SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Teensy Hookup Guide

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Contributors: QCPete
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Introduction

The SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Teensy and SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Teensy Extended provide an easy-to-assemble way to add the SparkFun Qwiic ecosystem to Teensy development boards. Both of these shields connect the I2C bus (GND, 3.3V, SDA, and SCL) on your Teensy 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 Teensy

SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Teensy

DEV-17119
$3.95
SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Teensy - Extended

SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Teensy - Extended

DEV-17156
$4.50

Required Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, you will need a Teensy development board with either the "standard" or "extended" form factor. Here are is a collection of the compatible boards. Note, some of them come with headers pre-populated, so keep that in mind when considering which headers to populate on your shield.

Teensy 4.1

Teensy 4.1

DEV-16771
$26.95
2
Teensy 4.0

Teensy 4.0

DEV-15583
$19.95
6
Teensy 4.1 (Headers)

Teensy 4.1 (Headers)

DEV-16996
$30.95
Teensy 4.0 (Headers)

Teensy 4.0 (Headers)

DEV-16997
$22.95

The Qwiic Shield includes a set of stackable headers to fit the Teensy footprint but you may also need some headers to solder to your Teensy. Or if you would prefer to use another header type for your shield assembly we've listed a few options below:

Break Away Headers - Straight

Break Away Headers - Straight

PRT-00116
$1.50
20
Female Headers

Female Headers

PRT-00115
$1.50
7
Teensy Header Kit

Teensy Header Kit

PRT-13925
$1.50
Now you probably would not want the Qwiic Shield for Teensy 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 16x2 SerLCD - RGB Text (Qwiic)

SparkFun 16x2 SerLCD - RGB Text (Qwiic)

LCD-16397
$19.95
SparkFun Qwiic Motor Driver

SparkFun Qwiic Motor Driver

ROB-15451
$14.95
1
SparkFun Cryptographic Co-Processor Breakout - ATECC508A (Qwiic)

SparkFun Cryptographic Co-Processor Breakout - ATECC508A (Qwiic)

DEV-15573
$4.95 $4.10

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 system, 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.

Getting Started with the Teensy

Basic intro to the Teensy line of products, with soldering and programming suggestions.

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

Qwiic Connectors

The Qwiic Shields for Teensy each have four Qwiic connectors on them. The two on the edges are the standard horizontal connectors and the two in the middle are vertical connectors.

Note, the horizontal Qwiic connector on the "top" (aka North end) of the non-extended version is positioned slightly downward to allow space for proper cable insertion, and to avoid any conflicts with the nearby 6-pin header on the edge of the board.

Teensy Qwiic Connectors Teensy Extended Qwiic Connectors

Program Button

Each of these shields have a "PROG" button. This is to allow easier access to a programming button for each time you want to upload to the Teensy. Note, it is electrically in parallel with the "PROG" button on the Teensy boards themselves. This means that you can choose to use either the button on your Teensy or the button on the shield. If your shield is located on top of your Teensy (using stack-able headers), then it will be much more accessible to use the button on the shield, rather than trying to reach under the shield.

Teensy Program Button Teensy Extended Program Button

I2C Jumper

This jumper is a little different than our normal I2C pull up jumpers as it is open by default. The jumper only needs to be closed if your attached I2C device does not have pull up resistors. Essentially all SparkFun I2C breakouts come with pull up resistors on them so if you are using a Qwiic I2C device or another SparkFun I2C device, you can most likely leave it open. When closed, the SDA and SCL lines are pulled to 3.3V by 4.7KΩ resistors. If you have never worked with solder jumpers before, check out this tutorial for some tips and tricks for working with them.

Teensy I2C Jumper Teensy Extended I2C Jumper

External Power Input

These shields include an optional 3.3V power input. The 3.3V pin off of the Teensy is rated to supply 250mA. If your project requires more than that on the Qwiic 3.3V power rail, then you should consider supplying a separate power source and soldering it into the header pins labeled "ALT 3V3". Note, you must also cut the jumper labeled "ISO" to properly isolate the Teensy's 3.3V power rail from your external.

