SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano Hookup Guide

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Contributors: El Duderino
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Introduction

The SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano allows you to add the SparkFun Qwiic ecosystem to development boards that use the Arduino Nano Footprint in an easy-to-assemble shield. It connects the I2C bus (GND, 3.3V, SDA, and SCL) on your Arduino Nano to four SparkFun Qwiic connectors. The Qwiic ecosystem allows for easy daisy chaining so, as long as your devices are on different addresses, you can connect as many Qwiic devices as you'd like.

SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano

SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano

DEV-16789
$3.95

Required Materials

To follow along with this guide, you will need an Arduino with the Nano footprint. This includes the all variants of the Arduino Nano and many other Arduino Nano-compatible boards! Here are just a few of the compatible boards.

Arduino Nano 33 IoT with Headers

Arduino Nano 33 IoT with Headers

DEV-15589
$24.95
Arduino Nano Every

Arduino Nano Every

DEV-15590
$14.95
1
Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense

Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense

DEV-15580
$39.95

Arduino Nano 33 BLE

DEV-15588

The shield comes with a set of stackable headers but, if you would prefer to use other headers or another set of stackable headers, here are a few options:

Break Away Headers - Straight

Break Away Headers - Straight

PRT-00116
$1.50
20
Female Headers

Female Headers

PRT-00115
$1.50
7
Break Away Headers - Long

Break Away Headers - Long

PRT-10158
$2.95
3
Arduino Nano Stackable Header Kit

Arduino Nano Stackable Header Kit

PRT-16279
$1.50

Now you probably would not want the Qwiic Shield for Arudino Nano if you didn't have any Qwiic products to use with it, right? Well, if you don't have any Qwiic products, the following might not be a bad place to start.

SparkFun GPS Breakout - NEO-M9N, U.FL (Qwiic)

SparkFun GPS Breakout - NEO-M9N, U.FL (Qwiic)

GPS-15712
$64.95
2
SparkFun High Precision Temperature Sensor - TMP117 (Qwiic)

SparkFun High Precision Temperature Sensor - TMP117 (Qwiic)

SEN-15805
$13.95
3
SparkFun Qwiic Motor Driver

SparkFun Qwiic Motor Driver

ROB-15451
$14.95
1
SparkFun Qwiic Keypad - 12 Button

SparkFun Qwiic Keypad - 12 Button

COM-15290
$9.95
6

You will need some of our Qwiic cables to connect your devices to the shield. Below are a few options:

Qwiic Cable - 500mm

Qwiic Cable - 500mm

PRT-14429
$1.95
1
Qwiic Cable - 100mm

Qwiic Cable - 100mm

PRT-14427
$1.50
Qwiic Cable - 200mm

Qwiic Cable - 200mm

PRT-14428
$1.50
Qwiic Cable - 50mm

Qwiic Cable - 50mm

PRT-14426
$0.95

Lastly, if you want to use a non-Qwiic I2C device, these adapters help to convert it to a Qwiic connector:

Qwiic Cable - Breadboard Jumper (4-pin)

Qwiic Cable - Breadboard Jumper (4-pin)

PRT-14425
$1.50
SparkFun Qwiic Adapter

SparkFun Qwiic Adapter

DEV-14495
$1.50
1
Qwiic Cable - Female Jumper (4-pin)

Qwiic Cable - Female Jumper (4-pin)

CAB-14988
$1.50

Required Tools

You will need a soldering iron, solder, and general soldering accessories to solder the header pins to the Qwiic shields.

Solder Lead Free - 15-gram Tube

Solder Lead Free - 15-gram Tube

TOL-09163
$3.50
2
Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V)

Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V)

TOL-09507
$9.95
7

Suggested Reading

If you aren't familiar with the Qwiic ecosystem, we recommend reading here for an overview:

Qwiic Connect System
Qwiic Connect System

We would also recommend taking a look at the following tutorials if you aren't familiar with them:

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

I2C

An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

Arduino Shields v2

An update to our classic Arduino Shields Tutorial! All things Arduino shields. What they are and how to assemble them.

Hardware Overview

The Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano is pretty straight forward shield but has a few extra bits we'll cover in this section.

Qwiic Connectors

Just like our other Qwiic adapter boards, the Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano comes with several Qwiic connectors. There are two horizontal Qwiic connectors on the edges of the board and two vertical ones in the center.

Image highlighting Qwiic Connectors on Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano.

