DIY: norns shield

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?


Sounds like bad connections to the display.

Try to reflow all the solder joints on the display and the display header.

Give each joint a good 3-4 count and watch for the solder to flow (for about a second) then release. Apply a tiny bit more solder if it’s not flowing.

Very similar problem
I think I personally put the 20 pin connector on wrong
Is that possible ?