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It’s Tuesday again! This week I made a Danger Shield for my Arduino. If you went to Maker Faire in Austin you might have tried it out it in the Maker SHED. I brought mine and everyone loved it. It’s a great addition to your Arduino arsenal. Here is how Zach describes it:

The Danger Shield is an add-on for the Arduino micro controller board. It contains a variety of fun and useful electronic circuits that you can use to do fun and useful things. It is a fully self-contained shield. You plug it into your Arduino, and you can immediately start using it. No extra things to hook up, no external components. Just a really rad board ready to rock

The things you need:

  • Danger Shield – available in the Maker SHED
  • Arduino Diecimila – available in the Maker SHED
  • Soldering Iron
  • Rosin core solder

The things you don’t need, but are great to have:

Step 1: Check out the kit

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Spread out all the parts and take a look through the instructions. It’s always a good idea to check out all the steps prior to starting.

Step 2: Insulate the USB plug

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You need to wrap the USB plug so it doesn’t short the completed Danger Shield. It’s a lot bigger than most other shields and the pins on the back can contact the USB port.
Step 3: Add the header pins

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This is a standard procedure for most Arduino shields. Add the supplied header pins to the Arduino, long ends inserted into the Arduino, and solder the other ends to the Danger Shield. You can see more detailed picture during my Wave Shield build at step 9.

Step 4: Solder components

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As you can see, the shield is really big and a lot of components can be soldered in at once. I started by adding all the resistors, buttons, and temperature sensors.

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This is really easy to solder together.

Step 5: Add the IC socket

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Next, I added the DIP socket. The “chip” is inserted into the socket at the very end. Having a socket makes soldering a lot easier, since you don’t have to worry about over heating the “chip”. A bit of tape will help hold it in while you solder all the pins.

Step 6: Add more components

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Time to add the knock sensor and buzzer. Insert them according to the markings on the board and solder the 2 leads. Simple.

Step 7: Adding the potentiometers and LEDs

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I skipped a few steps and added the potentiometers. Why? Well, they were just so nice I had to solder them in and try them out. You will understand when you open the kit. Also, I added the LEDs at the same time.

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These are some of the nicest linear potentiometers I have seen. They are really high quality and have nice green LEDs on each one.

Step 8: Solder the 7-Segment LED

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OK, back to the proper build order. I added the 7-Segment LED and all the 580-Ohm resistors. It’s a lot of soldering, but the display is a really nice addition to the shield.

Step 9: Insert the IC

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The soldering is all done! Now all you have to do is insert the 74HC595 Chip. It may help to place the chip on it’s side and bend all the pins slightly in towards each other. Be careful and only bend them a little bit. Next, insert the chip with the little “notch” facing the 7-segment display.

Step 10: Program

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There are a lot of sample programs available here. I tried almost all of them and they are all really cool.

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Zach from NYC Resistor did a great job designing this shield. I thought the Danger Shield would be a lot of fun to build and experiment with, and I was right. I can already think of a lot of projects that could be prototyped on the shield. OK, I have to go back and practice playing more tunes….

Makershedsmall

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The Danger Shield from the Maker SHED.

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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