Proto Shield Wiring
My first prototype was a tangled next of jumper wires, as first prototypes are meant to be. I wanted to clean things up, and use proper connectors to keep things neat and organized. In this design, I used an Adafruit Proto Shield PCB to connect the Chronodot RTC board, a socket connector for the 2x8 ribbon wire to the LED display, and a 4-pin connector for the touchscreen ribbon wire. The part numbers for the connectors are on the bill of materials.
Each component has a number of pins that need to be connected to their designated Arduino pins. The Proto Shield has some internal routings that are handy for some projects, but for these components, I needed to use a different approach. Normal jumper wires are too big to fit alongside the component leads on the PCB, so I need to use tiny “wire wrap” wires (available from any electronics supply source - I had some pre-cut wires from Fry’s).
Before starting to solder anything in place, I needed to hack the Proto Shield a little bit. It has rails in the middle for 5V and Ground, right in the same place where I had to position the socket for my display. Checking the pin assignments, the ground rail happens to line up with a ground pin… but the 5V rail lines up with a data pin. So I severed the rail connections in the places indicated by two blue lines — the rail is present on the front and back, so I broke the connection on both sides. I used a dremel cutoff wheel to break the connections.
The photo above shows routings for all of the components. The wires need to be soldered together with the component leads, which can be a bit tricky. I typically soldered the wires on the component end first, and then when I finished the component, I followed up soldering the Arduino pin end. I used 30AWG wire wrap wire for everything except the 5V and Ground connections for the display, where I used some heavier wire.