I have an Arduino that has 4 devices within an enclosure. Each of the 4 devices needs 5 V and GND. I have a shield with lots of unused pins (see photo). I'd like to "bridge" one row of the pins to create a power rail, and I'd like to bridge another row to create a ground rail.

I think most people are using an external breadboard for this. Also, I see that there is a shield that has power rails, but I don't have room for it. I'm looking for a female header, or another way to bridge these unused pins.

Note: I'm not asking about wiring voltage in parallel or amperage consumption.

example shield with unused pins in the center section

  • 4
    Just use some bare copper wire, and solder it to a row of pads. – Gerben Jun 17 '15 at 12:13

Just bridge them. Wire in your +5V connections then join them together on the back with lots of solder. Maybe with a strand of 0.6mm single core wire along it for extra ruggedness.


Have you considered "Conductive Silver Paint"? With this you can literally paint tracks to join any arrangement of holes you so desire.

Everybody from Maplins to Rapid Electronics sell it. There are many brands to choose from. Here is one at random: http://www.rapidonline.com/mechanical-fastenings-fixings/kemo-conductive-silver-paint-180423 ...I like Rapid because they have a helpful Q&A section for each product.

  • +1 : This method turns the proto-board style into stripboard-style, i.e. you end up with conductive 'tracks' while leaving the holes intact. As you're constructing power rails, I recommend painting both sides of the board for extra current-carrying capacity. – CharlieHanson Jun 17 '15 at 16:08
  • Would this method work even if you're pushing 12-24V through the conductive paint? – clifgray Apr 18 '17 at 20:45
  • @clifgray I have repaired the rear-windscreen-heater in a car with silver paint, so it definitely handles 14V ...I would suspect your bigger concern is how many Amps you wish to carry ...If you want to carry a lot of current, I would NOT paint a line "as thin as a fuse wire" – BlueChip Apr 19 '17 at 22:56
  • @BlueChip I'm running pretty low current. Around 24V and maybe .5A. – clifgray Apr 20 '17 at 2:15

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