Hello there. I'm currently developing a very simple Arduino accessory but could use a little help. In particular, I'm looking to see if there is even any interest in such a product.
There is no denying that the Arduino's use of shields is one of it's strong selling points. It allows someone to spend less time on the electronics and their physical assembly and get right down to tying everything together with software. I, however, am not in a position in which I can jump on the shield bandwagon. My first, and currently only, Arduino clone is the RBBB, a solderless breadboard compatible clone. It does not work with shields. So I thought to myself as to how I could remedy this problem. The solution is a PCB that adapts the shield profile to a solderless breadboard. Such a prototyping tool could facilitate 3 things.
- It allows a person with a breadboard-compatible, shield-incompatible Arduino clone to experiment with shields.
- It allows a person who uses other microcontrollers like the Basic Stamp, PIC, or one of a hundred others to experiment with shields.
- If, instead of soldering pins to the bottom for the breadboard and sockets to the top for the shield(s), you solder pins to the top for the breadboard and pins to the bottom for an Arduino, you can use the adapter to connect a shield-compatible Arduino to a large breadboard.
As you can see, I already have a PCB designed. It was extremely easy. I just took the files for the SparkFun ProtoShield, removed the prototyping area and all the electronic components, and trimmed down the PCB.
I've crunched the numbers. The board measures 1.85x2.10 inches. My normal supplier of PCBs, Gold Phoenix, will sell me 39 boards, with electrical testing and ROHS compliance for about $4.11 per board. Buying enough sockets for all 39 boards comes out to $1.44 per kit, and 56 pins per board comes out to $2.21 per kit. Each unassembled, unshipped and unpackaged kit would cost $7.76. That feels a little high, especially considering the ProtoShield the adapter is based on is $15.
Parts per kit: S7004-ND 6 position socket x2 ($0.31270 at 100) S7006-ND 8 position socket x2 ($0.39410 at 100) A26509-40-ND 40 pin break away header x1.4 ($1.57200 at 10) Gold Phoenix fabricated board, 2 layer, 1.85x2.10 inch, electrical testing and ROHS compliance x1 ($4.11)
What I am trying to get at is this: 1. Is there even a demand for such an accessory? If you do want such a device, would you buy my kit, make your own, or modify a prototype shield kit? 2. Do you have any suggestions to make the kit cheaper? I was hoping to make it $5, add no more than $3 for my labor and such, and ask that the purchaser pay for shipping.
Before you ask, this is not my first rodeo. For a time I was building ArduinoBoys and selling them to the chipmusic community. I managed to sell 68 of them before I decided to call it quits.