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Raspberry Pi For Dummies by Mike Cook, Sean McManus

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Making a Breakout Board

A breakout board is a device that allows you to easily make connections to an electrical component. It is necessary because sometimes connections to modern electronic devices are small or difficult to access. Here we want to access the GPIO signals of the Raspberry Pi, but the multiway connector makes this a bit tricky. In order to make connections to it more easily, we are going to construct a break out board that will allow us to connect circuits to the Raspberry Pi using just screw connectors, no soldering involved. You can then use this board to simply attach your projects. The one we show you how to make now has its connections in exactly the same pattern as the P1 connector. You are going to make a breakout board based on an IDC connector and some connection block strips.

Connection block, or chock block as it is sometimes called, is normally used for connecting domestic AC wiring and comes in various sizes. You want the smallest you can get, which is normally the 3 amp sort. You can buy it in a thrift shop (or a pound shop in the U.K.) very cheaply. They come in strips of 12 connections, which is a pity because we need two strips of 13. However, you can easily cut them with a hobby knife. Cut your connection blocks into two strips of 9 and two strips of 4. This is to ensure you have sufficient mounting holes to attach it to a board.

Get a piece of plywood 80×110mm (3"×4 1/2") and mark the position of two mounting holes in each strip so that the strips ...

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