DIY: norns shield

Good idea - exporting the BOM to excel and then uploading to mouser worked. I even found the right caps then. Thanks a lot! :slight_smile:

alternative/shorter switches (just affects key height so doesn’t solve the issue)

PVA1 OA H4 1.2N V2

it’s not critical to nut the pots if you’ve got spacers installed to hold the boards together, but you could add a shim under the pots to get a little height if you wanted the but on there.

1 Like

I saw some at Target of all places the other day…

1 Like

I found the encoders on RS in the UK at This will be my first Raspberry Pi project and very much looking forward to it.

1 Like

fwiw the encoders as-is feel pretty good to me and pretty close to vanilla norns iirc. I assume panel mounting would be ideal but it’s not a problem for me. if yr designing a case just make sure to get the encoder holes right

oh and if anyone is still wondering - just turn the volume most of the way up & headphones work great


6 posts were merged into an existing topic: Norns: help

If you have a Microcenter near you, swing by there.

1 Like

oh man, i took the plunge. newbie alert but eager to learn! should get everything to start my build by next week. I’ve been hovering in this conversation for the last day or so. I am confused what it means by no headphone driver.


The norns sheild has a single 1/8" trs stereo output, where the norns has 2 mono 1/4" outputs and a dedicated headphone output with a separate amp chip to “drive” headphones.

To paraphrase @tehn from somewhere previously: the trs output should be plenty hot to drive headphones.

1 Like

Thats what i had kinda thought but sometimes my thick brain needs a bit of over explanation

I’ve been eyeballing the Norns for a long time. It’s just been out of my price range unfortunately. Appreciative of this being supported as DIY for those who can’t drop a couple hundred on the official version. Cheers


Same thing.

I started installing the Norns software on a Pi ~one year ago with another display i had but didn’t finish troubleshooting some of the first tiny issues i encountered at the time. Hopefully this will make it a lot easier to get started so thanks a lot!

i still have to order the additional components, is Mouser the way to go when ordering from EU? I’ve never used Octopart nor Mouser to order components like that.

1 Like

Having just bought the necessary parts, the Octopart link is just a central BOM list that links to both Mouser and Digi-key for easy ordering. I’ve used both in the past and for this project, but can’t speak on the best option in the EU.

1 Like

Mouser doesn’t currently have the right encoders in stock unfortunately, digikey does though I believe!

edit; although saying that, the 12PPR encoders I have work fine 🤷

1 Like

I think a shim will work, good idea. Also I hadn’t pressed the switch caps on properly, so I think regular panel mount for pots, etc will just about work.

Last parts just arrived! 47u ceramic caps. Will hopefully get this finished next few days :slight_smile:

any tips on getting this to boot?
just getting to red LED on the Pi, no further
constant tone/noise coming from the output

you’re using the image linked above?

no green blinking?

does it green blink if the shield is not attached?

Maybe helpful:
Here’s a big page of info on Raspberry Pi LED status messages .
For trying figuring out which status message you’re getting (or not getting)

1 Like

Yes, just transferred using the etcher program


Yes it does

Thanks. Will run through this later

It’s just solid red forever.

I think I need a proper (2.5A?) power supply. Have been using USB from my old Mac or a phone charger… is the draw much higher with the shield on?

A couple troubleshooting tips:

  • remove the SD card from the pi and plug into power - then test voltages on the shield.
  • plug in an HDMI monitor/screen to watch boot up messages (or errors)

5V is here on the shield:

Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 11.36.28 AM