Nice buttons and pots for your Arduino

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Building the DJ Shield is easy and can be done in 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. All of the soldering is easy. Even if this is your first soldering project, you can do it.


  • Gather required tools: soldering iron, solder, and wire cutters. I strongly recommend using lead solder with a rosin core. Lead-free solder is much more difficult to work with.

    I recommend wearing eye protection when you are clipping off the excess leads on components because the small pieces of metal can go flying in any direction.

  • Check the parts list so you can verify you have all the parts and can identify them.
  • Before you start, look at this picture of good soldering. Note how none of the solder connections are shorted together. Your soldering should look similar.

Assembly Instructions

The order of these instructions is not particularly important in most cases. Take your time -- you can do this!

Step 1

Insert the 220 ohm resistors into place. Resistors do not have polarity, so orientation does not matter.

Turn the board over and solder the connections.

Using wire cutters, clip off the excess leads near the solder joint.

Step 2

Insert the LEDs into place. One LED is red and the other is blue, but you probably can't see any difference because they are clear in color. It does not matter which LED goes in which position. If you want to know which LED is red/blue, then connect it to a 5V source ensuring that you use a resistor. See this tutorial.

LEDs are polarized and the longer lead on the LED goes in the pad marked '+'. Ensure that the longer of the two leads on each LED is inserted into the hole marked '+'.

Turn the board over and solder the LEDs into place.

Clip off the excess leads.

Step 3

Insert the five buttons into the board. Press the pins down flat against the bottom of the board.

Solder the connections.

Step 4

Insert the three potentiometers as shown.

Turn the board over and solder them into place.

Step 5

Snap the button caps onto the buttons.

Step 6

Cut the 40-pin male header into two 8-pin sections and two 6-pin sections.

You will have 12 pins left over. These are a special gift to you from nootropic design :)

Insert the headers into your Arduino and place the DJ Shield on top as shown.

Solder each connection on top of the DJ Shield as shown. Remove the shield from the Arduino.

Step 7

Place the knobs on the pots and secure them using the set screw.

Now bask in the glory of your success and have a beer. If you don't drink or are too young to drink, have a piece of candy or something.

Have fun!


If you've assembled the DJ Shield and it doesn't seem to work, let's ask ourselves some questions:
  • Are you sure you've soldered everything together correctly? Look at this picture of good soldering. Note how none of the solder connections are shorted together. Your soldering should look similar. Double check your soldering connections. If any look suspect, reheat them with a soldering iron. Also remember that many bad connections look fine.
  • Use a multimeter to help you determine if everything is connected. You can refer to the schematic available on the design page.
  • If you are still having problems, email and be sure to include exact details about how the device behaves. Send pictures, if you can. High-resolution, clear photographs, not blury mobile phone pictures.