Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Custom Arduino Shield in Fritzing

I use Fritzing to develop prototypes and design simple PCB's. Although there is vigorous discussion on the merits of Fritzing compared to other open source free tools, I find it meets my needs.

One thing that wasn't obvious (too me at least), was how to create your own custom Arduino shield without having to work out where to place all the pins so it would mount correctly on an Arduino.

Figure 1. Select Arduino Shield from shape - properties.

This turns out to be fairly straight forward when you know how. Here are the steps:

  1. Open Fritzing (download it if you don't already have a copy - there is a version for all the major OS's).
  2. Select the PCB tab. Tap anywhere on the blank PCB and then change the shape to Arduino Shield (Figure 1) in the properties shape field on the right hand side of the screen. The PCB should then change from a rectangle to the shape shown in Figure 1.
  3. In the parts section, select the Arduino group and drag an Arduino Uno part across to match the position of the PCB. This will give you the pins and their label. Job done!
  4. You can then design your custom shield in the breadboard or schematic tab and connect to the pins on the Arduino to connect to the correct pins on the shield.

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