Shield appeal

If you're getting 'board' of the simpler modules available for Arduino, sink your teeth into more advanced hardware

Once you've completed your first few projects and have a better idea of the mind-bending potential that the countless Arduino-compatible modules represent, you'll probably be keen to take your prototyping to the next level. And we mean that literally: these top 5 shields have stackable headers, allowing them to be piggy-backed directly onto an Arduino board.

1. 320 x 240 LCD touch screen
This resistive touch screen has a 320 x 240px colour display and onboard MicroSD slot you can use for storing data and images to display. This shield is compatible with Uno and Mega, and its display controller chip has built-in animation functions such as scrolling.

2. 8 x 5 RGB LED matrix
Use RGB optics to add brilliant colour to your next project, with a 40-LED matrix that has a built-in driver IC and programmable 12V constant-current circuitry. This shield is the centrepiece of the silent alarm clock project.

3. ESP-13 Wi-Fi shield
Offering advanced functionality for ambitious makers, this shield features an onboard 80MHz processor, and can act as a server or access point. It can be programmed using the Arduino IDE (integrated development environment), but you’ll need a separate board for programming.

4. USB host
With support for Android ADK, this versatile unit allows you to connect your Arduino project to a mobile device running Android. Adding a USB host to your main board means you can expand the functionality of your project with a remarkable variety of peripherals; keyboards and flash drives are barely scratching the surface.

5. Data logging shield
Including an SD card slot and a DS1307 RTC (Real Time Clock) IC backed up with a CR1220 battery, this data logging shield can be used to write timestamped data to a FAT16 or FAT32 formatted SD card. Its RTC functionality is also used in the Silent Alarm Clock project.
Note: this shield is only compatible with the Uno board.

Check out the full range of Arduino compatible shields and modules.

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