Relay Shield Assembly Instructions

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This page walks through the process of assembling the Simple Relay Shield Kit.

Bill of Materials, or, "What's in the kit?"[edit]

 Line   Qty   Reference   Value   Vendor   Vendor Part Number 
1 1 PCB Circuit board, Simple Relay Shield Evil Mad Scientist 9600033
2 2 R1, R2 1000 ohm 1/4 W Resistor Digi-Key Digi-Key 1.0KQBK-ND
3 2 D1,D2 1N5817 Diode, Schottky Digi-Key Digi-Key 1N5817-TPCT-ND
4 1 D3 Red T1 LED Evil Mad Scientist 9330026
5 1 C2 100 uF 10 V Capacitor, electrolytic Digi-Key Digi-Key P963-ND
6 1 C1 0.1 uF 25 V Capacitor, ceramic Digi-Key BC1148TR-ND
7 1 Q1 2N4401 Transistor, NPN Digi-Key 2N4401D26ZCT-ND
8 1 J1-J4 6/8-pin female stacking header set Evil Mad Scientist 633
9 1 J5 3-pos, 5.08 mm Term block Digi-Key ED2610-ND
10 1 Relay G5LA-14 DC5 SPDT, 5A Digi-Key Z2560-ND

Assembly procedure[edit]

We'll go line by line through the kit components. This guide assumes that you have had some soldering experience. If not, or it's been a while, you may also want to look at pages 2 and 5-7 of the Bulbdial clock assembly instructions, which go over basic tools and technique. And, if you really are a beginner, there are plenty of good tutorials on line, like this one.

0. The simple relay shield kit[edit]

Here are all the components that make up the kit:


We'll be adding components to the various locations labeled on the board.

1. Install the two 1k ohm resistors[edit]


The 1k ohm resistors will be installed in location R1 and R2. Shown here:


First, bend the resistor leads as shown:


Insert the first resistor in location R1 (Resistors are not directional and can be installed either way):


Bend the leads outward to keep the resistor in place while soldering:


Solder both leads:


Make sure you have a good solder joint from the PCB pad to the resistor lead. The solder joint should be shiny without too much excess solder.


Clip the excess leads short on the back side.



Then, install the second 1k ohm resistor at location R2, in the same manner. Again, solder both pins and clip the excess leads short.

When you've finished adding these two resistors, your board should look like this:


2. Install the two diodes[edit]


The diodes will be installed in locations D1 and D2, as shown here:


Bend the leads as shown:


Install the diodes in positions D1 and D2. Diodes have polarity - be sure to match the stripes on the diode with the stripe on the PCB.


Just as we did with the resistors, bend the leads outward so they stay in place during soldering. Solder. Check for a good solder connection and clip the excess leads.

3. The LED[edit]


The LED will be installed in location D3, shown here:


Orientation is important: the long lead goes into the square hole.


Insert the LED but before soldering, you can bend the leads out at 45 degrees to hold an LED in place while you solder. Solder both leads and clip the leads short.

Your board should look like this:


4. The capacitors[edit]


The electrolytic capacitor will go in location C2:


This capacitor has polarity. It must be installed with the minus on the cap to the minus on the PCB, as shown here:


Just as before, bend the leads outward, solder, and clip.

Next, we'll add the ceramic cap to location C1:


This one can be installed in either direction.

The board so far:


5. The transistor[edit]


The transistor will be installed in Q1, here:


Match the flat of the transistor to the flat on the PCB. The transistor will not sit flush but you can still bend the two outer legs to keep in place for soldering. Once soldered, it will look like this:


6. The 'Stackable' Headers[edit]

The Simple Relay Shield is intended to be used as a 'shield' with an Arduino or Arduino-compatible board, and so it comes with the appropriate 'stacking' headers.


The headers will be installed in the outermost holes. The two 6-pin headers on one side, 8-pins on the other, as shown here:


To add these, we recommend inserting all four headers and then resting the board-- upside down --on the four headers, so that they sit flush to the board.


Solder one end pin of each first.


Flip the board back over and check that the pins are perpendicular to the board. Make sure the headers aren't 'twisted' in their sockets - make sure the edges of the socket are parallel with the silkscreen outline on the board.

If any header/socket isn't aligned correctly, heat up the solder on the single soldered pin and adjust the header/socket as needed.

Once everything is aligned, flip the board back over and solder the rest of the pins. Try to use a minimal amount of solder, so that solder does not wick down onto the pins, as that could potentially cause difficulty inserting the shield into an otherwise receptive Arduino board. Do not clip these leads.


The board so far:


11. The terminal block[edit]

The terminal block goes in location J5 -- with the holes facing outward, as shown:


Similar to the headers, solder 'tack' one of the pins to keep the component in place, turn the board over and check that the terminal block is straight and flush with the PCB before soldering all three pins.


12. The relay[edit]

Finally, add the relay (It can only go in one way), and solder in place:


And, you're done! That's it! Next, head back to the main Simple Relay Shield kit documentation page.