The SparkFun Qwiic SHIM for Raspberry Pi is a small, easily removable breakout that easily adds a Qwiic connector to your Raspberry Pi. The SHIM design allows you to plug directly to the Pi's I2C bus with no soldering required and the thin PCB design allows for it to be sandwiched on your Pi GPIO with other HATs! The Qwiic SHIM works great when you do not need the full capabilities of the Qwiic pHAT for Raspberry Pi or if you want to add a Qwiic connector to your Pi but do not have room for yet another HAT.
The Qwiic SHIM uses a unique friction-based connector that wedges itself onto the GPIO header for a secure, solderless connection. As you would expect, it has a single Qwiic connector that connects to your Pi's I2C bus (SDA, SCL, 5V and Ground). The SHIM also has a 3.3V regulator so it will work with all Qwiic devices. Even better, the SparkFun Qwiic SHIM will also work with the NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit!
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
There are small manufacturing tolerances between the headers, the shim, and the Raspberry Pi that could cause loose connections. To fix this, one could:
Lightly bend the Pi headers "outward" slightly
Melt solder into the shim header holes and then slap it out, like in this tutorial: https://www.sparkfun.com/news/802. This is not soldering the SHIM to the Pi Headers, just filling the hole and then removing the solder, leaving a small layer of solder behind to make a better connection.
Combination of 1 & 2
Please keep in mind that these methods are physically altering your products and could amount in damage to the products if not done carefully. Please use them at your own discretion.
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 8 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
The friction fit on the 2 shims I bought is a bit loose. If you don't get it set just right, possibly with some tape under the end away from the pins, you may see intermittent connections.
It might also be nice to have a "blank" for the other end of the header pins so that whatever you stack on top stays level.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
Great idea, poor execution. The holes for the header pins are so loose it wiggles. I could not get a solid connection without pushing the board against the pins with quite a bit of force. Tested on two different Pis, same issue. Soldered the connections instead.
I have to hold down the shim on my RPi in order to get a connection. The python library and examples are also not that easy to follow and some of Sparkfun's methods seem to have incorrect names (e.g., connected_devices instead of connectedDevices)
Couldn't figure out why it was so fussy. Sign. I ended up soldering it onto the pins, which definitely defeats the purpose.
The friction based connectors simply don't make solid contact with the raspberry pi headers without solder, and the spacing of the components makes it difficult to non-destructively solder with a soldering iron.
By wedging and bending things in just the right way, I could kind of sort of get it to work, but I ultimately found that using a simple Qwiic to female jumper cable like this one (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14988) was much easier and more reliable.
Same issues as other comments, the connectors aren't tight enough on the pins to guarantee a good connection. When I set mine on a PI 3B, gravity just tilts it to the side and while the 5v pin & ground seems fine, it 's titled in such a manner that its pads don't contact the sda & scl pins. I even tried it with a pi hat on top of it(because that's the ideal use case for pi shims), because after I couldn't get it to stay still I figured it needed to be pinned down by the connectors on one, but even when held in by the connectors of the pi hat it still failed to work. How did this get past QC?
Sorry about that! We had some bad boards but have made some changes that should correct this in the future.
It does exactly what it's supposed to. Easy to install, and allows using Qwiic cables to connect to I2C sensors.
The shim for Qwiic connections to the Pi makes for a perfect link to start using sensors with Qwiic connections.
What would also be nice is a similar device that isn't a shim, but a connector for those who don't need to sit anything else on the Pi pins.