Arduino shield scaffold

arduinoshield

[Garrett] from macetech has been prototyping shields for the Arduino development platform. Arduino’s have an inexplicable nonstandard spacing between two of the banks of output pins. This means that you can’t use regular perfboard with them. To make the design process quicker, [Garrett] has put together an Eagle file that just includes the male header pins. The file also has a line indicating the tall lower board components so you can avoid creating shorts.

11 thoughts on “Arduino shield scaffold

  1. “arduino’s have an inexplicable nonstandard spacing between two of the banks of output pins”

    One of many reasons I suggest people use the Sanguino :)

  2. Oldest tech tactic in the book..

    .. make it ‘proprietary’ so you ‘have to’ buy their products..

    It is low. And they’re making a killing..

  3. I think it was just a mistake, and by the time enough people complained, it was too late to fix. I find it hard to swallow the sales tactic idea since the Arduino team is totally open source from the IDE to the hardware. Anyone can take the Arduino PCB, move the headers over, and sell a version that’s identical except for header spacing. And last I heard, they aren’t exactly making a killing.

  4. macegr: The main reason that i believe that doesn’t work is that most of the shields for the arduino are based on the current spacing. That being said, It would be nice if the problem was fixed on the official board, to give shield manufactures an incentive to switch.

  5. Has anyone done the same in Kicad? Or does anyone know of a way to convert boards from Eagle to Kicad? Or perhaps I should just convert it myself by hand…

  6. somehow I doubt it was a ‘mistake,’ as its dead simple to have the parts align to the grid. its enabled by default i think with eagle and most other pcb tools. you have to intentionally tell the software to nudge a part off the grid space.
    open source does not imply that they wont do whatever they can to make a profit.

  7. There’s a clone that looks a lot like the official one but uses standard spacing as default, with old holes just in case you need them. Look up Seeeduino.

    An official explanation would be nice, specially if they hoped other versions wouldn’t just use standard holes sooner or later (Seeduino, Boarduino, Sanguino…).

  8. I don’t buy the conspiracy theories about sales … The spacing is just an (annoying) mistake that we must live with because of the sheer number of shields available from third parties. That said, the seeeduino has a clever fix, with two rows of headers, the odd-spaced one for compatibility and one that you can use with perfboards for rapid prototyping. Nice, if you ask me ;)

  9. I just read back through the forums from the design team, and there was a lot of serious debate on the topic about a year ago. One of the lead reasons for the asymmetry as it turns out was that they didn’t want it to be easy to accidentally plug a shield in backwards. Since you’ve got power and ground pinned out in one bank, it could potentially damage any shield with fancy electronics on it.

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