The Pinouts Book Is Here, And It’s Just What You Need

Updates from the enigmatic [NODE] are unfortunately few and far between these days. In fact his latest post is only the second time we’ve heard from the hacker in 2021. But as we’ve come to expect from his white-on-sorta-black releases, it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Just in time to ring in whatever holiday you may celebrate, [NODE] has unveiled The Pinouts Book. A project he’s been working on for some time now with colleague [Baptiste], the free PDF download contains over 300 pages of high-contrast hardware diagrams and their respective pinouts. It’s about as straightforward as you can get, beyond the dedication page in the beginning, there’s not a word of fluff in the entire document. This is a work of hacker minimalism at its best, and we’re all about it.

From audio/video connectors all the way to development boards and single-board computers, The Pinouts Book sticks to the same format of a diagram and accompanying chart, making it exceptionally easy to find what you’re looking for. If you need more information than this streamlined layout can provide, each entry includes a link to a dedicated page on the book’s companion website. This will redirect you to supplemental data such as the manufacturer’s website, the part’s full datasheet, etc.

According to [NODE], the original plan for the Creative Commons BY-SA licensed work was to release it as a physical book, but the project ballooned up to such a scale that they realized it would be much easier to navigate and use as a digital document. While we don’t disagree, a physical release would certainly look lovely on our bookshelf. In the meantime, those who want to support the effort financially can purchase shirts emblazoned with diagrams pulled straight from the book’s pages.

We’ve long believed that a large-format electronic paper device would be an ideal gadget for the hacker’s workbench, as it allows for browsing through schematics and datasheets with a minimum of eye strain. Now we can also add a copy of The Pinouts Book to the list of things we’d install on our hacker-friendly e-ink compendium.

Thanks to [karnathe] on the Hackaday Discord server for tipping us off to this one.

42 thoughts on “The Pinouts Book Is Here, And It’s Just What You Need

  1. The very thing. Exactly what I’ve always wanted and needed.

    And the diagrams are a nice, soothing colour scheme (chalkboard).

    PRO TIP: Remember to display in facing layout and with the cover page shown in facing mode,
    then the correct page pairs are displayed on-screen.

    1. It has struck me that having this printed and bound, we have the first, ever coffee table book that is also a useful reference (as opposed to pretty pictures without any substance).

      Perfect for geek-nerd cred when the visitors arrive.

    1. Some pro tips:

      The index isn’t clickable to be prepared to scroll a lot. A HUGE LOT!

      You can’t use a default OS PDF viewer like Edge as it doesn’t show page numbers when you scroll so you will be scrolling a LOT more than just a HUGE LOT and you will be scrolling in both directions.

      Instructions for using a mobile device: 1) Smash mobile device 2) Ask work colleague if you can use their desktop PC as your mobile device isn’t working.

      Take lots of ibuprofen or paracetamol or what ever you take for headaches before you start.

      The pages alternate between white and black in a headache inducing way.

      This headache inducing contrast change can be improved by viewing in “two page” facing mode. Then you consistently have black on one side and white on the the other …

      Except when you scroll. As the default background color in your PDF viewer is white, the bottom of the black page side will flash as you scroll as it is being updated with the new image, in a headache inducing manner.

      If your PDF viewer allows it, you may be able to set the default background color to black, then the bottom of the white pages will flash in a headache inducing manner instead of black pages.

      Most of this headache inducing issue can be reduced by printing out the manual, after all the index isn’t clickable anyway so it has no real advantages in electronic format. First you have to modify your laser printer with a large scoop path going to the toner cartridge so that you can use a shovel to add toner as it’s printing.

      A wonderful protect no doubt I have something similar on my PC that works through a browser so it’s easy to up date.

      I wouldn’t say that in it’s current form that it’s badly executed, more like: in it’s current form it needs to be executed and then burnt with fire.

      1. I’m looking forward to a report of a hack that inverts the inverted pages.

        Commercial advice to [NODE] and [Baptiste]: Sell stickers with white background and black “logo”. (Don’t bother to sell white T-shirts with black print.)

