Wednesday, February 9, 2011

an Arduino product idea

an Arduino product idea

One problem I have with building arduino projects is that I had to take them apart when I started the next one.  I solved this of course by getting some extra breadboards.

But, now I have the problem that I've got a couple of projects, but they're a bit of a hassle to rewire to the arduino board when I want to use them.  I've got the connections written down, but it takes some time and if I make a mistake then it's a pain to troubleshoot.

I know, basically I'm a spoiled software guy.

So, here's two ideas that would make this a bit easier:

Idea 1: Header Extensions

Development cards like the Uno have four sets of  has four sets of header pins (is this what they're called?  the ones you stick your wires into) -- two with 8 pins, two with 6 pins.

It would be nice to have a set of labeled extension headers.  The wires from the breadboard would be inserted into the header, and the header would be inserted into the header on the board.  Some kind of marking or coloration for orientation purposes would be nice.

That way, connecting a project would consist of just connecting the headers, and it would be easy to swap between projects by just swapping out the headers.  It would be clever if the header was easy to write on (e.g., not black)... then you could write the project or file name that needed to be loaded for that breadboard.

It seems you could make your own out of the breakaway female headers, but it would be nice to be able to buy a bag of these.  If they were custom-made, they could even take the header gap into account, and you would only have two header extensions per project.

Idea 2: Header Jumpers

This might be problematic in that it would make your breadboard too big.  Instead of a a header for holding your project wires, all project wires stay on the breadboard.  You then make 6 and 8 wire "extension cords" with a header on each end.  You specify the top 16 rows on the breadboard are for the header jumpers, and connections on your breadboard go to the BCDE holes on the breadboard.  The A holes (lol) would be for the jumpers.

Again, you could make these with the female headers, and custom pieces could reduce the number of jumpers down to two.

So what do you think?  Am I once again looking at a totally solved problem and making everyone roll their eyes in embarrassment?  Let me know if you've got a nice solution for this!  And if this idea happens to make you rich, send me a set, OK?

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