Creative Commons images are CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

9.95

added to your
shopping cart

quantity
Only 4 left! 4 in stock
9.95 1+ units
8.96 10+ units
7.96 100+ units

Description: Riding on the waves of the very popular Arduino USB board is this small prototyping shield. Originally spawned with collaboration between the folks at SFE and ITP @ NYU, the ProtoShield mates with the Arduino USB board and gives the user a small soldering area, two general LEDs, access to a BlueSMiRF socket, a general pushbutton switch, and most important of all - the Arduino reset switch is brought to the top level. A ProtoShield quickstart guide is available!

This comes in kit form and must be soldered together by the end user. Please note - we do not ship assembly instructions, but you can find a big, clean photographed assembly guide here! There are a few tutorials on assembly listed below. All soldering is through-hole (relatively easy) but always check your component orientation before soldering!

The kit is pictured with the bread-board option. We highly recommend this breadboard! See the related items below for all the colorful options of breadboards you have.

Kit Includes:

Features:

  • All Arduino pins are brought to the top level
  • 5V, GND, and Vin pins are exposed as well
  • BlueSMiRF socket for wireless communication between Arduinos
  • 2 general use LEDs
  • 1 general use button
  • Reset button brought to top level

Documents:

Comments 68 comments

  • Please consider offering just the bare board. I have the kit, but there are several adapters I’d like to build that don’t require the othe bundled components. I considered the LadyAdy board, but I prefer the open pad config of your board.

  • Strike another one for the board-only option. I’d like to either solder it to the underside of a Pro board, or use stacking headers to have it sandwiched.

  • Second vote for offering the bare board. I bought the kit already, and its great for prototyping, but when you want to make something a bit more permanent, I’d love something with just the components you need.

  • One other thing would be to shift everything over just a bit so that the board doesn’t sit on top of the Arduino USB port and try to short S2.

    • Three years later, same problem. The board interferes with the USB and 9v ports on the Arduino Uno, and the metal casing on the USB port shorts S2. I like the simplicity of this board, but I would not buy it until this is fixed.

    • I tried this board with three different Arduinos (Uno, Duemilanove, Mega), and the only way it “works” is to prop it up on the USB and DC jacks; and even then it’s not exactly what I’d call a good fit. Would not buy again….

  • So here’s YAR (Yet Another Request…you thought I was a pirate, didn’t you?) for being able to purchase just the protoboard without the extra kit. Oh, and maybe paint some flowers on it and partner with Celestial Seasonings to send them out in scented cach?s. I have lots of other great ideas, too! :)
    But seriously, being able to purchase the bare board by itself would be a very awesome thing.

  • This just made my day. Whoever packed these arranged the parts onto the foam in the shape of a space invader! You rock!

  • What are the caps for?

  • any plans to have a Leonardo version of this item ?

  • Does this shield currently support the Arduino UNO R3?

  • Are these boards size compatible with the Arduino Uno? That is, do the output pins line up correctly?

    • Yes. You will still have to add a small bit of electrical tape to the top of the USB header to prevent the switch from shorting out though.

  • Not a bad board, there have been some good comments here with regards to possible improvements. Have documented my one here: http://bit.ly/bNCaWS

  • I notice this has a couple of mounting holes right above mounting holes on the arduino, that gap wouldn’t happen to be the right length for a standoff would it?

  • This doesn’t fit on the Arduino Uno. The USB connector prevents the shield from sitting evenly on the Arduino, making some of the connections bad. Not a good product. I wouldn’t recommend buying this.

    • I agree here. I got a couple of these shields to sit on top of an Arduino Uno Rev3, Ethernet Shield, and an Arduino Yun. This proto shield doesn’t fit on any of them. On the Arduino Uno it makes contact with the USB-B port. On the Yun and Ethernet shield, it makes contact with the ethernet port. On the Yun it also makes contact with the USB-A port. I received v2 of the protoshield. This is a significant flaw in my opinion with regard to the design of the board. I would have expected someone to have noticed with v1, that the board will not seat on these Arduinos. With the Yun, it begins to make contact just as you set the male header pins into the female pins of the Yun. You can not seat the shield.

      EDIT: (SOLVED) I inserted an additional set of stackable headers (PRT-11417) between the Arduino Board and the ProtoShield Kit!

  • .

  • It’s actually cheaper if you buy just the parts

  • My Arduino UNO R3 has a different pin out (6, 8, 8, 10), while this has 6, 6, 8, 8. I’m confused. Is there a different proto shield that I should be looking at? If there is I don’t see it.

  • You should make a version for people who own the Arduino Leonardo and we would finally have very easy access to the I2C pins.

  • If I want to order this WITH breadboard, what do I order??

  • How much current can be drawn from this board, on the ground and 5 volt rails? Are they capable of 4 amps?

  • It would be nice if you guys added a cap on at least the push button that’s pulled high so that it’s debounced. Additionally a tristate buffer with enable pulled low on the tx line of the bluesmirf would be nice so that you can actually program the arduino with the bluesmirf attached.