    1. Yeah, how could two dudes trying to document hundreds of devices could ever make a mistake in the first public release of their project?

      What a clown. Did you notify them of the issue, or did you rush right here to complain about it?

      1. I would have tried to contact them directly, but I could find no contact info of any kind provided on the blog, project website, or PDF, so my best hope was that the creators might notice their project featured here and happen to read some comments. Or failing that, at least my comment might save someone a headache of a broken prototype after they assumed that this thing is error-free. I didn’t look at every page, but if there’s one error, there may be others.

        Thanks for calling me a clown, happy holidays to you as well.

          1. What a place to hide that! I also couldn’t find any contact info despite them saying “… then please contact us”

            I’m fairly positive the 4-contact jack is wrong too, looks like a lazy copy/paste mistake.

  2. I actually liked the idea.. however… (yeah, another one of those people) full black pages with white drawings sure does eat a LOT OF TONER. Otherwise I really like the idea and the layout etc…

      1. A second, black-on-white version for quick printing would be wonderful.

        Sadly, by reader doesn’t allow conversion to printer colours.

        Heck, a zip of individual page pairs would be wonderful for an updateable manual.

        Just a thought

    1. Another nitpick is the drawing & the pinouts are on different pages so scrolling… If you switch to 2 page layout the pages don’t line up (drawing doesn’t match pinout).

      Deleting a page from the front fixes this.

        1. @MikrySoft, Okular on Linux can offset the first page too. Very handy for docs like this one.

          The Pinouts Guide looks great! I love white on black for reading on screen. +1 for a Git or similar so the community can fix any errors, add more pinouts etc.

  3. Frankly, I was expecting more. More connectors, more pinouts, more details. For example why not include dimensions? When working on one design I had to look up dimensions for micro-USB plug to include a properly sized recess for it.

    For those seeking more pinouts, I highly recommend this page:

    1. When I saw this blog post, I immediately thought of
      That site has been quite helpful in the past.
      But I downloaded this Pinouts .pdf to have pinouts available should I not have Internet access during the Zombie Apocallypse.

  4. Wow! Just at the right moment, one download, one reference and I now can bin all those scribbled unredable notes I was making. Thanks guys.

    Just want to echo comments about white text on black though, and clikcable links and clickable index would be nice in v1.1

    1. I was surprised that the index and the individual links couldn’t be clicked, but this is a first release of a book that was originally supposed to be printed, so presumably they’re going to address that moving forward.

  5. “Updates from the enigmatic [NODE] are unfortunately few and far between these days. In fact his latest post is only the second time we’ve heard from the hacker in 2021. ”

    Near the end of his Casio watch mods video, he mentions that he has been busy this past year.

  6. Nice! A good start! I can see this as being quite useful. I can also see this as a continual work in progress! To bad they don’t have a place to leave messages for suggestions and errors could be sent in. RS-232 could be a book in itself because of the different ways it can be used.

  7. Great ressource, tank you. Dors Antoine grave the same To show the way in the jungle of connectors (trying to identify the correct jst types took me a while the other day). Not only to identify, but also To explore the sheer diversity of pcb connectors, it would be great!

  8. No clickable Table of Contents. The Contents page numbers do not match the .pdf page numbers. A .zip archive download of a .pdf that reduces the file size by 2.3%. Weird 7.76″ x 7.76″ page size. Alternating white-on-black/black-on-white pages makes the entries practically unprintable unless you have free ink.

    Otherwise it’s nice work – and we can’t complain about the price. Thank you!

    1. GNU the Maplin Catalogue.

      Mind you, the utility of the later editions decreased as the datasheet information became reduced to make way for more gadgets instead of components. :(

    1. Might like to add the Blue & Black Pill versions of the STM32F103, Maple Mini and STM8S103 to that list (the STM8 now has the programming problem solved ;) )

      Maybe even the Mega 2560 Pro (my favourite for heavy I/O applications).

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.