ScrewShield for Arduino

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The ScrewShield is a “wing-format” shield that extends the Arduino pins to sturdy, secure, and dependable screw terminal blocks. (You even get a few bonus terminals for extra GND and power!)

You can purchase a ScrewShield kit at the Maker Shed, SparkFun Electronics, Adafruit Industries, FunGizmos, Oomlout (UK), Solarbotics (CN), and Liquidware.

The ScrewShield has two missions in life:

  1. Prevent your project’s wiring from falling apart
  2. Look really, really awesome

Screwshield

The wing design allows you to extend just one or both sides (“analog” & “digital”) of the Arduino, and still access the jumpers, LEDs, and buttons on the Arduino.

Thanks to its extra-long header pins, the ScrewShield can be stacked above or below other shields.

Where to buy
ScrewShields were initially available for purchase exclusively at the Maker Shed at the 2009 Maker Faire, May 30 & 31. They are now available at the makershed.com site and are coming soon to other fine online kit vendors. We’ll keep you posted.

What’s in the bag
Within the delightfully scented plastic bag you will find:

  • 1 Analog-side PCB
  • 1 Digital-side PCB
  • 2 sets of 6-pin stacky female header pins
  • 2 sets of 8-pin stacky female header pins
  • enough terminal blocks to fill 32 holes on the board (these come in 2- and 3-terminal units, which slot together as described below).

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Make it

Preparation
Heat up your soldering iron, grab some solder, a third-arm tool or vise and start up a small fan or open a window to remove noxious fumes. If you’re in a dark room you should also turn on a light. NEVER SOLDER IN A PITCH DARK ROOM. The grues will get you.

Soldering
Fit the two 8-pin headers into the pin-rows on the “Digital” wing PCB.

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For perfect alignment, and to prevent them from falling out when you turn the board over to solder it, use tape or poster putty to secure the headers.

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Turn the wing over and start soldering!

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Fit the two 6-pin headers into the pin-rows on the “Analog” wing PCB. Again, use tape or putty to secure them.

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Now, flip this wing over and solder it up.

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You can test your alignment now by fitting the ScrewShield wings into an Arduino. All good? Great! (If not, heat up the solder a bit or desolder, straighten and re-solder).

You’re half way there! Time for the terminal blocks.

The terminal blocks come in the kit come in 8-block rows. These are formed from two 3-block units and one 2-block unit; they slide together vertically to form happy little Monopoly-house looking neighborhoods. To form a 6-block row, slide off the 2-block unit.

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Make two 6-block terminal block rows for the “Analog” wing, and set them aside for later.

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Fit two 8-block rows into the “Digital” wing as per the white outlines with the wiring ports facing out. (Not pointing in toward the female header blocks. Unless they’re feeling shy. Then go right ahead.)  Use tape or putty or used chewing gum to hold these in place temporarily.

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Flip the “Digital” wing over and solder the block pins in place. These are both electrical and mechanical connections, so use a good amount of solder to fill up those holes.

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Fit the two 6-block rows, and one 2-block unit into the “Analog” wing as per the white outlines. Once again, face the holes out. (You thought this paragraph would be copy/pasted from the one up above with some word substitutions, right? Wrong! That’s too dangerous.) Secure the blocks in place with some tape, putty, gum, paste, etc. You know the drill by now.

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Flip the “Analog” wing over and solder the block pins in place.

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You should have one spare 2-block screw terminal unit at this point. You can choose to put it in either the “Digital” or “Analog” wing. Here we show it being used to add more GND terminals on the “Digital” wing.

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You’ve just finished building the ScrewShield kit, time to use it.

Use it

Slot one or both ScrewShield wings into the appropriate side of your Arduino. Be mindful of the pin alignment before you go jamming it down!

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Place a length of stranded wire into an open terminal and screw it down to secure the wire. It’s that simple!

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We’ve found all kinds of great uses for these including running multiple wires to one terminal, affixing evil Molex connectors for beefy power jacks, and using pre-wired ScrewShield wings  to quickly swap out components that are plugged into an Arduino.

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You can even stack multiple ScrewShields on top of each other for maximum fun. Please buy lots of them and help put our kids through college/fund our nefarious plots/buy us a cup of joe.

And, of course, you can stack other wonderful shields, such as the Adafruit WaveShield pictured here, on top of or below your ScrewShields.

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We hope you enjoy building and using your ScrewShields!

