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Hello interested readers

Today we are going to examine a part that makes connecting external wires to an Arduino Duemilanove or 100% compatible board easier than trying to electrocute yourself – the Wingshield Industries ScrewShield. Is is such a simple and useful thing I am almost angry at myself for not getting one earlier. Better late than never!

The ScrewShield allows you to connect wires to all of your Arduino I/O pins via PCB-mounted terminal blocks. And it is also designed as a shield, so you can stack more shields on top like any other. Now to save costs it comes unassembled, but that isn’t a problem. Here is the contents of the bag upon arrival:

The quality of the PCBs are very good:

And no instructions were necessary – so time to fire up the soldering iron and fume extractor (hi Kortuk).

The first thing to do was jig up the socket pins with the PCBs using my favourite method, a lump of blutac:

Then it was a simple matter to turn it over and solder away; then repeat the process for the other wing. Time for a quick break to see how they look:

Once the sockets have been soldered in, the next step was to connect the terminal blocks together for each appropriate line:

And then time for another soldering session:

And we’re done. Looks kind of like a Lego spaceship from my childhood:

You can never have too many Arduino shields:

Another use for the ScrewShield is to make it easy to connect multi-core wires to a breadboard. Using PCB terminal blocks is usually difficult as the pins are a fraction too large for the holes in the average breadboard. However you can only use the analogue shield to do this, as a reader has pointed out, the pin spacing for the digital side is a little off:

Nice one. It’s always great to have a product with more than one use.

So there you have it. Another inexpensive, interesting and very useful part for the Arduino fans out there. If you use an Arduino – you really should get one of these. They are available from the usual retail outlets, and I purchased mine from Little Bird Electronics here in Australia.

If you have any questions at all please leave a comment (below). We also have a Google Group dedicated to the projects and related items on the website – please sign up, it’s free and we can all learn something. High resolution photos are available from flickr.

Otherwise, have fun, stay safe, be good to each other – and make something! :)

[Note - these parts were purchased by myself personally and reviewed without notifying the manufacturer or retailer]

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