Arduino Offset Header

The Arduino has a problem.
Not a big problem by any means, but still annoying under certain circumstances. As the story goes, an 11th hour design mistake has left the Arduino community with a header that doesn’t follow standard 0.1″ (2.54mm) spacing.

So what?


For the most part, this flaw is completely transparent to the user.  Either they plug wires directly into the header, or use shields that have been designed to mate nicely with it. The problem occurs when trying to create your own shield. When you try to line up a standard perfboard with the Arduino, the header doesn’t match up. This has left the community either buying protoshields or resorting to various other DIY techniques. (here’s two.)

An Easier Solution

Offset Header
offset header - standard shield
Thanks to my hackerspace, I’ve been able to machine a jig to make Offset Headers. In my opinion it’s a great solution to the problem. Slide one through the perfboard (or whatever other 0.1″ spaced board you’re using,) solder in place, and you have an Arduino-spaced shield using a standard-spaced board.

But wait… There’s more

offset header - arduino shield

So that takes care of the cheap-shield issue, but there’s more that this header can do. There are TONS of Arduino-spaced sheilds out there. In my opinion, that’s one of the main things keeping people from developing and buying standard-spaced Arduino clones. Currently, if you make your clone standard-spaced, you’re going to alienate all the existing Arduino shields.  Having these offset headers lets users buy a clone without fear of shield compatibility.


Many Headers

So that’s it. Offset headers by the boatload.  Hopefully someone somewhere finds them useful. I’ve sent a preliminary batch over to Adafruit, so they should be available there shortly. 

(UPDATE:  they are now available here)
(UPDATE: SparkFun has them now too.)

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2 Responses to “Arduino Offset Header”

  1. Efren S. Cruzat II says:


    Nice post, this is really a big problem for the hobby community using arduino.

    I’d like to ask permission to use the 1st and and 4th image on our blog if you wouldn’t mind ( In return I’ll acknowledge that the image came from your site and a link pointing to this post will be posted.

  2. […] *Images Courtesy of : Project Blog […]

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