ProtoShield or Seperate Bread Board

Good Day All!

Hope this has not been asked already. What would the group recommend, getting the protoshield or just use a standard breadboard? What do you use? I am just getting back into electronics, and the Arduino looks like a lot of fun!

Thanks in advance, for helping this newbe,


Both. :slight_smile:

Although you can stick a tiny breadboard on a protoshield, they come in most handy when you want to solder down a working prototype sturdy enough to carry around. Or if your circuit is simple enough and you don’t mind doing some re-soldering while you tinker with it!

On the gripping hand, when you cross a component count of half-a-dozen discretes or one 14-pin dip, you’ll really want the space of a full breadboard to play around with.

There are even a couple of Arduino-clones, such as Lady Ada’s “Boardino,” specifically designed to clip into a standard breadboard.

As an aside, there’s a shift in philosophy that comes when you really start leveraging the power of a built-in micro-processor. Many tasks you might have attacked with a handful of components – say, switch debouncing – turn out to be just as easy to handle in software with an extra line or two of code. Even little tricks like pulling down switches to ground or ballasting resistors can be done, essentially, internally to the Arduino. So the component count for your breadboards may not always be what you expect.

Thanks for the reply,

Is it worth purchasing the protoshield? in your opinion?


I got a couple. They were cheap. Plus, perhaps like you, I wanted something to blow the rust off my soldering skills – assembling a shield from a kit was just the ticket.

But so much depends on what you want to do. Again, Arduino is cheap. Get a basic Deicimilla, fire it up, write your “Hello World.” There’s time enough to dream up some project you want to do. You can stick wires in the headers easy enough to try out LED’s, connectors to other computer gear, and so forth.

For me, I walked into Arduino with something I’d been meaning to do for years…strike that…decades. Which was a simple MIDI command generator. For me, a basic shield turned out to have the space I needed to hook up my few components.

You might, however, be more interested in robotics. Or a POV project. Or a remote sensor. Or integrating a surplus joystick into a flight simulator game. Or… In any case, there are not just less-generic shields out there – sensor shields, motor bridges, and the like – but there are even specialized Arduino clones; from Boardinos to Lilypads.

So before you really get into asking whether you NEED a shield, you might want to get more idea about what a shield will do for you.

Wow, Thanks for the response, that is a lot of information, that’s just what I was looking for.

Thanks again,