Newer! ... Better! ... More holes!

Welcome to the build instructions for the Arduino patch shield, version 5.

For those who are curious, versions 1 through 3 never made it out of the workshop. Version 4 was the first to go into production, and was successful enough to warrant improvement.

Specifically, version 5 has better labeling for the stacky headers (the ones that plug into the arduino), and a second row of holes parallel to the stacky headers for hardwiring.

Hardwiring opens up a whole range of build options, as you can see on the right. The assembly instructions will walk you through the three configurations shown, and you can mix and match to suit your application.

What is this thing?

It's a tiny patch panel that plugs into your Arduino.

The patch shield scratches the same itch other people have felt: how to connect an Arduino to some other circuit. There are plenty of good solutions out there, like the Boarduino, but my itch was a bit more specific: I usually don't want all 28 pins from an Arduino on my breadboard, just power, ground, a couple of digital channels, and maybe an analog input or two.

The patch shield lets you select the pins you want, arrange them however you want, then send them to your breadboard with a standard Ethernet cable. It also lets you connect a single Arduino to circuits on multiple (up to four) breadboards.

Getting started:

  • The parts list -- what should be in the bag
  • Tools -- what you'll need to build the kit
  • Board prep -- what you need to do before the solder starts flying
  • Build options -- what kind of shield do you want to make?

Building the shield:

Building the satellite boards:

Sample projects:

Now that you've built the thing, here are some ways to use it:


Original configuration (stacky headers and patch headers)
Original configuration with Arduino


Hardwire configuration (stacky headers, but no patch headers)
Hardwire configuration with Arduino


Minimal configuration (pins only, no headers)
Minimal configuration with Arduino


And the sattelite boards