointing up these are primary digital or analog input or output, secondary digital or analog input or output, power, ground.

I hope I made that clear enough. Please let me know if there’s any other information I can provide.

You are amazing! Yes, this looks like the same kit. I'm fairly sure the parts are in the same order. If not, I have more than enough detail to identify them. Thanks much!

Hello, I am making some progress. I have been able to connect the light sensor and get readings from it. I'm a bit confused about pinouts though. Some of the examples say to connect modules to Digital pin 11 or 12. If I'm reading your description correctly, digital 8 is the highest these go. Am I missing something? Does the grove not match all pins on the arduino Uno? I know that the Grove connectors use two pins, but this still doesn't seem to add up.

Each Grove connector does have the next higher numbered pin connected to the secondary input/output pin. For example, the Grove connector marked D2 has Arduino digital pin 2 connected to the primary input/output pin on the connector and Arduino digital pin 3 connected to the secondary input/output pin on the connector. However, other than the LCD, all the Grove modules in the kit only use the primary input/output and the LCD uses I2C. Thus you can ignore the secondary input/output pins until you get a Grove module that actually uses that pin. So you're correct, the Grove connectors effectively only go up to Arduino digital pin 8. If you need more digital grove connectors than that you can also use the analog pins as standard digital pins, those pins just have the extra capability of being used as analog inputs. The female headers along the edges of the shield are connected directly to the pins on the Arduino below them so these headers can be used to access the Arduino pins that are not available via the Grove connectors, which are pin 1, pins 9 through 13, A4, and A5.

Some of the Arduino pins do have special capabilities such as PWM, which allows you to use the analogWrite function but in many examples a pin is just chosen at random and you could just as well use a different pin that is available on the Grove connector. Frequently pin 13 will be used because there is an LED on the Arduino connected to that pin on the Arduino board. If the example is using only digitalWrite or digitalRead on that pin you could use any pin instead. If the example is using analogWrite then you could use Grove connector 3, 5, or 6 instead as those pins also support PWM.

Note that you could consider the Grove connector labeled UART to be D0 as it has Arduino digital pin 0 connected to the primary input/output pin on the grove connector and Arduino digital pin 1 on the secondary. The reason it's labeled UART is because pins 0 and 1 are the serial pins. Generally it's a good idea to avoid using those pins unless you specifically need their serial capability because they are also used for uploading sketches to the Arduino and communication with the Serial Monitor on most Arduino boards. Connecting other parts to those pins could interfere with the ability to upload to the board or do other serial communication with your computer.