In the project I am working on, I have a limited space with which I can work. I am using an Arduino Uno with 2 Adafruit motor shields, and when I stack them using normal, female stacking headers it is too tall to fit. I thought that one way to solve this would be to lay them out side to side rather than one on top of the other. So, instead of this

+--------Motor shield 2 ----------+
+--------Motor shield 1 ----------+
+---------Arduino Uno ------------+

it would look like this

               -----------------------------------------Wires -------------------------------           
+---------Arduino Uno ------------+    +--------Motor shield 1 ----------+    +--------Motor shield 2 ----------+

Would this be possible if I were to connect all of the pins with wires, and has anyone successfully done this before?

2 Answers 2


It is possible to have some success with this, but keep in mind that the longer the wire, the higher the inductance and voltage drop across the wire. Prefer to use a star topology rather than a chain topology, with the Arduino in the middle of all the shields in use.

  • 1
    Also you probably only need a few wires connected. It looks like the motor shield uses 6 pins, 2 I2C pins, pins 9 and 10 (if using hobby servos), power and ground.
    – Craig
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 19:08

Yes, no problem running individual wires, and also like Craig says, only run the wires you need. For some inspiration, here's a project I did with a bit of hand wiring. And then there's this project with kinda epic wiring.

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