The first PiCowbell assembly method uses stacking headers, which allows you to use a breadboard with your PiCowbell-Pico sandwich. This is super helpful when you're still prototyping other parts of your project, or simply want jumper-wire access to the Pico pins in addition to the PiCowbell.

This page assumes you have already soldered standard male headers to your Pico. If you have not, please return to the Pico assembly page and follow the steps there.

Follow the steps below to solder stacking headers to your PiCowbell.

Although these pages show the PiCowbell Proto, the soldering instructions are applicable for all PiCowbell boards.

Assembly Steps

Place a standard-header-soldered Pico upside down on the table, so the long side of the header pins are facing up. Press the female sockets of each stacking header onto one of the rows of standard headers attached to the Pico, until they are fully attached. 

Ensure the PiCowbell is oriented correctly before beginning assembly. The PiCowbell should be top-down, so that you are looking at the bottom of the PiCowbell. The STEMMA QT connector should be on the same end as the Pico USB connector, and the reset button should be on the opposite end with the Pico debug pins.

The PiCowbell pins must match the pinout on the Pico.

Remember, the pins are labeled on the bottom of the Pico. In this case, that works well because they are labeled on both sides of the PiCowbell, allowing for direct comparison before attaching the PiCowbell to the stacking header assembly.

Ensure the PiCowbell is oriented properly before beginning soldering! If you solder it on upside down or backwards, it will not function properly!

Press the PiCowbell onto the male pins sticking up from the stacking headers. You may need to push the stacking header pins in or out a bit to get the PiCowbell attached.

With the stacking header male pins sticking up, the bottom of the PiCowbell should be facing up as well.

Solder the pins on each end of each stacking header, so that the opposite four corners of the PiCowbell are soldered on.

Solder the rest of the pins onto the PiCowbell. 

You're done! Now you can attach the whole sandwich to a breadboard, have access to the pins via the breadboard, and still be able to use the PiCowbell as well.

This guide was first published on Nov 16, 2022. It was last updated on Feb 26, 2024.

This page (Stacking Headers) was last updated on Oct 28, 2022.

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