In my project I need to connect RFID reader (RC522) on top of the Ethernet shield because of it's capability of reading and editing SD card. When I connect only RFID sensor on Arduino, it works. Same goes to Ethernet shield. But when I use both together, It simply doesn't work. I can compile it and upload it, but I don't get anything in the serial monitor. I think it's because both Ethernet shield and RFID reader use the same pins for SPI like MOSI, MISO and SCK. My question is, if that is the problem, how to connect multiple SPI devices on Arduino, or at least on Ethernet shield.

Here is my code, although I think there's nothing wrong with it. I just merged code for RFID and Ethernet shield with copy-pasting. Sorry for bad formatting, I need it just for test, I'll later make the real code.

#include <SPI.h>
#include <MFRC522.h>
#include <SD.h>

#define RST_PIN         6          // Configurable, see typical pin layout above
#define SS_PIN          7

MFRC522 mfrc522(SS_PIN, RST_PIN);

// set up variables using the SD utility library functions:
Sd2Card card;
SdVolume volume;
SdFile root;

// change this to match your SD shield or module;
// Arduino Ethernet shield: pin 4
// Adafruit SD shields and modules: pin 10
// Sparkfun SD shield: pin 8
const int chipSelect = 4;

void setup() {
  // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:
  while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for native USB port only
  while (!Serial);    // Do nothing if no serial port is opened (added for Arduinos based on ATMEGA32U4)
  SPI.begin();      // Init SPI bus
  mfrc522.PCD_Init();   // Init MFRC522
  mfrc522.PCD_DumpVersionToSerial();  // Show details of PCD - MFRC522 Card Reader details
  Serial.println(("Scan PICC to see UID, SAK, type, and data blocks..."));

  Serial.print("\nInitializing SD card...");

  // we'll use the initialization code from the utility libraries
  // since we're just testing if the card is working!
  if (!card.init(SPI_HALF_SPEED, chipSelect)) {
    Serial.println("initialization failed. Things to check:");
    Serial.println("* is a card inserted?");
    Serial.println("* is your wiring correct?");
    Serial.println("* did you change the chipSelect pin to match your shield or module?");
    while (1);
  } else {
    Serial.println("Wiring is correct and a card is present.");

  // print the type of card
  Serial.print("Card type:         ");
  switch (card.type()) {
    case SD_CARD_TYPE_SD1:
    case SD_CARD_TYPE_SD2:

  // Now we will try to open the 'volume'/'partition' - it should be FAT16 or FAT32
  if (!volume.init(card)) {
    Serial.println("Could not find FAT16/FAT32 partition.\nMake sure you've formatted the card");
    while (1);

  Serial.print("Clusters:          ");
  Serial.print("Blocks x Cluster:  ");

  Serial.print("Total Blocks:      ");
  Serial.println(volume.blocksPerCluster() * volume.clusterCount());

  // print the type and size of the first FAT-type volume
  uint32_t volumesize;
  Serial.print("Volume type is:    FAT");
  Serial.println(volume.fatType(), DEC);

  volumesize = volume.blocksPerCluster();    // clusters are collections of blocks
  volumesize *= volume.clusterCount();       // we'll have a lot of clusters
  volumesize /= 2;                           // SD card blocks are always 512 bytes (2 blocks are 1KB)
  Serial.print("Volume size (Kb):  ");
  Serial.print("Volume size (Mb):  ");
  volumesize /= 1024;
  Serial.print("Volume size (Gb):  ");
  Serial.println((float)volumesize / 1024.0);

  Serial.println("\nFiles found on the card (name, date and size in bytes): ");

  // list all files in the card with date and size
  root.ls(LS_R | LS_DATE | LS_SIZE);

void loop() {
    if ( ! mfrc522.PICC_IsNewCardPresent()) {

  // Select one of the cards
  if ( ! mfrc522.PICC_ReadCardSerial()) {

  // Dump debug info about the card; PICC_HaltA() is automatically called
  • Sorry for being dumb, where is your Ethernet bit code? Also you know that SPI uses Chip select to select device it wants to talk to?
    – Martynas
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 16:45
  • set pin 10 HIGH if you don't use the Ethernet chip
    – Juraj
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 16:47
  • You mean because shields SS is 10? And do you mean that I do pinMode(10, HIGH); ?
    – Mirakul
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 18:04
  • yes, set 10 as OUTPUT and HIGH. while it is floating it randomly enables and disables the Wiznet chip on SPI bus
    – Juraj
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


The two devices should share SCK, MISO, and MOSI, but SS (or CS as it's sometimes called) will have to be different and both shields are probably trying to use pin 10 for SS. Let the ethernet shield have pin 10 for SS. On the other shield, take that pin and bend it out so it doens't go down into the header when you stack them and then solder a wire to it and take it to another pin. Go into the code and modify the code for that shield to use the new pin as SS instead of pin 10.

  • they have pin 7 as SS for RFID reader. and it is not a shield I think
    – Juraj
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 17:48
  • Does CS mean chip select? By the way you are right juraj.
    – Mirakul
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 18:02
  • Yes CS is chip select.
    – Delta_G
    Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 0:44
  • OK if they already have the CS lines separated then the next thing to check is SPI modes. Maybe the two devices use different SPI modes.
    – Delta_G
    Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 0:45

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.