Friday 8 November 2013

Maplin's RaspberryPi GPIO Breakout Board

Just bought one of these little kits to connect my RaspberryPi to a breadboard.

Well, it was cheap...only £3.39.

I was actually looking for a set of jumper leads, and wondering whether I needed male-female, female-female or some other sexual combination, when I spotted this kit from Maplin.

I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and raised a purchase order. My bag or bits arrived, as usual for Maplin, within 48hours (why does it take Amazon so long to ship?).

This kit consists of 5 parts which requires you to solder an IDC connector and two rows of pins to a simple pcb.

Having studied the instructions for a few minutes, I decided to disregard them. Call me old fashioned, even pedantic, but I wanted the colour coded ribbon cable to be the right way up, with the brown wire close to pin 1 of the RaspberryPi GPIO connector P1.

So this is how I think it should be fitted:-

As you can see, I've soldered the IDC onto the board with bump-polarisation at the top.... I can plug the cable in the right way around.

My first two observations are:-
  1. my breadboard is way too small
  2. the ribbon cable is a bit short
When connected and coupled up to my RaspberryPi, the ribbon covers one side of the breadboard.

I'm going to have to work with it, to see how much of a problem this is, but if the cable was longer I would be able to put an up-ward kink in it to clear the breadboard.

But Hey! was only £3.39


  1. Just found this as I've lost the instructions to mine. Intrigued that you've soldered it the 'wrong' way round - thanks for the post!

    1. Yeah, I think the problem is that if the connector is soldered in the correct way, the ribbon cable has to be connected the other way around. This means the cable would then drape over the Pi, and the breadboard would sit on top of the Pi HDMI & power cables. Or you could fold the cable back on itself (in a loop) but then the breadboard would be even closer to the GPIO side of the Pi.
      If the ribbon cable had been longer (say 300mm) it wouldn't have been a problem. I hope this helps.