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Member Since: March 17, 2013

Country: United States

  • I just built one of these up yesterday, and this guide was helpful for getting started.

    Two suggestions for anyone else who doesn't do much of this:

    First, it isn't really necessary to measure the resistor values or read off the color codes -- the two 330 Ohm resistors sit right next to each other, their values are marked on the silkscreen, and they're the only two whose color codes match. The 10K will be the odd one out.

    Second, for aligning the headers, I just plugged them into my Arduino Uno board and used it as an alignment fixture. I temporarily sandwiched a row of 0.1" headers sideways between the bottom of the ProtoShield PCB and the top of the headers on the Uno board to create a consistent gap of a few millimeters between them. This was enough space that I could put a dab of solder on both ends of each of the ProtoShield headers to tack them into place.

    I use a soldering pencil with a fine point so it was not a problem to get it between the boards.

    I then carefully separated the boards and soldered everything down properly. Since I had already aligned them, they fit perfectly when I was done.

    If you try this, be careful to tack down the headers as quickly as possible -- the heat from the iron could quickly cause damage to the Arduino board if you let it (melting the header or melting the solder joint under it). Rather than heating the pin and pad and then trying to get the solder to flow, it was easier to just pick up a bit of solder with the tip of the iron and dab it into the hole. That was enough to make it stick. After taking everything back apart, I resoldered these pins properly (and last, so the others would hold the alignment).

    Having lots of flux helps the solder end up where it needs to be.

    If you have another ProtoShield board, you could use it as a fixture just as well.

  • This board does not have an FTDI chip -- they replaced that with another USB bridge (atmega16u2). Some details can be found here:


    From that link, it is indicated that Arduino started using their own USB vendor ID (VID), so the device will not be identified as nor work with anything related to FTDI.

    64-bit Windows has been a lot more picky about unsigned USB drivers than prior versions. While I haven't done anything with Arduino yet, there are a few things I can suggest.

    1) Get Windows to disable device driver signature enforcement. Windows 8 apparently does this differently than before -- it used to be that hitting F8 on boot would get to a menu that would allow this, but apparently now they have brought that control up into the OS. Have a look here:


    Historically, when you disable the driver signature enforcement, Windows re-enables it on the next reboot. Not a great or permanent solution, but if you're just trying to get something done, it may be an option.

    2) Try to coerce Windows into loading the driver. If you go into the device manager and tell it to load the driver, it may force you to browse to the location of the .inf file with the Arduino VID/PID (probably provided with whatever you installed for the kit). It may then allow you to use this if you suffer through enough warning dialogs first. This may work better under 32-bit than 64-bit (where I believe the enforcement is more severe). This might need to be done in conjunction with option #1 above.

    3) Windows is the only OS that requires a special driver file to use the new board (notwithstanding reports of OSX Mountain Lion above -- not sure about that). You might be able to get an Ubuntu Linux on a USB flash drive that allows you to use the same tools without installing anything permanently on your PC. However, that is likely to have its own learning curve.

    4) Buy a USB Vendor ID for yourself ($5K), get the device driver professionally tested (~$400 just for Windows 8 64-bit based on my experience) and signed ($250). This is what Microsoft thinks you should do.

    I think that some combination of #1 and #2 will get you past this.

No public wish lists :(