Help with making first clone?

Just a quick update- got the left, right, a, and b buttons working, just not the up and down because my breadboard is a bit too small (could put them side by side, but now that I have the wiring right would rather just wait til my PCBs and wire get here in the mail). I’ll come back with some more questions when I get the materials in the mail, thanks so much for the help so far!

Sorry for another question, but does anyone know any good resources for tutorials on how to make prototype boards? Just been trying to sketch the ideas in my head but when I look at the required components I’ve ordered (two different materials and a variety of different sized PCBs, two different types and color 24 gage wire, and lot of assorted.capacitors just in case), I’m not sure I can quite see how the Arduino connects to the PCB and how the wires connect, etc.

Sorry for such a simple question, I just know it’ll spare me asking more if I can do my homework in the meantime. Thanks!

Edit: Sorry, now that I look at what materials I have, I see I have male pin headers for the Arduino, so now I see how that would fit and be soldered in the PCB, then the screen and buttons as well, but now i’m just not sure I see how to connect and solder the wires to the other hardware. Thanks!

As im prototyping using a Leonardo and a grid board, and i’m semi decent at soldering (enough so to successfully solder headers onto an attiny and a micro/mini, whichever one isn’t compatible with the arduboy), I can update on my progress as I go and post my final design schenatics, if anyone wanted to take the next steps to make their own custom PCB based on the wiring.

Alright, I’ve got a couple (different) blank perfboards and an assortment of wires. When I look at the design for your Leonardo shield, I can (more or less) imagine how I could fit the Leonardo into the perfboard and follow along with your design (as well as my own notes on pin locations), to adapt a similar (but obviously less efficient) design of my own, but for that I’d need to desolder the female headers from the Leonardo and resolder it with male headers, or should I simply solder the male headers to the perfboard and wire everything on/to those?

Also, when I solder the parts, obviously i should put the components side out and solder on the opposite side, but how do I connect/solder the wires? Sorry for the simple questions, thanks!

Note that the spacing between the two headers on the longer “digital” side of the Leonardo isn’t a standard 0.1 inch. Therefore, with standard headers installed it won’t plug directly into a 0.1 inch perfboard. You’ll have to get creative to make a shield out of a perfboard.

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Hmm, I did notice the gap, but to me it looked (just by eyeballing it) that it was a standard spacing, and when I did a fit check with the Leonardo pins it seemed to fit okay, but I didn’t press it together or force it so I didn’t see for sure (and fortunately nothing got bent). I’m also not sure if the perfboard grid I have is large enough to fit everything, so I have some more planning to do yet, but will update as soon as I get a bit more info. Thanks!

Edit: went ahead and desoldered the female in favour of male pin headers, but now it’s especially apparent the mismatch on the one side. I’m honestly just too new at this to have any ideas of my own how to work around it, as I’d imagine just bending them in place wouldnt exactly be advised. Thanks!

When you use perfboard for making this shield make sure you double sided perf board. Just like @MLXXXp said, you need to be creative when routing the cable to the pins

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Ah, okay @Hendra, I suppose it’s just time to start getting creative. Thanks!

Easiest would be to get an Arduino proto shield

But you can also get creative. On an old project I sewed up some single sided perf board parts with wire :laughing:


I suddenly regret not paying more attention in sewing class at school.

(That was a joke, I was actually quite good at sewing.)

Out of interest, what was that old project for?
Based on the heart I can only assume it was either some kind of fancy heart monitor or part of a Mahou Shoujo costume.


Alright, so I was looking at what materials I have available to me (and what is on the way in the mail) and the only way I could make it functional and structural would be to put an individual perfboard (20x30) on either side, but bend one set of the pins at a slight angle to fit.

Then, i could put a long and thinner (maybe half the width) across the two up top for the screen, fix that in place to either side, and still access the icsp headers/pins (and the reset button/usb port, as these would still be exposed). It’s a little hacky, but it seems like it could work. Would there be any foreseeable problems, or would bending these pins at a slight angle affect anything?

It’s a dumper shield for the Tamagotchi P’s (Japanese color Tamagotchi) accessories that contain a SPI flash chip with additional contents. The one mounted with the little mushroom character is called Nameko Pierce

I wouldn’t recommend bending pins. bent pins can’t be fully inserted in the Arduino’s female headers and could make poor contact also when applying pressure the stress from the bent pins may break or wear out the contacts. Have you tried googling for ‘diy arduino shield perfboard’ ?


I have found a workaround, which used 90 degree pin headers instead (because the offset of two sets side by side added up to just about the difference in spacing), I’m just struggling broke at the moment and don’t have the money for any materials (and everything I’ve bought has been especially cheap from overseas). So in that case, I’ll just have to wait until I can get ahold of those. Thanks!

Well, that’s what I would do. I’d pull individual pins from the plastic retainer/spacer and bend them, to create the proper offset, in the space where the plastic would be (with non-stackable male headers). I’d only do this for the header that doesn’t line up with the rest.



Didn’t think of stripping the pins from their retainer. Good idea. In addition to that I would recommend using a spacer at the screwhole close to the bent pins to reduce stress on the bent pins.


Awesome, thanks! Will do some more planning here and update

I’ve bent header pins on a number of projects using needle nose pliers with good results, although I admit this isn’t ideal. Here’s a joystick module that I modified to simplify wiring.

Alright, I removed the plastic spacer and bent the pins like @MLXXXp mentioned, and it actually fits pretty well, but as someone mentioned above (sorry, forgot who), Ill probably need some double sided perfboard, as the Leonardo needs to face one way but the buttons need to face the other, and i only have copper pads to work with on one side.

Unless anyone can suggest a workaround so I can solder on the other side? I figured there probably isn’t one, as even if the pin came out that side and was covered in solder it doesn’t seem like there’d be enough contact

Sneaky edit after thread closure… Thanks a lot to everyone for the help!

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