- Cut the header strips (10) into four segments of 15 pins each. It
is easy to cut these strips to size using a small wire cutter. Simply
position the jaws of the wire clipper over the pin where the cut is to
be made (e.g. 16th pin from end in this case) and squeeze. The cut
should be pretty even as it will follow the cavity where the pin was
- Carefully solder the four header strips from above to the front of
the PCB (side with labels). Make sure that the header strips are flush
with the PCB and that the Nano will fit into the inner two strips (see
- Double check that all the contacts have been cleanly and neatly
soldered as the display module will cover these solder points once it is
installed!!! Continuity test with a volt ohm meter would be a good thing.
- If you are planning on using the 5v power plug (3) then a two pair
wire (not provided) should be soldered to the front of the board at this
time as the solder points for the power plug will also be covered by
the LCD once it has been installed. Note that the power plug can
actually be installed after the fact but the ideal case is to do it now.
- Install the three pin jumper (6) for the LCD power option. The
default is to have the jumper on the PWM side but if you need every PWM
pin then you can drive the backlight from the 5v power (though without
- The TFT LCD (2) module should have electrical tape covering the
metal underside of the SD card slot. Do not remove this! If the
electrical tape is missing then it should be replaced before proceeding
as contact between the pins coming through the PCB and the metal SD card
slot is bad!
- Install the LCD (2) and the three push buttons (5) on the reverse
side of the PCB from the headers. Make sure these items are mounted
flush to the board and that the buttons are perpendicular to the PCB
surface. The bends on the button contacts should be facing long ways
relative to the PCBs long dimension (Image 3). It is important that
these buttons be mounted at the same heights so the protroud evenly from
- Finally, on the other side of the board from the LCD and the pushbuttons, there are spots where four 10k resistors should be mounted. More about this in another aticle but these resistors create a three legged voltage divider, that in tandem with the pushbuttons, allow one input on the Nano to be used for three buttons.
- Here are images of the PCB ready to be inserted into the case.
- The PCB can now be inserted into the front of the 3D printed case
(13) with the two wires for the power socket exposed through the power
socket hole and soldered to the socket (if you are using said socket).
- If you are planning on using the six pin header (7) to expose pins
to the outside of the case it should be mounted now (a little epoxy does
the trick). The left most pin of this header, when looking from the
outside of the case, can be bent down and soldered to the PCB ground
- The back of the case can now be attached using the four screws
(14). The posts on the back of the case (12) should firmly press the
PCB against the front of the case. The reset button extender (15) can
be used to make it easier to reset the Nano though this has the
disadvantage of making an accidental reset possible!
Evolution of a Blog
This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.