Do you also find it annoying that with the standard GPIO Breakout Boards a lot of slots are lost on the breadboard? Especially for larger projects with intensive GPIO use...
My first approach was to make the whole thing more narrow... No chance, only possible with multi layer. And thus much more complex and expensive...
Hmm, who says a GPIO Breakout Board has to be T-shaped?
I had the idea to make it U-shaped... Better already, 4 pins can be used and it offers the possibility to supply the power rails with voltage from the Pi. This saves some wires, especially for bigger projects ;-)
Let's try it right now for a little test on a 400 hole breadboard... Shi... not possible! In the small version the power rails are offset by 1.27mm!!! Also the middle bar is 1.27mm wider! No comment...
Build two versions? No! Dispense with the power supply? Not really!
Hmm, actually I prefer to work with the big boards anyway...
Who says that breakout boards must be arranged 2x20?
So I thought about how it could still be possible and came to the following, unconventional solution
BTW The U-shaped version will still soon in the shop with the restriction that it does not work on all breadboards.
- There are much more holes available. 4 per pin for "one-sided" use and 7 if both breadboard sides are used.
- Stable and compact connection Pi to breadboard, since no cable has to be used (but can)
- A hat can also be used. Without such things as stackable headers with long pins
- Only usable with 830 hole breadboard (MB-102). There are simply no 40 pins in a row on the small breadboard ;-)
The principle is basically very simple, on the left is the lower row of GPIO pins starting at 3.3V and on the right is the upper row starting at 5V.
I also thought about merging the multiple pins (+3.3V, +5V and GND) that would make the board more compact, but also the logic more confusing. That's why I decided against it.
Another point that annoyed me was the 40 pin cable. On the one hand a potential source of error (especially if you connect it the wrong way round to the Pi...). On the other hand a danger for the environment, if you turn the breadboard, the Pi can sweep some things off the table in a distance of 20-30cm... ;-) According to Murphy always the boxes with the very small parts :-)
For this reason there is the option to connect the Pi directly to the board. Amazing that no one has come up with this idea before. Probably because the normal 8.5mm female headers are too high... The standard connector for the cable is of course also available. As 2 connectors, this has a simple reason: there are no suitable headers on the market...
I also implemented the possibility to feed the power rails directly from the Raspberry Pi. The left side provides 3.3V and the right side 5V.
Attention: The newer breadboards don't seem to split the power rails anymore! (3 boards from 3 suppliers have this phenomenon) Similar to the small breadboards they have a continuous power rail! In this case there is only one voltage possible ;-) Please test/measure before, I take no responsibility and liability if you grill the Pi :-) There is no logic implemented to prevent this!!! I had a discussion with myself if I should implement this "feature"... If you work on the breadbord you should know what you do and work carefully. Ok, I changed the layout from switch to jumper so it is not so easy to activate by accident :-)
I know at the beginning it takes a little getting used to, the logic is different. But you get used to it very quickly and will appreciate it a lot;-)
I have long considered about whether I should offer soldered rewards and have decided against it. One point is I‘ve ordered a lot of soldered modules and there is a big chance that on transport a pin is bent. Not a big deal but annoying. The other point is if soldered you come to the next packaging dimension and this means higher shipping costs... Be honest isn’t it a good feeling to say "self soldered"? Of course you will receive all parts you need! And a best practice manual to solder in the right order :-)
OK, not everyone is gifted with 2 right hands but has great project ideas... So, thanks to the input from my wife, there will be 2 soldered rewards ;-)
Risks and challenges
The design is ready, the first prototypes deliverd. Most parts already on stock. So the only risks are problems with my suppliers or with the carrierLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)