SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Thing Plus Hookup Guide

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Contributors: El Duderino
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Introduction

The SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Thing Plus provides an easy-to-assemble way to add the SparkFun Qwiic ecosystem to any development board with the Thing Plus Footprint. This shield is also compatible with the Feather Footprint so you can add Qwiic functionality to any development board that uses the Thing Plus or Feather Footprints! It connects the I2C bus (GND, 3.3V, SDA, and SCL) on your Thing Plus 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 Thing Plus

SparkFun Qwiic Shield for Thing Plus

DEV-16790
$4.95

Required Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, you will need an Arduino development board with the Thing Plus footprint. This includes the all variants of the SparkFun Thing Plus boards and many other Thing Plus-compatible boards! Here are a few of the compatible boards:

SparkFun Thing Plus - ESP32 WROOM (Micro-B)

SparkFun Thing Plus - ESP32 WROOM (Micro-B)

WRL-15663
$22.50
13
SparkFun Thing Plus - Artemis

SparkFun Thing Plus - Artemis

WRL-15574
$22.50
2
SparkFun Thing Plus - SAMD51

SparkFun Thing Plus - SAMD51

DEV-14713
$21.50
2

The Qwiic Shield includes a set of stackable headers to fit the Thing Plus footprint but you may also need some headers to solder to your Thing Plus. 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
$1.75
20
Female Headers

Female Headers

PRT-00115
$1.75
8
Break Away Headers - Long

Break Away Headers - Long

PRT-10158
$3.25
3
Feather Stackable Header Kit

Feather Stackable Header Kit

PRT-15187
$1.75

Now you probably would not want the Qwiic Shield for Thing Plus 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
$69.95
5
SparkFun High Precision Temperature Sensor - TMP117 (Qwiic)

SparkFun High Precision Temperature Sensor - TMP117 (Qwiic)

SEN-15805
$14.95
4
SparkFun Qwiic Motor Driver

SparkFun Qwiic Motor Driver

ROB-15451
$19.50
3
SparkFun Proximity Sensor Breakout - 20cm, VCNL4040 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Proximity Sensor Breakout - 20cm, VCNL4040 (Qwiic)

SEN-15177
$7.50
1

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

Qwiic Cable - 50mm

Qwiic Cable - 50mm

PRT-14426
$0.95
Qwiic Cable - 100mm

Qwiic Cable - 100mm

PRT-14427
$1.50

Qwiic Cable - 500mm

PRT-14429
1 Retired

Qwiic Cable - 200mm

PRT-14428
Retired

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

SparkFun Qwiic Adapter

SparkFun Qwiic Adapter

DEV-14495
$1.60
4
Qwiic Cable - Breadboard Jumper (4-pin)

Qwiic Cable - Breadboard Jumper (4-pin)

PRT-14425
$1.50

Qwiic Cable - Female Jumper (4-pin)

CAB-14988
Retired

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
$3.95
4
Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V)

Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V)

TOL-09507
$10.95
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.

Hardware Overview

Qwiic Connectors

The Qwiic Shield for Thing Plus has four Qwiic connectors on it. The two on the edges are the standard horizontal connectors and the two in the middle are vertical connectors.

Image highlighting Qwiic Connectors

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 peripheral 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 4.7K resistors. If you have never worked with solder jumpers before, check out this tutorial for some tips and tricks for working with them.

Image higlighting I2C Jumper

Board Dimensions

The shield measures 2.00in x 0.90in (50.8mm x 22.86mm) and has four mounting holes that fit a 4-40 screw.

Dimensional Drawing for Qwiic Shield for Thing Plus

Hardware Assembly

All you need to get started using the Qwiic Shield for Thing Plus is to solder the included stackable headers or whichever headers you choose to the shield and, if necessary, to your Thing Plus (or compatible board). 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.

Once you have soldered headers to your shield and connected it to your Thing Plus, it's time to start connecting Qwiic devices! Below you can see the Qwiic Shield connected to a SparkFun Thing Plus - SAMD51 using the Feather Stackable Header Kit included with the shield along with a couple of Qwiic Devices chained to it.

Qwiic Shield connected to a Thing Plus board 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 OpenLog

SparkFun Qwiic OpenLog

DEV-15164
$18.50
SparkFun Raspberry Pi 4 Basic Kit - 4GB

SparkFun Raspberry Pi 4 Basic Kit - 4GB

KIT-16384
$96.50
8
SparkFun Thing Plus - DA16200

SparkFun Thing Plus - DA16200

WRL-19696
$34.95
SparkFun Indoor Air Quality Sensor - ENS160 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Indoor Air Quality Sensor - ENS160 (Qwiic)

SEN-20844
$19.95

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

GPS-RTK Hookup Guide

Find out where you are! Use this easy hook-up guide to get up and running with the SparkFun high precision GPS-RTK NEO-M8P-2 breakout board.

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.

Digital Temperature Sensor Breakout - AS6212 (Qwiic) Hookup Guide

Get started measuring highly accurate temperatures at extremely low power with the AS6212 temperature sensor on the SparkFun Digital Temperature Sensor Breakout - AS6212 (Qwiic).

Getting Started with u-blox Thingstream and PointPerfect

Interested in high precision GNSS without setting up a base station?