This project's funding goal was not reached on April 23, 2014.
About this project
Quickly, easily, and securely connect your Arduino Unos, Leonardos, Dues, and Megas (and their chipKIT counterparts) to the outside world without having to solder any of those pesky wires!
Even better, in the spirit of the Arduino community, our Proto-Shield will be Open Source! Once this Kickstarter project is completed, we will release the design files for anyone to download under an Open Source license.
What is a Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield?
The great thing about Arduinos is that they are so easy to interface to the outside world – to monitor the state of sensors and to control actuators and make things happen. As part of this, you often need to add a few components or circuits of your own, and the best way to do this is by means of a prototyping (proto) shield. Unfortunately, most proto-shields don’t make it particularly easy to actually connect wires to and from the outside world. The Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield System for Arduino – which works with Uno, Leonardo, Due, and Mega Arduinos (and also their chipKIT counterparts) – addresses this issue by means of its easy-to-use screw-block terminals.
The Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield System for Arduino features two boards as shown below (note that the final boards may be a different color and there may be minor engineering “tweaks” and differences to the prototypes shown here).
The Master Board on the left works with Arduino Unos and Leonardos. If you are using a Due or a Mega, you will also require the Expansion Board on the right.
Below we see what a fully-assembled Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield Master Board will look like with an Arduino Uno (an Arduino is not included with the Proto-Shield system). On the left we see the two boards on their own; on the right we see two views of the Master Shield plugged into the Arduino Uno.
Below we see what a fully-assembled Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield Master and Expansion Board combo will look like with an Arduino Mega (an Arduino is not included with the Proto-Shield system). At the bottom we see two views of the Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield Master and Expansion Board combo plugged into the Arduino Mega.
How Does it Work?The screw-block terminals featured on the Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield System for Arduino make it easy-peasy to connect your Arduino to the outside world.
This is where the Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield System for Arduino is worth its weight in gold. If you create each project on its own Proto-Shield, then you can use a single Arduino – all you have to do is quickly and easily swap your Proto-Shields in and out. These shields are also great for educational users – students can implement their projects on their own proto-shields and then share a common Arduino.
Production plan (or "How we learned to stop worrying and love the board"). The Internet doesn't have a "do what I'm thinking button" yet, so we had to actually plan this out.
Step 1: The idea
Completed, otherwise we wouldn't be here.
Step 2: Design the first prototype
Completed. In fact, we've made, ordered, received, and are currently using three revisions of the design already.
Step 3: Complete the Kickstarter application
Completed. The Kickstarter process is well thought out and educational. It does a great job of getting everything in focus before a project is launched.
Step 4: Find sources and quote the materials
Completed. We have two options for sourcing the PCBs (and others as backups). Also, all of the components have been quoted in multiple different quantity levels.
Step 5: The Kickstarter campaign itself
In progress. Assuming a start date of 3/27/14, and running for 30 days, the campaign will end 4/26/14.
Step 6: Ordering the materials
Depending on the end volume, PCBs will be ordered on either a three or a four week lead time. That can be a painfully long time to wait, but it's what makes this project affordable.
The components are coming from three different suppliers. They'll arrive about three weeks after placing the orders.
Other supplies (e.g., mailing envelopes, shipping labels, parts bags) will, again, be ordered from multiple suppliers. Shipping lead times on these items will vary from one to three weeks.
All of the orders will be placed immediately at the end of the campaign. We anticipate being in possession of all of the items toward the end of May.Step 7: Fulfilling the Early Bird awards
The Early Bird awards are PC boards only. The boards are dependent upon fewer suppliers, which will make fulfillment quicker. We'll ship the 100 Early Birds as soon as we receive the boards, so they should be winging their way before the end of May.
Step 8: Fulfilling the remaining awards
We will package and ship these immediately following the Early Birds. Depending on the final volume, this could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
We anticipate that all of the rewards, except the Monty awards, will be fulfilled during the month of June. We will start fulfilling the Monty awards immediately following fulfillment of the Early Bird, Snoozy Bird, and Whole Shebang awards.
Risks and challenges
Design engineers typically like to pretend that there aren't any risks, but there always are. For example, asteroids from outer space could land on our garages, crushing our trucks, which would make it more difficult for us to get to the post office to ship your Universal Screw-Block Proto-Shield System to you.
What's really important, however, is risk mitigation, so let us tell you about that. First, we no longer park our trucks in our garages, thereby eliminating the possibility of a garage-based "asteroid incident."
We already have a PCB vendor selected. Of course, it is always possible for a PCB vendor to change prices or go out of business. However, we also have a large number of alternates to choose from (we could list ten without blinking).
The same could happen with the suppliers of the headers and screw terminal blocks. Fortunately, none of this is sole-sourced. The biggest risk is that a supplier promises and then fails to deliver. If that happens, again, we have backup suppliers. The worst outcome of parts supplier shenanigans would be a short delay, of which – of course – we would keep you fully informed.
Over-pledged? Being significantly over-pledged has destroyed Kickstarter projects in the past because their founders could not handle the unexpected manufacturing logistics and demands. Fortunately, this project requires limited outside resources. Any required labor can be easily scaled without the need to change the business model. If the volume becomes too high for one supplier, we can easily use multiple suppliers.
Duane has been in the business of seeing products successfully designed and manufactured for more than twenty years. That experience, combined with Max's understanding of the market, makes Max & Duane Galactic Enterprises ideally-suited to bring this project to a successful conclusion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (30 days)