Raspberry Pi Breakout board

I’ve spent a few days relearning how to solder and put together a small project for my raspberry pi – a breakout board.

The idea is to have the GPIO pins easily accesible whilst providing each with a bit of protection from mistakes when wiring – specifically to have each behind a resistor as well as a zener diode to stop passing too much current through the pin (check out the links below for a more accurate description!)

Pi working
This pic shows the board and pi connected and working

It is designed by Mike Cook (the same chap who did all the interesting stuff for the BBC B in micro user) and he has full instructions on his website here

He also has some excellent further projects and really handy information about the pi – well work keeping an eye on his site for further updates: website

I have made a couple of very minor alterations so that I can use the materials that were to hand – Mike’s version has a very neat wire layout however I didn’t have anything thin enough to allow for 2 connections in the same hole – hence the messy and multicoloured wires!

Board and pi connected
This pic shows the Pi sitting on the spare section of the new board. I was using it to carry the pair around & was going to chop it off however it sits there quite nicely.
(I’ll give it a try and see how useable it is when it has the cables plugged in).

Its a simple project and I thought that it would handy to teach me how to get soldering and read circuit diagrams – in the end it worked perfectly however it was let down by my rubbish soldering skills and general poor level of quality control.

The board and pi in the connected position. I’m really pleased that I’ve left enough ribbon cable to give good access around both the board and pi – my HDMI lead is short so it all has to be balanced close to the tv.

(I’m not going to show a photo of the back as it looks like a baby transformer has spluttered his solder based dinner all over i!t)

At least I’ve now learnt how to trace faults and rectify them as well as use my meter and soldering iron more effectively. As with all things Pi I bought it to tinker with and to enjoy learning new skills and it has not disappointed.

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