Logic Shifting Circuit and IOREF Jumper

The Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano has a configurable logic shifting circuit depending on the voltage your Arduino Nano runs at. There is a jumper on the shield to set the IOREF voltage for the logic shifting circuit. The jumper defaults to 3.3V which works fine for 33 Nanos like the Arduino 33 Nano BLE but you will need to switch the jumper to 5V for Arduino Nanos that run at 5V like the Arduino Nano Every.

Image Highlighting logic circuit for Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano.

Never worked with solder jumpers before just need some tips or a quick refresher? Check out our How to Work with Jumpers and PCB Traces tutorial.


How to Work with Jumper Pads and PCB Traces

April 2, 2018

Handling PCB jumper pads and traces is an essential skill. Learn how to cut a PCB trace, add a solder jumper between pads to reroute connections, and repair a trace with the green wire method if a trace is damaged.

I2C Jumper

The I2C jumper pulls the Qwiic SDA and SCL lines up to 3.3V through 4.7K resistors. The reference voltage set by the IOREF Jumper has no effect on the voltage of the pull up resistors. You can disable them by severing the trace in between the pads if you have many devices on your I2C bus.

Image highlighting I2C Jumper on the Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano.

Board Dimensions

The shield measures 1.7in. x 0.7in. (43.18mm x 17.78mm) and has four mounting holes with a 0.07in diameter that match those on the Nano footprint.

Dimensional Drawing for Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano

Hardware Assembly

All that is needed to get started using the Qwiic Shield for Arduino Nano is to solder the included stackable header kit or your chosen headers to the shield and, if necessary, to your Arduino Nano. If you have never worked with an Arduino Shield before or need some tips, our Arduino Shields Tutorial provides detailed instructions on how to assemble and use them. Take care to match the markings on the Qwiic Shield to the appropriate pins on your Nano to avoid shorting anything out and possibly damaging your Nano. Also, some variants of the Nano like the Nano 33 BLE Sense have sensors or antennas that can be affected by the Qwiic Shield's placement on top such that you may want to consider placing the Qwiic Shield below your Arduino Nano.

Once you have soldered headers to your shield and connected it to your Nano, it's time to start connecting some Qwiic devices! Below you can see the Qwiic Shield attached to an Arduino Nano Every using some female and male headers with a couple of Qwiic devices attached.

Qwiic Shield connected to an Arduino Nano with two Qwiic Devices.

Resources and Going Further

For more information, take a look at the resources below.

If you are having trouble getting your Qwiic devices to connect using your newly assembled Qwiic Shield, you may want to take a look at these tutorials for help troubleshooting and reworking your shield.

Now that you have your Qwiic Shield ready to go, it's time to check out some Qwiic-enabled products. Below are a few to get started.

SparkFun Qwiic Keypad - 12 Button

SparkFun Qwiic Keypad - 12 Button

COM-15290
$9.95
6
SparkFun weather:bit - micro:bit Carrier Board (Qwiic)

SparkFun weather:bit - micro:bit Carrier Board (Qwiic)

DEV-15837
$15.95
SparkFun Qwiic Button - Red LED

SparkFun Qwiic Button - Red LED

BOB-15932
$3.95
1
SparkFun GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning Breakout - ZED-F9R (Qwiic)

SparkFun GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning Breakout - ZED-F9R (Qwiic)

GPS-16344
$289.95

Before you go, here are some other tutorials using the Qwiic Connect System you may want to look through:

Qwiic Distance Sensor (RFD77402) Hookup Guide

The RFD77402 uses an infrared VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) TOF (Time of Flight) module capable of millimeter precision distance readings up to 2 meters. It’s also part of SparkFun’s Qwiic system, so you won’t have to do any soldering to figure out how far away things are.

Build a Qwiic Jukebox that is Toddler Approved!

Follow this tutorial to build your own custom jukebox. Note, this is designed simple and tough for use primarily with toddlers. It's also a great introduction to SparkFun's Qwiic products!

Programming the SparkFun Edge with Arduino

Running low-power machine learning examples on the SparkFun Edge can now be done using the familiar Arduino IDE. In this follow-up to the initial Edge tutorial, we'll look at how to get three examples up and running without the need to learn an entirely new SDK.

Working with Qwiic on a Jetson Nano through Jupyter Notebooks

We created a few Jupyter Notebooks to make using our Qwiic boards with your Jetson Nano even easier!