Arduino ProtoShield - Bare PCB

By popular request, we're selling the always-handy ProtoShield PCB on its own! Originally spawned with collaboration between the folks at SFE and ITP @ NYU, the ProtoShield mates with an Arduino development board and gives the user a small soldering area, two general LED footprints, access to a BlueSMiRF socket, a general pushbutton switch footprint, and most important of all - the Arduino reset switch is brought to the top level.

Now you don't need to buy the whole ProtoShield kit if you just need a piece of prototyping board that will fit on top of your Arduino. You might want to grab a stackable header kit, though, which you can find in the related items below.

Note: Though this board is compatible with the Arduino R3 it does not posses the additional pins that the R3 offers. Make sure you pick your headers accordingly.


Arduino ProtoShield - Bare PCB Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

2 Soldering

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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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

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.

2 Electrical Prototyping

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.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #784947 / about 6 years ago / 1

    CHECK FIRST!! There are two versions, each with a different pin count. Figure out what you have, and what you need before purchasing.

  • RalfieRoo / about 11 years ago / 2

    These are great, but there is one problem: If you want to use it as a shield on top of an Ethernet shield, then the Ethernet jack gets in the way, so you have to cut out a chunk of this board with a dremel. It would be AWESOME if you could make one that could be used on top of an Ethernet shield!

  • Liar_Liar / about 9 years ago / 1

    If I were to get this do I just have to get headers and solder them on, or do I have to do something else.

    • M-Short / about 9 years ago / 1

      It depends on what you want to do. There are spots for a few LEDs and buttons as well (if you want to use them I'd recommend just getting the full kit). But a set of stackable headers will allow you to connect this to your Uno/Redboard, or other similar board. Then you can proto away.

  • Josh Young / about 10 years ago / 1

    Wouldn't it be better if the internal area of the board was laid out like a breadboard? Perhaps like this:

    I can't figure out a good way to connect the components together in the internal prototyping area.

  • Member #554378 / about 10 years ago / 1

    is this shield compatible with UNO R3?

    • M-Short / about 10 years ago / 1

      Yes, it does not have the additional pins but will still fit on the R3

  • Zio / about 10 years ago / 1

    Would it be possible to rewire the blue smirf socket to be used for the Openlog?

  • RFsynthesizer / about 11 years ago / 1

    How 'bout doing a shield like this that would fit on an Arduino MEGA 2560 board. This one looks like it only fits the old arduino boards.

  • The Doctor Doge / about 11 years ago / 1

    These are the best!! My number one choice for custom shields.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

Based on 10 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Great base for projects...

I don't know why Sparkfun ignores the ICP/SPI headers. The Adafruit boards and kits all come with stacking headers for it.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Exactly what I was looking for

When I went looking for a plain protoshield for an Arduino, I quickly found the 0.15" error between the headers on one side. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a single "plain ol' board" protoshield anywhere until I came here. Everyone else sells the protoshield as a kit with a bunch of LEDs, capacitors, and buttons that I already have a pile of in my electronic parts bin, and they end up charging $5 more than what this board sells for.

This was all I needed, which is what made it the perfect purchase. I really hope Sparkfun continues to sell the bare board in the future!

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Quick and easy attiny shield

Got this to make an attiny programming shield, works very well and don't have to worry about pin alignment

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Arduino Proto Shield not really clever

Two holes missing compared to real board so will not fit in box

2 of 2 found this helpful:

The most versatile shield for Arduino!

Normal protoshields, the kind you buy at Radioshack, are generally too expensive to solder things to and/or buy a lot of. With these, you get as much functionality for a small package. I would highly recommend these for ease of use when designing custom shields. I cant remember how many of these i've used, but it is a lot!

Fantastic prototyping shield.

Great little bare shield for prototyping whatever project you have. Simple to use and solder onto, and great to have stackability.


Only thing that bothers is that some pins can't be used with R3, but most necessary, but that's small issue. Good build quality