Let me preface by saying that I am not super experienced with electronics. I have an Adafruit Feather 32u4 that is using Hardware SPI to communicate over Bluetooth. Unfortunately, I'm also hoping to use the SD library, which also uses Hardware SPI. I am hoping to change the board to use Software SPI instead, so that the two may work together.

The Bluefruit code by default has the following commented out:

/* ...software SPI, using SCK/MOSI/MISO user-defined SPI pins and then user selected CS/IRQ/RST */
                             BLUEFRUIT_SPI_MOSI, BLUEFRUIT_SPI_CS,
                             BLUEFRUIT_SPI_IRQ, BLUEFRUIT_SPI_RST);

Which leads me to believe I could use SW SPI but simply uncommenting this and commenting out the HW SPI doesn't seem to work.

I am just not sure if it's not compatible with the board, or I need to do more than this...?

  • 2
    SPI is a bus. you can wire more devices only use different CS pin. some SD modules make problems on bus. the Adafruit SD module is OK
    – Juraj
    Apr 15, 2019 at 16:36
  • 1
    my comment applies to hardware SPI. two different sw SPI or sw SPI with hw SPI can't work together on the same pins
    – Juraj
    Apr 15, 2019 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


Read SparkFun's guide, Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), especially the multiple slaves section:

Multiple slaves

There are two ways of connecting multiple slaves to an SPI bus:

  1. In general, each slave will need a separate SS line. To talk to a particular slave, you'll make that slave's SS line low and keep the rest of them high (you don't want two slaves activated at the same time, or they may both try to talk on the same MISO line resulting in garbled data). Lots of slaves will require lots of SS lines; if you're running low on outputs, there are binary decoder chips that can multiply your SS outputs.

enter image description here

  1. On the other hand, some parts prefer to be daisy-chained together, with the MISO (output) of one going to the MOSI (input) of the next. In this case, a single SS line goes to all the slaves. Once all the data is sent, the SS line is raised, which causes all the chips to be activated simultaneously. This is often used for daisy-chained shift registers and addressable LED drivers.

enter image description here

Note that, for this layout, data overflows from one slave to the next, so to send data to any one slave, you'll need to transmit enough data to reach all of them. Also, keep in mind that the first piece of data you transmit will end up in the last slave.

This type of layout is typically used in output-only situations, such as driving LEDs where you don't need to receive any data back. In these cases you can leave the master's MISO line disconnected. However, if data does need to be returned to the master, you can do this by closing the daisy-chain loop (blue wire in the above diagram). Note that if you do this, the return data from slave 1 will need to pass through all the slaves before getting back to the master, so be sure to send enough receive commands to get the data you need.

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