  • I’m going to buy this since I’m buying a bunch of other stuff from SparkFun and I don’t want to wait a week for shipping from Australia or deal with Freetronics' two US distributors. That said, Freetronics Protoshield Pro (http://www.freetronics.com/collections/protoshields/products/protoshield) looks enough larger that I wish I could get it instead. I also prefer the Freetronics version because there’s nothing in the way to make it difficult to hang components off the end. SparkFun, please consider stocking Freetronics in the future and/or redesigning your protoboard to be better.

  • The thing I like about this board is that you just put on the parts you need. Leave off or change the rest. The little green protoboard example in the item pictures is just a beginning…

  • I assume I can stack one or more unloaded boards below a fully populated board with the Arduino at the bottom of the stack with no interference ? Thus there will only be on set of LED’s and one set of switch’s . The lower layers in the stack to be used for additional sensors ?

    Thanks,

    Brian

  • I used this shield with two 7-segments and two shift registers, it will just fit, but to connect all the wires to connect everything on the bottom side is quit tricky. You can see the shield in action in this project: an Olympic Medal Tracker

    Nice little shield, the open pad configuration is ideal, only downside is that the USB connector of the Arduino Uno gets in the way when inserting the board on top of it.

  • Wonderful little product. How about setting up pass thru headers on the icsp pins. I wanted to use mine with an Ethernet shield and because of the size of the ethernet shield, this has to go in the middle. The Ethernet shield requires the ICSP pins and even though the holes are there, there aren’t any pass thru headers for it. Other than that, great little product.

  • Not to advertise or anything, but i think that you guys should carry this Protoshield instead. It’s much better and it’s only downfall is that it can’t be stacked with other shields (well, it has to be on the top). Don’t get me wrong, I love SFE, but it’s a good product.

    • Yeah I agree the adafruit version offers more possibilities. And yes, much love to Spark Fun!

  • Hopefully, in the future, I think SparkFun should move the 5V and GND rails just a little bit (approximately the size of one of the holes) left and right so that it will be mini-breadboard friendly. With the mini-breadboard on, it covers those many 5V and GND rails, and it is very inconvenient to have only one 5V pin when you are prototyping. I hope SparkFun implements this into v3.

  • I have a small question,
    What is the capacitors part in this board ?
    Why is it there ?

  • Hey SparkFun:
    I’m an experienced EE, and I really love you guys.. I have ordered the Arduino Proto Board from you in the past, but recently thought a mistake had been made when I ordered two more proto boards and they were missing the necessary male header pins for properly mating into the arduino: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/116
    The single, inline ones that you all now provide and recommend people solder in, and then also use to mate to the arduino is a re-design flaw. That gauge pin was designed for soldering into a via, and NOT for insertion and removal into headers and solder-less bread boards. As others on your proto shield feedback have indicated.. using these headers like this results in bent pins and substandard connections.
    The thing that troubles me is that this is not a new-design flaw. It HAD the correct header pins included in the past.. and you recently decided to remove them (which leaves one wondering if it was not done for cost reasons.. not that these headers cost more than a few cents).
    I hope you all will fix this design flaw…
    Thanks!
    Tweeks

  • I received my ProtoShield yesterday and built it today. This is my first big soldering project and I decided to just dive right in. It went rather well. I attached it to my Arduino UNO and wired it up and uploaded a sketch to get both LEDs blinking and everything works. My soldering for a first timer is a wee bit sloppy but it was fun and a great kit to start soldering with. This has been a good confidence builder. Great kit.

  • I just bought the FEZ Panda and this ProtoShield. Love both and have had zero problems and had no missing pieces. Thanks, SparkFun. As a software engineer, I’m just getting into electronics and now wondering why I ever majored in computer science when EE is so much more interesting!

  • This shield is nice. I got mine wired up last night. I made some changes. Instead of the yellow leds that came with it I put in high brightness SMD leds. I also added a mini breadboard and put pins in the led and switch connections for easy breadboarding.
    The change I made that I think will help many people is the spacers I made so you cannot push the board down too far. I was trying to figure out how to do that without having to fab them or get too exotic. Then I realized the cheapo sockets you can get from Radio Shaft or Sparkfun are perfect for this.
    What you do is push the pins out from the bottom. Cut pieces that contain two sockets (have to sacrifice a 3rd to cut it). Then removed any raised bumps or edges to square it out. Make four of these. Then you slip these over each of the corner two pins of the proto shield. You may need to tack the bottom of these to the proto board with a bit of super glue. Now when you go to put these in the Arduino board you cannot push it down further than these spacers allow. Enjoy! :)

  • I received the protoshield, but noticed that the USB connector gets in the way of inserting the board. I am trying to use it with an Arduino Uno. Was this shield designed for another type of Arduino? Both the power socket and USB connector prevent the protoshield from going all the way into the sockets. Any suggestions?

