DIY: norns shield

I’d be interested to now why the smaller size was chosen for these holes, given the corresponding holes on the display board are M2.5, I believe.

Could have been to do with limited space for screw heads on the top of the display carrier PCB, but could also have been a simple oversight, and they were intended to be larger.

Yep, I wondered if that was perhaps the problem. No more drilling PCBs for me! Also, it’s definitely only the screen spacers that are the problem, which is why I thought maybe you hadn’t had the same issue on yours as you don’t seem to have spacers for the screen in the picture I saw. (Great trick with the acrylic over the whole screen by the way!) I did check that there weren’t any traces nearby before I did it but stupidly didn’t consider that bridging it to the ground on the display board might cause a problem. Doh.

Anyway, at least I know it’ll be fine with the nylon spacers I have arriving tomorrow. I’ll let you all know if the pack I’ve ordered has a combination of lengths for this project!

Don’t use, unless you have to … this it will be such a headache. this is meant for soldering huge AC wires together.

get something like this, it’ll 100% be worth the $5

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I ended up using this set of nylon spacers, which worked a charm (I had already slightly foolishly widened the holes on the PCB for the screen, but it’s all working now!). The nice thing about these is that the nylon screws are small enough to fit beside the screen on the PCB, which for other screws seems like too tight a fit.

One other thing… I recommend using an official Raspberry Pi power supply. I had some that I really thought were good enough, but was getting dropouts when using more complex scripts. Using the official supply seems to have fixed that.


My PCB arrived this week, although the screen shortages have slowed down the project somewhat.

It’s really inspirational seeing all the new builds coming in most days. I can’t wait to join the party!

Next dumb question
If anybody can help
Do I just copy the disk imagine to a sd card and insert into the shield
I have tried this with no success

you need to flash the sd card first. download this and insert your sd card into your computer, follow the directions. this where you use the image.

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Thanks I have sound now
but no image on my screen
Wonder if I messed up the screen somehow

try reheating the header pins.

I still messed it up even after I asked what to look out for
O well live and learn I guess
I’m wondering if the screen will be salvageable?

not sure what patch storage has to do with norns?

Definitely salvageable. You are likely looking for a short on the data lines for the screen.

I would also suggest reflashing your sdcard

Ok that’s good news
I’m going to have to order a new 20 pin connector
I completely butchered it trying to re-orientate the pins

Ok I will try that as well
Thank you
I’m having a hard time accessing maiden right now is anyone else ?

How are you trying to access maiden? You’ll need to get your norns connected to your own network in order to do so. If you’ve not got a screen, you’ll need to use ethernet, because otherwise you’d have to configure the wifi first.

Secondly, if you aren’t having joy connecting to norns.local, connecting directly to the norns’ IP address is worth trying - sometimes zeroconf DNS does not propagate properly. Again, finding out the IP without a screen may be challenging, but you should be able to find the list of devices connected to your router and go from there.

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Has anyone here tried adding a battery hat to the norns shield? Would it even work? For example, something like this:

What I don’t know is whether there would be a problem with the battery module using some of the pins that the norns shield also uses? (But this raspberry pi stuff is all new to me!)


Ok thank you !!!

Yeah this probably won’t work due to duplicated/overlapping pin assignments.

> See here for a diy battery approach

Well, first of all, Hi, I’ve been lurking this thread a long time and finally ordered a smd populated Shield a couple of weeks ago.

It arrived yesterday, and I was somehow confident of my soldering skills due to some diy pedal building I did in the past – I was terribly wrong. First try on saturday night I turned it on with my headphones on, I heard some tone (like a sinewave modulated) that drifted away, but the screen sat black, void.
And here come the first question: Am I right assuming that I flashed the sd card right because of the sound I heard?

So today I double checked all the soldering spots, see how terrible I was, fixed here and there, and gave it another try. Sound but no screen, again.
I was pulling it off and suddenly something appeared on the screen, like a first menu, an actual Norns screen! I was triumphant. But then some parts started blurring, I think only the top button worked right (pressing it took me to some zone where a timestamp was, a “2.04” time or something) and the menu started going weird, like moving around the screen from the left to center screen, but something like it forgot where the top left corner of the screen was (I hope this makes sense since I can’t find any other way to explain it); then everything went back to black. I couldn’t take any picture because it took less time than it seems here.


How do I troubleshoot my shield? Is there a more precise way to know what is wrong or at least in what connection?