Friday, 29 March 2013

Prototyping Shield

The picture shows a nifty little 5v TFT-display and SD-card combo purchased on eBay for about €10. It is almost identical to an Adafruit product costing twice as much and since it uses the same chip (the ST7735R, should you care) it's compatible with Ladyada's library. (In fact, the Adafruit tutorial is also useful: the sole difference is that the cheapie's backlight pin should be connected to ground, rather than +5v.)
However the star of this show is the little rapid-prototyping shield shown above. It's primary purpose is to be a sort of breadboard substitute for those components which are unbreadboardable, e.g., larger TFT displays with two rows of pins, such as this one:
One way to play around with one of these guys is to solder two rows of male headers at either the left or right sides and connect it to a breadboard (or Arduino) via jumpers. However this ties up your breadboard  (or Arduino) for the duration of the experiment, which for the committed hobbyist, can be indefinite. With one of these handy shields, a slightly more permanent home can be made for your device for much less than the cost of a breadboard!