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10 of the most useful arduino shields

by iainhendry

In this article we are going to show you the 10 Most Useful Arduino Shields. This is our opinion based on the many shields that we have tried and tested.



If you are new to the arduino platform then you will quickly realise that shields are a quick, easy and usually low cost way to easily add functionality to your arduino. Rather than building circuits on breadboards or designing prototyping boards you can simply attach a shield and get the functionality

Ethernet Shield $6.99 Buy Ethernet Shield
Open Smart Rich Shield $5.99 Buy Rich Shield + IR Remote
L293D motor control shield $1.70 Buy L293D motor control shield
relay shield $2 Buy 4 channel 5v relay shield module
RGB LCD Shield $2 Buy LCD Keypad Shield
sensor shield Buy sensor shield v5.0
Data logger shield $1.20 Buy Data Logging Shield
2.4 inch TFT LCD Touch Screen Shield $4.99 Buy 2.4 inch TFT LCD Touch Screen Shield
SIM900 GSM GPRS Shield $10.60 Buy SIM900 GPRS/GSM Shield
CAN Bus Shield $4.67 Buy CAN Bus Shield

Ethernet Shield

If you want to connect your arduino to the internet or a network then the easiest shield to use is the Ethernet shield. You connect the shield to your Arduino as usual and connect it to a network using an Ethernet cable.

The Ethernet shield has an SD card which allows you to store files on it, commonly you would actually store the web pages you present on the sd card rather than creating the html code in your arduino code. There is an ethernet library which has a lot of examples.

Open Smart Rich Shield

In my opinion this is one of the best shields for learning the basics of Arduino development, it features a huge amount of sensors and devices on board.

The shield has 4 LEDs, 2 buttons, 1 LDR, 1 NTC thermistor, 1 buzzer, 1 IR reciever, 1 DHT11 temperature sensor and a 7 segment display. This combination of hardware allows you to create many examples and you can also get an IR remote as well in the kit. For the price you can get this shield with an Uno and get going with Arduino development for $10 easily

L293D Motor Drive Shield

The motor shield provides a way to control motors with the Arduino. The shield comes with 3 L293 motor driver chips and it can drive up to 4 DC motors, or 2 stepper motors or 2 servo motors.

You should always use an external power source to supply power for the motors and the shield comes with a power connector. There are bigger and more more powerful servo shields but this is great for beginners getting started with motors.

RGB LCD Shield

This shield comes with an RGB LCD display and also has a five button keypad.

Relay Shield

The shield has four relays fitted, and provides normally open and normally closed interfaces. There are four led’s which show the state of each relay.

The relays are rated at 120v AC and 3a, 24 Dc and 3A. This shield is ideal for any basic automation projects where you need to control a device, lets say a lamp.

Sensor Shield

This is one of the most basic shields you can get, it basically just brings various pins to easy to use headers. there are several variants of this shield.

Data logger shield

This shield has an SD card interface which works with FAT16 or FAT32 formatted cards. There is a 3.3v level shifter on the shield that prevents damage to your SD card. it also contains a Real time clock (RTC) keeps the time going. The battery backup lasts for years

The Arduino IDE also contains libraries and example code for both SD and RTC meaning you can get going quickly , there is also a small prototyping area for soldering connectors, circuitry or sensors.

2.4 inch TFT LCD Touch Screen Shield

This shield features a 2.4″ diagonal LCD TFT display with an LED backlight, it can display over 250000 colors. the screen resolution is 240×320 . It features a 3.3v regulator on board meaning that it is compatible with 3.3v and 5v boards. Underneath the shield it also has a micro sd connector where you can connect a card

The shield does use a lot of pins if you connect it to an UNO, it needs digital pins 5-13 and analog 0-3. Its a reasonably priced, introduction to TFT and touchscreens

SIM900 GSM GPRS Shield

The GPRS Shield is based on SIM900 module from SIMCOM and compatible with for Arduino and its clones.The GPRS Shield provides you a way to communicate using the GSM cell phone network.
The shield allows you to achieve SMS, MMS, GPRS and Audio via UART by sending AT commands (GSM 07.07 ,07.05 and SIMCOM enhanced AT Commands).

Quad-Band 850 / 900/ 1800 / 1900 MHz – would work on GSM networks in all countries across the world.

CAN Bus Shield

CAN Controller Area Network is an abbreviation, is the ISO international standardization of serial communication protocol. CAN’s performance and reliability has been recognized, and is widely used in industrial automation, marine, medical equipment, industrial equipment and other aspects.

The CAN Shield as using MCP2515 CAN controller, TJA1050 CAN transceiver as (similar to 485 in the MAX485 transceiver chip). The shield fully supports CAN2.0 protocol specification, the maximum transfer rate of 1Mb / s 2 an indicator LED

10 of the most useful arduino shields

10 of the most useful arduino shields

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