Monday, November 15, 2010

Arduino Protoshield + mini breadboard

For Arduino beginners, if you are ordering an Arduino and other accessories to save on shipment but do not know what else to order, I would like to suggest to you this shield, Prototype shield or just Protoshield.

Arduino Prototype Shield
With this shield plug on top of your Arduino, you have access to all the Arduino pins plus a row of five +5V and GND pins each for easy access. This protoshield comes with a mini breadboard with double sided tape that you can stick on top of the blank holes for permanent prototyping.

Let me go into a bit of details about this Arduino Protoshield. This protoshield comes with 2 push buttons, one push button for the reset function and another extra push button connected to the ground. This push button connected to the ground can be used as a pull-up resistors. There is a small hole besides the push button to connect to your circuit.

Protoshield with pull-up resistors
The above picture shows a pull-up resistor on a protoshield with the green cable connected from Pin 13 to the LED and the orange cable connected to the push button. The 10K ohm resistor is on the same circuit as the orange cable is connected to +5V and 100 ohm resistor is connected to pin 3. When the push button is not pressed, the state of Pin 3 is HIGH and the LED is OFF. When the push button is pressed, due to the lower resistance, the circuit is grounded and the state of Pin 3 is LOW and the LED will be turned ON. (Beginner Note :- a 10K ohm resistor is commonly used to denote a pull-up or pull-down resistor)

Besides the push buttons, there are two extra surface mounted LED (red and green for mine) with a 1K resistor on each rows of Arduino pins. You can connect it directly to your circuit without any resistors. Look for the small hole near the surface mounted LED. As the protoshield have blocked the LED on the Arduino board, you can connect the LED up to either pin 13 or the Receive or Transmit pins to see the activities.

The mini breadboard, similar to normal breadboard, have a large groove in the middle for putting Dual Inline Package (DIP) integrated circuit (IC) or chips.

Using this Arduino Protoshield, the circuit is very neat with short jumper cables and have good access to both side of the Arduino pins instead of using long jumper cables connection to a breadboard. Power access is at the top of the board with 5 pins each for +5V and Ground.

This is one of my most useful Arduino accessories to have in your arsenal. My Protoboard is permanent plug into the Arduino.

Below is an image of Protoboard shield with a 16x2 LCD module with all the wires connected to the mini breadboard.

Protoshield with LCD module

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