Thank you,

Tod, Brian, & John

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27 Responses to “ScrewShield for Arduino”

  1. [...] hard working folks over at Wingshield Industries have kindly bundled up a few of their latest kit and sent them our [...]

  2. [...] place winner will receive an Arduino Screw Shield Posted in ArduinoFun News | Tagged Arduino, Arduino Code, Arduino Mega, Arduino Mini, Arduino [...]

  3. [...] place winner will receive an Arduino Screw Shield Posted by GUI on Sunday, November 1, 2009, at 4:47 pm. Filed under Arduino, Misc. Tagged [...]

  4. [...] screw shield (pour visser votre câblage, à votre [...]

  5. [...] place winner will receive an Arduino Screw Shield Posted in ArduinoFun News | Tagged 3D printing, Arduino, Arduino Contest, Arduino Project, [...]

  6. Gilbert Villanueva says:

    Would like to buy a couple of assembled arduino screw shields

  7. Corrado says:

    Hi everybody !
    Just to ask for a confirmation :
    the screwshield kit for Arduino, is also compatible
    with the Arduino Mega version ?
    Or there’s one specific for ?

    ThankYou !!! :-D

    Corrado Girardi

  8. GeorgeFlacker says:

    How you doing guys,

    I was wondering if by any chance you have the Eagle Schematic or Layout files.

    Thanks in advance.

  9. Corrado says:

    Hi Brian how you doing ?
    I was wondering if You are planning to produce
    a srewshield for the Mega version of Arduino

    Thanks in advence

  10. Brian says:

    Hi

    Can I add a voltage regulator to this so I can run my Arduino off a higher voltage? Industrial applications are usually 24Vdc.

    Thanks

  11. admin says:

    I’d suggest looking into a separate power supply rather than trying to integrate a voltage regulator. Turning 24V->5V with just a regulator will generate a lot of heat.

  12. Andy says:

    Where have the photos gone?

    Cheers.

  13. nootrope says:

    So many of the Flickr images are listed as unavailable. The screw blocks aren’t fitting well. They are a bit wider than they should be and bunch-up when lined up. Just want to make sure I’m grouping them correctly.

    Where else can I find process shots? Thanks.

  14. admin says:

    @Andy and @nootrope, thanks for bringing this to our attention. I’m on a trip right now, so I’ll bring this to Tod and John’s attention.

    - Brian

  15. John Park says:

    Sorry about that — all fixed now. That was my fault for improperly linking static photos from Flickr, instead of the html links they want you to use. Bonus: now you can click the images and get to much higher resolution versions!
    -John

  16. Kenneth says:

    What vice/third hand are you using in the photos to hold the pcb while soldering? I’d love to get one!

  17. [...] a system for stopping the cables from pulling out of the arduino attachments (quite apart from the ScrewShield. And a new soldering [...]

  18. Strath says:

    Just built 2 of these, what an awesome product. I can see myself buying a few more.

    Now, how about a 1 piece screwshield with a prototyping area between the 2 sides? A slight improvement on near perfection!

  19. Eric Diamond says:

    Can these be used with the Arduino Mega board? how might I mod this to make it work for the mega?

    - Eric

  20. Igor says:

    Hello,

    Could you please let me know what is the distance between pins of the terminal you used? In our area 5mm is the most common distance, but this will make my board too large…

    Thank you,

    Igor.

  21. John Park says:

    The screw terminals are 3.5mm. We us 4Ucon part # 10685.

  22. Igor says:

    Hello John,

    Thank you for the reply back,

    What about the headers, do you have the part number for them?

    Thank you,

    Igor.

  23. Craig Elliott says:

    Nice product! Just perfect for my semi-permanent Arduino application.

  24. John Park says:

    All the engineering files are here The 8-pin headers are #18689 from 4ucon, the 6-pin are # 18688.

  25. [...] used an Arduino with a Screw Shield to wire up the laser trigger, photocells and [...]

  26. Steve Roberts says:

    Hello,
    We teach a class here at UCSD (Univ CA San Diego) where we use Arduino Uno as a student dev platform. The configuration is Uno plus a screw terminal board. The problem we have is that most available screw terminal boards are offered as kits of parts, not assembled. We use typically 60 of these in our classes. Currently we need 35 more such shields.

    Question: Can you offer us your screw shield in assembled form? For additional cost of course.

    Please let me know.

    Thanks!
    -Steve Roberts
    UCSD
    Mech and Aero Engineering Dept.

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