Simple question about ProtoShield

Hey all,

This is going to sound dumb, but I am having trouble understanding how to use the protoshield.

I am referencing the one shown in this image: http://arduino.cc/en/uploads/Main/ArduinoProtoShield_Front_450px.jpg

I understand that this thing mounts into the arduino below it, but how do I solder connections into the digital pins or analog pins? I want to avoid using wires to connect to the digital pins and want to simply solder my connections to them. Is that what the holes right next to the female headers are? (shown in the image).

Also, are all the holes in the middle area connected in the same way a breadboard is? I would like to solder connections from this IMU https://learn.adafruit.com/system/guides/images/000/000/500/medium800/1714_LRG.jpg?1396715912 into the analog pins of the arduino. Like I asked before, I'm assuming that is what the holes directly next to the analog female headers are, correct? Sorry for the confusion...Thank you!

I want to avoid using wires to connect to the digital pins and want to simply solder my connections to them.

You do have to solder wires to the pads that are labeled eg. A0, then to any components that are mounted on the board.

Great! So those pads that are next to the female headers are linked to the female headers for the analog and digital pins on the arduino right? I just don't see how they are connected together.

My question is more clear with this image

So, for example, look at the female header for A5 (bottom left of board).

The open hole next to it can also be used for A5, right? As in, I could either solder the wire to that hole or plug it into the female header, they are one and the same, correct? I just don’t see how they are connected visually.

Yes They are probably connected on the underside.

There’s a little trace between header hole and the hole next to it.
Hard to see with the label printed over it.

It is clear to see on the schematic. https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/DevTools/Arduino/ProtoShield-v25.pdf

Bob has it.
Zoom in and you will see the traces going to the headers.

kingneptune117: Also, are all the holes in the middle area connected in the same way a breadboard is? I would like to solder connections from this IMU https://learn.adafruit.com/system/guides/images/000/000/500/medium800/1714_LRG.jpg?1396715912 into the analog pins of the arduino.

The centre grid of holes are not quite like breadboard where you have rows of 5 connected to each other. They are all individual holes on that protoshield and it's up to you to link holes together as needed. A small section (bottom left of your original image link) have common pins. You can find protoshields set out in the same way as breadboard or ones that have a breadboard on them.

kingneptune117: I just don't see how they are connected together.

Does it matter?

In multilayer PCBs a lot of the traces are invisible. All that matters is that they're connected (which a few seconds with a multimeter will prove).

Appreciate the help guys! Makes sense now.