Optional External Power Input Extended Optional External Power Input

Note, when using the external power input header, you may notice a slight voltage drop. This is because we have included a protective diode in the circuit. For most applications, this will be fine to leave in place. For more advanced users, we have included a bypass jumper to easily bypass this jumper and have a direct connection to the 3.3V power net.

Schematic highlight External power input header and bypass jumper

Board Dimensions

The Qwiic Shield for Teensy measures 0.70in x 1.40in (17.78mm x 35.56mm). The extended version measures 0.70in x 2.40in (17.78mm x 60.96mm). Note, because these are such small form factor boards, they do not have any standoff holes. They simply rely on the headers for both electrical connections and "mounting hardware".

Qwiic Shield for Teensy Dimensions Qwiic Shield for Teensy Extended Dimensions

Hardware Assembly

To get started using the Qwiic Shield for Teensy, solder the headers onto your Teensy board and your Qwiic Shield. You may choose to use the included stackable header kit or any combination of male/female breakaway headers. Below we show a couple options using standard breakaway headers. Note, for best access to the program button on the shield and the two vertical Qwiic connectors, it is best to have it be the top of your stack.

Teensy 4.0 and shield with M/F headers soldered into place. Teensy 4.1 and extended shield with M/F headers soldered into place.

Once you have soldered headers to your shield and connected it to your Teensy, it's time to start connecting Qwiic devices! Below you can see an example of each shield connected to the appropriate Teensy (4.0 or 4.1). Here we used our standard breakaway headers along with a couple of Qwiic Devices chained to it.

Teensy Example Hookup Teensy Extended Example Hookup

If you are using the upper-most qwiic connector on the Qwiic Shield for Teensy, please check out the following tips. It helps to bend/curl your Qwiic cable a bit before inserting it into the right-angle connector on the sheild.

Qwiic Cable

Qwiic Cable with a bend.

With the bend in place, you can better align it before inserting it all the way.

Qwiic Cable Being Inserted

Initial alignment.

To avoid stressing the cable wires, it is best to push the Qwiic connector using your fingernails on the sides of the connector plastic. Tweezers can also do the trick.

Qwiic Cable Inserted with Fingernails

Pressing on the sides of the plastic is ideal.

Resources and Going Further

That's a wrap! Your Qwiic Shield for Teensy/Teensy Extended is now ready to connect to any of a host of Qwiic devices SparkFun offers. For more information, take a look at the resources below.

Qwiic Shield for Teensy

Qwiic Shield for Teensy Extended

Even More Resources

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 products. Below are a few to get started.

SparkFun Spectral Sensor Breakout - AS7263 NIR (Qwiic)

SparkFun Spectral Sensor Breakout - AS7263 NIR (Qwiic)

SEN-14351
$25.95
2
SparkFun GPS Dead Reckoning Breakout - NEO-M8U (Qwiic)

SparkFun GPS Dead Reckoning Breakout - NEO-M8U (Qwiic)

GPS-16329
$69.95
1
SparkFun GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning Breakout - ZED-F9R (Qwiic)

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

GPS-16344
$289.95
SparkFun 20x4 SerLCD - RGB Backlight (Qwiic)

SparkFun 20x4 SerLCD - RGB Backlight (Qwiic)

LCD-16398
$24.95
1

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

Qwiic Human Presence Sensor (AK9753) Hookup Guide

How to get started with your Qwiic enabled AK9753 Human Presence Sensor.

SAMD51 Thing Plus Hookup Guide

This tutorial covers the basic functionality of the SAMD51 Thing Plus and highlights the features of the new ARM Cortex-M4F development board.

Basic Autonomous Kit for Sphero RVR Assembly Guide

Get your Basic Autonomous Kit for Sphero RVR all hooked up with this guide!

SparkFun Clock Generator 5P49V60 (Qwiic) Hookup Guide

The SparkFun Clock Generator 5P49V60 (Qwiic) breakout board offers a wide range of customizable frequencies in a wide range of different signal types using a single reference clock. This hookup guide will go over all of the many available functions and gives the hardware rundown on what exactly is on this board.