In a previous article I demonstrated how to build your own Raspberry Pi GPIO testing board that included buttons, slide switches, and LEDs. Since that time, I learned about a retired engineer in Georgia named John Jay who is producing awesome little companion electronic boards and kits for the Raspberry Pi. The boards are available as DIY kits and/or fully assembled boards. The kits are very reasonably priced and are available now on eBay. Click here to see John Jay’s eBay listings. One of Mr. Jay’s kits is an 8 button / 8 LED GPIO button breakout board. Using this kit is certainly easier than acquiring all the individual electronic components and building the board on your own.
I made one slight modification to the kit so that I could connect the breakout board to my Raspberry Pi via a 26 pin ribbon cable.
Parts for Optional Ribbon Cable & Connector (below)
- 1 @ 26P ribbon cable (1 meter or less)
- 2 @ 26P female IDC connectors (press-fit)
- 1 @ 26P box header IDC male sockets (right angle or straight)
- Wire snips (Hakko CHP170 Micro Cutter, 16AWG Clean Cut)
- Solder Iron (Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station)
- Solder (lead-free)
The kit includes the following components:
- 1 @ printed circuit board
- 8 @ green LEDs
- 8 @ momentary/normally-open pushbutton micro-switches
- 2 @ resistor networks
- 1 @ 26 pin PCB mount female header
- 1 @ peel-and-stick on rubber bumper
In addition to the parts provided in the kit, I also used a right-angle 26P male box header socket for connecting a 26P ribbon cable to the Raspberry Pi.
For more detail: Raspberry Pi – John Jay’s 8 LED & Button Breakout Board