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Hardware Assembly v2.1/2.2 Shield

This page is a chapter in 'AeroQuad Shields'

AeroQuad v2.1/2.2 shield soldering procedures

Here’s the complete set of components for the AeroQuad v2.1/2.2 shield for Arduino Mega. Included in the picture is the AeroQuad v2.1 shield (or AeroQuad v2.2 shield), three indicator LEDs, breakout pins (100 total needed), Sparkfun's 9DOF Sensor Stick (ITG-3200 triple axis gyro, ADXL 345 triple axis accelerometer, HMC5883L triple axis magnetometer), BMP085 Barometric Pressure Sensor Breakout board (or BMP180), Sparkfun's Logic Level Converter board and two resistors (R1 = 15k and R2 = 7.5k). Not pictured is the Stackable female headers (Mega Pack).

A note on electrostatic discharge (ESD)

It is important to take some care when working with the electronics (sensors and the Arduino) in order to prevent them from being damaged by ESD.
Here are some recommendations:
  • Ground yourself before touching the electronics. This can be done by touching a metal appliance which is plugged into an electrical socket.
  • Work in an environment where there is less chance of ESD developing, such as on a concrete floor of a garage. Avoid carpets and plastic tables
  • When not in use, store the electronics in an ESD protective plastic bag.

Preparing your headers

If you are using the Stackable Headers (Mega Pack) from the store, you will need to break up the following header lengths:
  • 1x 4 pin (for Sensor Stick)
  • 3x 5 pin (for Analogue Inputs)
  • 3x 6 pin (for BMP085, and Logic Level Translator)
  • 6x 8 pin (for Servos/Channel Inputs)

If you do not have the Stackable Headers (Mega Pack), you will also need to make the following lengths:
  • 1x 6 pin
  • 5x 8 pin
  • 1x 3 pin, 2 row (or 2x 3 pin single row) for the ICSP
  • 1x 18 pin, 2 row (or 2x 18pin single row)

If you wish to connect devices to the pins on the Mega or Uno for custom software, you will need twice as many 6, 8 and 36 pin headers.

Soldering the Breakout Boards

Once you have all the pins broken up, you can begin soldering.

Self closing tweezers can be very handy at this stage to help keep the headers in place while you solder. A set of "extra hands" (arms with alligator clips on them) are very helpful also.


Place the short end of the header strip through the board, and then place self closing tweezers over the board/header to clamp the header flat against the board. You can then tack one or two of the pins, and remove the tweezers. Solder the rest of the pins on. Ensure the solder has made contact with the PCB and pin all the way around.

Logic Level Converter Board

Repeat the procedure for the Logic Level Converter board. If you are using the tweezers method, complete one header at a time.

BMP085 Board

Repeat the procedure for the pressure sensor board. If you are using the tweezers method, complete one header at a time.

You should now have all your boards with pins on them!

Sensors to the shield

It is easier to mount the breakout boards to the shield before adding any pins, as you maintain easy access to all the breakout board headers for soldering. It also allows you to easily mount the 9DOF level.

Before you mount the 9DOF Sensor stick, you will need to add something to the end to allow it to sit level. You can use the included double sided tape, or pull the pins out of a 4 pin strip of header and mount it with hot glue or epoxy (not superglue!). By using a piece of "empty" header you virtually guarantee that the sensors will sit level with the board, unlike using the double sided tape which can make soldering the header level tricky.

To mount the board with tape, stack the two pieces of tape at the end opposite the pin header.

To mount the board with a piece of header and glue, hold a piece of header against the board using self closing tweezers (so there is no gap between the board and the header) and then glue around it. You can re-heat hot glue to get it to flow around the header better if need be.

Then apply glue to the board and mount the IMU as quickly as possible so the glue does not harden and leave the IMU raised up.

Now insert the other breakout boards in their relevant locations. When mounting the Logic Level Converter, pay attention to the silkscreen on the board and the silkscreen on the shield to ensure the HV and LV sides are mounted correctly.

If you want to get more tips about how to mount the pressure sensor, visit this page.

All your sensors should now be soldered to the board neatly.

Resistors and LEDs to the shield

The two resistors that come with the shield are a R1=15kohm and R2=7.5kohm. R1 resistor has brown, green, orange, and gold stripes. R2 resistor has purple, green, red, and gold stripes. Place them into their respective spots, solder them from the bottom, and trim off the extra wires, orientation of these parts does not matter as they are not polarized.

The three LEDs included in with the shield are to be inserted from the top and soldered from the bottom. The red LED goes to the lower-left corner and the other two greeen LEDs go to upper-left and lower-right corners as shown below. Polarity is important on these parts, if you insert them in reverse they will not work as intended!

Stackable female headers (Mega pack) to the shield

The stackable headers will be soldered to the shield in order to allow for easy attachment and detachment of the shield and the Arduino. Insert the five 8-pin pieces, the one 6-pin piece, and the one 18x2-pin piece from the top of the shield into the slots shown in the picture below and solder them from the bottom of the shield. Then insert the 3x2-pin piece from the bottom and solder it from the top.

You can also solder these using a pair of self closing tweezers to keep the parts mounted to the board tightly. Once again, hold the part with the tweezers and tack the pins at each end with solder - then solder the rest of the pins in without the tweezers. You may find it quicker to tack in all your headers and then solder all the headers at once, rather than alternating between tacking and soldering.

Breakout pins to the shield

There are a total of 78 more breakout pins that need to be soldered to the shield. These will connect various things depicted below. The pins need to be inserted from the top of the shield using their short sides and soldered from the bottom.

1Eight outputs for the regular PWM ESCs for brushless motors
2Three outputs for servo control. Useful for controlling camera stabilization servos or any other features requiring servo control
3Analog inputs for other sensors such as ultra sonic
4Radio receiver channel inputs
5Connection pins for MAX7456 OSD
6Connection pins for GPS

Arduino Mega PWM motor outputs

Refer to this page for more information about all the available flight configurations!

The completed v2.1 shield


To view these files it's recommended to use Eagle.

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