    • is there any reason why you couldn’t use four more PRT-09280’s to increase vertical clearance between your arduino and the shield? :)

  • I love the idea of the shield, but a bummer these don’t come with a bus for mounting DIP chips and the like without creative soldering.

  • WTH sparkfun so much for a kit you shorted me a 10k and a 330 resistor not a big deal(I have extras) but still is it that hard to count resistors

  • I just got this kit today and found a couple of things right away that could make it better.
    First is a hinderance to using with the mini breadboard installed. The two rows of holes for GND and 5V get covered up so I can’t add female headers to use with the breadboard. I end up needing to use two rows of the breadboard and jumpers to get more than one 5v or 3 GND pins…
    It would be nice to have some holes for 5 pin female headers at the end of the breadboard next to 6pin ICSP header for 5V and GND. (Like the ugly green adafruit board has. I love the red color of the SparkFun Boards. :) )
    Second, I agree with @johngineer that the 3 single pin holes for the two LEDs and Switch 2 should be grouped next to each other so we can use a single 3 pin female header instead of 3 single pin headers. To get 3 single female headers, I had to sacrifice 3 other pins!

  • I preferred the older version, with the male headers and the female ones on the inner part of the board.
    One, the stackable female headers are a bit flimsy IMO compared to the male ones, and they bend easily when removing the shield.
    Also, before, the female headers were right next to the breadboard, which was handy.
    True, the old version was not stackable, but it also made more sense when used with the breadboard.
    Solution: allow customers to buy the PCB only, that way, the can do whatever they want.

    • i had the same problems. i dont know if this is the 1, but u can buy a shield just like the one u described
      here: http://www.adafruit.com/products/51

  • This board is convenient for prototyping but it has errors!
    The analog inputs are numbered backwards from the arduino (NG & diecimila at least)!! You can go mad wondering why your sensors seem to be floating (they are - look under the shield at the real thing to get your terminal #’s right)
    Also, the S2 button is not pulled down properly. It’s on the PCB as Junction - resistor - switch - ground. Oops, unusable!
    So the shield - good idea and all that, but whoever QA’d it needs to be let go!

    • Hi Lone - Sorry about the mislabeled analog inputs! However the board has been fixed since late 2008. I don’t believe the S2 switch was ever a problem. There’s a 10k pull-up (optional, you can use internal pullups) and the switch grounds out the JC1 connection whenever the button is pressed.
      And I laidout and QA’d the board. :) You can’t let me go!

      • Nate,
        With all due respect to your superhuman powers, “I laidout and QA’d the board.” strikes me as a variation on the theme of “Danger, Will Robinson”.
        ;o}
        It’s not just that I like to have work (I’m a safety engineer) so I can buy toys from you, I really believe that the pair of eyes that was used to design or write something is fundamentally disqualified from reviewing it.
        Eric

  • Another request to offer this as a bare board (with male header pins to couple to Arduino)
    As others have said the full kit is great for prototyping, but once you have a final design and you’d like to hardwire it you either have to desolder the headers or buy another full kit. The cost savings of one board would not be much, but if you’re producing several copies it adds up quickly.
    Also it would be cool if the Eagle files (brd and sch) were available for this board, to use as a starting point for creating custom shields.
    Keep up the good work, SFE!

  • There are 3 single male pins, one each for the two LEDs, and one for the button. Wouldn’t it be better to make these female pins? That way you can just stick a wire in there like you do with the breadboard, rather than having to attach a wire with an alligator clip.

  • Bob Gallup’s very helpful (though slightly out-of-date w/the latest shield) “assembly instructions” demonstrate soldering single pins for jumpers 1-3; however, i noted on the close-up images of the ProtoShield on SparkFun there are no such pins shown.

  • I see that there’s 5v and gnd lines on the outside of the protoshield, would it be possible to move the female headers closer to the male pins and move the 5v and gnd lines where the female headers are so they are still exposed when using the mini breadboard?

  • great kit for the arduino noob. mine came in a sharp red color too. just a note, I blindly followed the tutorial from the link and broke up the header pins before I realized the new board has two 6 pin instead of one 4 and one 6. Still there’s enough extra pins and I have bag of these things anyway.
    one weird thing though. The leads from the switch S2 contact the USB receptable on the arduino board. the tutorial points this out and recommends electrical tape to prevent a short. Seems like something that could be avoided in the design. if you take the shield off and on or it is anywhere it might be compressed you can be sure the sharp pins from S2 will go through electrical tape and short. I am looking for some kind of potting material or epoxy to ensure no short.

  • Just completed assembly. Easy to put together and a good layout. My only suggestion would be to put the switch and two LED terminals next to each other, where the user could put an optional 3-pin female connector. This would make it easier to connect to these from the breadboard.

  • Great board. I just got it together. Bob Gallup’s tutorial was very detailed with great pictures. It looks like the board has been updated since then however. The big difference is now you need two 6 pin male headers not a six and a four.

  • Simple to assemble. See the photos at
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rsbohn/249994855/
    Now to build something on it!


Related Products