Using the Prototyping Pi Plate is really easy and we designed to to be as simple as possible so it should work for any sort of Pi project. First up, keep in mind we did not add any extra power regulator systems or pin buffers. We did this because we wanted to keep the design simple and inexpensive: there's plenty of space to add any extra circuitry that you desire!

All the GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) pins are broken in into two locations. The pins are connected to the 0.1" breakout pins as well as the terminal blocks. The pins are labeled by their 'names' if available and their GPIO # if not. has a lot more details on what pins can be used for additional purposes (for example, the SPI pins can turn into GPIO's if desired.
The layout of the board is a mix between 'breadboard style' (top middle) - with two 'rails' down the center and then 5-pin connected rows along-side. This layout is familiar for anyone who has used a breadboard. The remaining holes are 'perf' style - no connection between them. This allows for more flexibility.

There's an SOIC breakout area in the bottom left, handy if you have an SOIC part you want to add. In the bottom right there's a 4-pin terminal block with 4 x 0.1" spaced pads right above it, these are for 'free wiring' - they aren't connected to any GPIO so useful if you want to simply connect some wires or sensors that don't go directly to a GPIO/power pin
We designed the plates so you can fit a 'tiny breadboard' on top and still see the pin labels on the breakouts. This makes it easy to do fast prototyping!
For more permanent projects, you can just place parts in and solder directly into the proto plate
The terminal blocks make it easy to connect to wires for installations. Simply use a small Phiiips or flathead to open up the block, insert a stranded or solid core wire, then tighten it down.

If you want have it inside a case, we suggest one of our Adafruit Pi boxes (as long as the top is removed)

This guide was first published on Jul 29, 2012. It was last updated on Oct 10, 2016.

This page (User Manual) was last updated on Jul 05, 2012.

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