This is a clever little breakout board for both the RGB and R/G illuminated rotary encoders. On one side, it breaks out all of the RGB pins to standard, breadboard friendly, 0.1" headers. Turn it over and it has a footprint for the R/G version! Simply solder an encoder down to the board and you're ready to add illuminated input to your next project.
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Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
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This little board makes it a lot easier to use the Illuminated Rotary Encoders (both RG or RGB). I have the RG which I bought without this board -- that was a mistake. I am sure I could have soldered a bunch or wires to each pin, then tried to keep track of which wire did what. But who wants to do that? The Illuminated Rotary Encoders will not fit into a breadboard, but adding headers to this breakout will -- mostly.
If you do plan on butting this on a breadboard, be warned that the two rows of headers you attach will be a bit far apart. They will fit on a breadboard (e.g. columns a and i) but access to some of the other breadboard holes in those rows will therefore be a bit hampered. You'll either have to connect some of the other wires to the breadboard (and have them lie flat) and then inset the breakout board over them, or have the breakout board span two breadboards.
I have one suggestion (for Sparkfun). At present, these are not mentioned in the description section of the Illuminated Rotary Encoders. That would be helpful -- for my anyway. They are listed in the Hookup Accessories, but there are often items there that seem like they should be in the Similar Items section and therefore can be easily glossed over.
It does what it's supposed to do and it works fine, BUT: If you put it on a standard breadboard, there is no way to have both sets of rows accessible at all, because it goes from the outermost pin on one side to the second-outermost on the other side. If it were even one pin length shorter, it would be a ton easier to use. I just went and made my own (just for the RGB types) that goes from the middle pins in each set of rows, so about 0.3" shorter. So it's nice, but be aware that you'll need a way to set up two breadboards, or otherwise get something larger to work on to actually use both sets of headers at once. I think that's a side-effect of needing to support both of the RG/RGB pinouts.