Adafruit’s Pi T-Cobbler
I recently received the Pi T-Cobbler, a very convenient way to interface with the Raspberry Pi. It takes the GPIO header and breaks it nicely out into two neatly labelled rows and plugs directly into a breadboard.
The Pi T-Cobbler is supplied in 4 parts (plus a ribbon cable to connect it to the Raspberry Pi) which require soldering together; the PCB, the 26 pin IDC header and two 13 pin connectors .
Soldering the item is quite simple.
- Fit the pin headers first, so that you can hold them flat on the desk while you solder.
- It is helpful to solder one pin on each end and then check that everything is flat, level and nicely aligned).
- Check carefully for any joints which have too little solder, or any which may have too much joining pins together.
There are lots of pins to solder, but it is great soldering practise since it is only plastic which will melt if you over heat it (rather than the risk of damaging components). Just take a little bit of care since it can be a little small and fiddly to hold, and the pins will stay hot.
Pins or Holes? I can never decide!
When building my circuits I often face a common dilemma, do I put sockets so I can easily push single wires into it, or do I put pins, so that I can use jumper wires directly from the Raspberry Pi and/or even use cables with custom sockets.
Before I assembled the item, I decided that since not all my projects are breadboard based, it might be helpful to have pin sockets on it too so that I can simply insert wires directly. So I substituted the supplied pin header with an extended socket header, so I get the best of both, pins on the bottom and holes on the top!
The top socket will allow me to wire directly to the cobbler with some single core wires.
While the bottom, will plug into a breadboard and also allow me to use single jumper wires (they have a single socket on each end). The cobbler will also provide me with clear labels so that I can easily wire things up without needing to look up each of the pin functions.
I now have the option to use the Cobbler on and off the breadboard. I can even wire some extra things independently of the breadboard itself (perhaps put an LED on one pin and a push button on another for testing) which I can keep wired up if I want.
I made something similar myself, but once you started putting multiple wires on it, it soon became unmanageable, hard to read and wires started coming out.
The Pi T-Cobbler will update this component nicely!
Available from AdaFruit (~$7.95):