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Saturday, July 20, 2019

The "Mega Shield!" part 2

Link to Part 1

I've pretty well finished the first Sensor Module Backpack, although I've left room to add new connections.  

I started by soldering the wires onto the pins I wanted to access on the Arduino.



Then I threaded the wire around the board trying to keep it somewhat neat and tidy, and easy to follow... 



Here's the top view of the completed board, I've added some tags so you can see the connections.



The 16 analog ports are completely configurable as to which Analog Pins they use, and if/which digital pin is used for power. Using a digital pin for power to the sensor means it is not sitting in wet soil with power applied for long periods of time, corroding away... By setting the digital pin high or low, we either apply 5v power, or not.

As for the available ports, there are, as you can see, 16 analog and 4 digital ports.  For the pins, I found that on the current modules, trying to plug 16 sensors in all in a row, close together, can be a real pain in the ass, there is so little room.  By removing every second set of pins, this will leave plenty of room to easily plug in sensors.

I've also added 4 sets of I2C pins, plus a "header" female connector to plug the I2C Realtime Clock into.

Last but not least, a 5mm RGB LED.  When things are running smoothly, the green is lit up, and when something is wrong, red.  While it is receiving or sending data, the blue led will flash.

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