I bought an assembled Arduino Uno protoshield version 5, similar to this:

enter image description here

I bought it because I would like to solder wires from Arduino IOs, and I was quite disappointed with the impossibility to do so, since the solder points are already taken by the female headers, which are not connected to anything (there are not tracks coming from then to other islands, which I find quite dumb).

I am considering to remove (by desoldering) the headers, so I can access the holes for soldering wires (instead of plugging them to headers), but before doing so, I ask:

Is there a good way to solder wires so they are electrically connected to the Arduino IO pins?

  • 2
    I think they cheaped out when assembling this board. Notice that you can no longer stack any other shields on top, since the female headers are further to the inside. My guess it the board was designed to have stacking headers inserted in the outside row, and have the inside row free for soldering. Those headers are however a lot more expensive.
    – Gerben
    Jul 1, 2015 at 13:02
  • @Gerben You're absolutely right... I haven't noticed that detail, and since I can not even stack more shields, the very purpose to keep the female headers doesn't make much more sense. One more reason to remove them and use the holes directly (besides having some extra headers to put elsewhere on the board, with a saner ordering). Would you elaborate your comment in an answer? I'd upvote and perhaps accept it! Jul 1, 2015 at 13:29
  • Instead of soldering wires, consider crimping on male pins compatible with the headers. Or get silicone insulated wire and neatly solder it where each header pin is soldered to the board - it is admittedly a skill, but develops with practice. Mar 17, 2018 at 4:24

3 Answers 3


For the signals, get some AWG30 wire and solder them underneath to the female header pads. For power, get some AWG22 or AWG24 wire and solder them to the top of the male header pads.

  • 1
    I did it, but the result is visually and conceptually very ugly, not to mention the wire running under the shield got uncomfortably close to the ATmega exposed metal pins (not terrible, but, c'mon...). Would you risk to suggest why on earth they didn't provide tracks from the pins to any free island? Similar to the triplets found around the center DIP IC area? That would be perfect! Jul 1, 2015 at 0:07
  • 2
    Probably because they figured that everyone would just drop a solderless breadboard in the middle and use the female headers as they normally would. Jul 1, 2015 at 0:14
  • 1
    If you use insulated wire it shouldn't be a problem - hand soldering to a single row at .100" spacing gives you plenty of elbow room compared to what you would have to deal with in reworking more modern electronics, where sub-millimeter pitch (typically 4 to 5 times denser) is the norm. Jul 1, 2015 at 1:01
  • 1
    Accepting the answer because it actually works, but I ended up desoldering the headers (not a pretty work to do). For anyone with intention to solder the wires instead of plugging, there are two good options for the v5 of the board: buying the - by the way cheaper - unassembled kit (and not soldering the female headers) or buying a model with stacking headers. Jul 6, 2015 at 0:51

Other boards bring the header pins to prototype area pins, as I do here http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/UnoScrewSheild2016.jpg enter image description here

  • 1
    While disclosed, this is pretty close to "advertising" to fit here Mar 17, 2018 at 4:22
  • @CrossRoads - It says on your website: "Assembled cards are $21.50 and ship flat rate boxes. Shipping and paypal fee added to all orders." I'm assuming the price is in US dollars, so for Canadians, our cost for one of your shields would be $27.17 CDN plus shipping (USD * 1.31 Exchange rate), plus paypal fee (USD * 1.31 Exchange rate), plus "the big one", duty of approx. 33% in CDN$ (Canada charges it to us on delivery). So, how much is the shipping and paypal fee?
    – VE7JRO
    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:40
  • I do all payments in USD via paypal, so I only see USD and paypal I assumes shows you the in-country price. Shipping to Canada via Priority Mail International® Small Flat Rate Box is $25.95, international paypal fee on the card + shipping is $2.35. We can fit several in the same flat rate box if you want more than 1.
    – CrossRoads
    Mar 19, 2018 at 0:30

It looks like you are missing the solder-less breadboard piece for your shield. The shield I bought came with one, and some 2 sided sticky "foam tape" to affix it to the circuit board.

enter image description here

If you use the shield with the solder-less breadboard, then it would be not be feasible to stack another shield on top of it because of the height of the components and jumper wires plugged into it.

I tested my shield and found the same thing you did, the header pins are not connected to any of the connection points on the board. That is dumb indeed.

As CrossRoads mentioned in his answer, there are other options, such as screw terminal shields. They sell them for $2.43 USD on aliexpress.com Screw Terminal Shield.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.