Assembling the Wingoneer I/O Extension board

The board

As with many of these things the Wingoneer board comes with no instructions but there’s nothing too difficult about it. The board linked below breaks out every pin from the Mega 2560 allowing wires to be soldered to any pin as required.

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Power and Reset

Assembling the power and reset sections of the kit is easier to do as the first task so there are no pins restricting access. There are four components involved and each of them has it’s own, albeit simple, things to note. None of these parts are mandatory for this project but it doesn’t do any harm to fit them.

The power indicator circuit comprises of an LED, a resistor and a capacitor. The LED and the Capacitor both have to be connected the correct way around. The clues are on the screen print on the PCB with the capacitor position having a small + symbol next to one of the pins. This needs to correspond to the + symbols on the side of the capacitor.

On the screen print for the LED you should see a flat cutout of the circle on the side nearest the reset switch position. This should correspond to the similar flat side to the LED’s skirt. Sometimes it’s easier to feel which side the flat is on than see it !

The resistor can be installed either way around so that’s pretty simple.

The reset button is a surface mount button so, instead of holes through the PCB it rests on pads on the surface. The key to mounting surface mount components is to make sure it’s accurately positioned and held in place while you solder the legs. Once the first leg is attached and you’re happy it’s flat and correctly aligned, the rest of the legs are easy to solder. You will need to add a small amount of solder to each joint.

Mega 2560 power and reset section
The assembled power and reset section
Connecting Pins

Adding the outer sets of connecting pins is pretty straight forward. Pick out the matching pin blocks, insert them through the holes in the board and solder. (Make sure you read the caveat/warning below regarding the power pins) I’d advise starting with the double pins at the end of the PCB and after each block is installed plug it into your Mega 2560 to check the pins line up. Installing all the pins and then trying to get them to line up all at the same time is a lot harder. Alternatively, once the double pins are installed, you can solder the rest of the pins from the side while they are inserted through the extension PCB into the Arduino.

On the board pictured I have had to remove a couple of pins to match the Arduino Mega 2560 that is being used. If you have the R3 Mega 2560 as recommended, that will have all the pins available.

Arduino Mega 2560 power input pins
Modified power input pins allow soldering to these pins.

WARNING — Sorry, just wanted to make sure you read this before installing all the connecting pins. The I/O board extends all the pins however there is no provision to use an external power supply. It is necessary to do some modifications to the connecting pins to allow for this. There may be better ways of doing this but one way is to cut the plastic away from those pins and use them as a sort of crimp connection. This is pictured below and it’s easier to make the modification before installing the pins.

Once the connecting pins are installed your board is ready to use, plug it into your Mega 2560, plug in a USB lead and you should see the power LED light up.

None of the other supplied parts are needed in this build.

A complete i/o extension board for the Arduino Mega 2560
Completed Extension board, note the position of the modified power pins.

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