norns shield

Okay, I’ll reach out to Monome. Thanks for all your input!

I very recently got a Norns Shield and hit the same problem with my (recent model) Grid not being recognized.

The issue for me was that Grid was not receiving enough power from Norns. I ended up powering my Norns from a powered USB hub instead of a standard USB outlet. Once I did this the Grid worked fine when connected directly to Norns.

edit: Never mind, I see from a later comment that you had confirmed that Grid was getting power, this issue seems to be something else.

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Hi! Did you find out where and how to get a new norns shield? I do not have skills to build myself everything from scratch, and I cannot find anywhere one of those new shields that are compatible with raspberry pi4b. Any hints appreciated!

All the monome norns shields are compatible with the raspberry pi 4 as long as you install the right image onto the sd card.


Thanks! This is already very helpful, I was not sure about. Then I am still asking myself where can I buy a shield, better if pre-populated, cause I am not expert with soldering. Also it looks like the new generation of shield has been revised for better compatibility with Pi4, am I wrong?

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The hardware design was improved/reworked for audio quality and part shortages, nothing is unique for raspberry pi 4 in the notes that I can see. Adding raspberry pi 4 support is more of a future proofing thing.

The shield has been discontinued by monome so at this point if you want the latest hardware revision, you’d have to wait for the open source files to be available and for someone to offer prepopulated boards (like pusherman or a private builder maybe)

See this thread:


anyone else find that their shield’s output jack has a tendency to snap off? This is the second time this has happened to me. The first time, I took it to a cell phone repair store, and they were able to take care of it, since it’s a pretty simple soldering job. I’ll probably just do that again this time, since I don’t have a soldering iron at home. I should probably just buy a soldering iron. But in lieu of that, anyone have any other ideas for preventing this problem going forward? Both times this has happened, it’s been while I’ve been plugging in or unplugging a cable. I don’t remember what kind of cable it was last time, but this time it was a little tube-style 1/8” to 1/4” converter. I wonder if a different case would help.

That hasn’t been an issue for me (shield with stock case from June 2021), but I tend to leave the output plugged into my mixer. You did make me curious about the case but there doesn’t seem to be anything special about the stock one, just a 10mm hole cutout around the jack.

Don’t use 1/8" converters like this:
too much force.

Use a proper jack with a soft cable terminated in the connector(s) you need. Preferably of good quality, I’ve had cheap jacks break inside sockets.



Absolutely agree, although pretty sure we’re talking about shear not radial (since nothing is rotating).


It has happened to me twice. Hack job resoldered it myself. I’ve started leaving the cable plugged in all the time. I’ve since switched to one of the walnut etsy cases, but I could still just as easily rip the jack off the pcb.

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You could post a WTB for the latest shield or look for someone selling theirs. It sounds like you know the answer to this and based on trends things have been getting more expensive.

From what I understand, the noise specs aren’t a big jump between the last 2 revisions.

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I have a Norns Shield where the left side of the audio input does not work properly. The right side does.

On the left side, the output is always maxed even when no script is loaded and nothing is plugged in. It is as though it’s feeding back internally or something.

Does anyone have guidance on what might be wrong? I did not build this myself and I have no soldering experience, but I’m trying to sell it with full disclosure of the issue since it is otherwise fully functional.

EDIT In case anyone ever has this same issue - I discovered the issue was that the screw closest to the audio jack was way too tight causing some type of short or something similar.

The 3d printed case the person who built this used is for a different model of raspberry pi where the Ethernet and USB jacks are in a different order. Because of that they seem to have bent a stand-off and used a lot of screw torque to get the usb port to “work” in the case. That seems to have caused the audio in problem above.


I had this issue and fixed with electrical tape over the top of the rpi usb port case, which was making contact with components on the underside of the Sheild. It’s possible in your case that loosening the screw had a similar effect, to pull the Shield away from the rpi just enough to break contact. Might be good to disassemble and put some tape there.

Whoever made that did not solder the tabs correctly. For a clean break like that.

Builders, avoid the urge to use normal solder on the jacks. I know its easy to want to plough on ahead with what you have in front of you because solder is solder right?

A tip: I use fatigue-resistant solder; it’s designed for where interfaces (here, the jacks) experience cyclical loading. I use paste for clocks and ICs, high flow LT for the encoders (you can pull back on iron temps for the sake of the encoder) and switches and FR for the jacks. Ordinary Solder for GPIO and OLED conns.

That way you have a reliable build that lasts for a long time. If you’re making for yourself sure, use whatever you like — but not where making for others are concerned.


I took some pics to show whats going on. The surface mount capacitor C10 looks like it gets shorted out when it touches the metal on the USB port. Can only upload one pic (new user) but when I disassembled it, there is now a clear indentation in the electrical tape that lines up with this component. Can also see from the side this cap protrudes more than the other components around it.

Edit: So this makes a lot of sense with the 210330 version getting more op amps due to IC shortages. This protruding cap and opamp circuit were added in this revision. I just confirmed this is the (buffer?) capacitor on the INA/left channel of the input opamp.

For those of you with a Norns Shield, can you recommend a power switch so that I can keep my Shield plugged in and simply switch the power on when I want to use it (I would, of course, use the on-board shut-down procedure when I am done)? I would like to establish a semi-permanent setup, and don’t want to have to plug the Shield in every time I want to use it. However, I know that the Pi is a little finnicky when it comes to power supplies, so I want to be careful when powering up.

Thanks in advance!

I’ve been using a Schneider electric ph8 power strip (i.e. not fancy but not a fire hazard knock on wood) with an official rpi power supply for over a year without issues. Maybe you want something less bulky though?

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I bought a pretty generic micro USB cable with an integrated switch, I just checked that the cable gauge was good enough as Norns Hield can be sensitive to that. It’s been working fine, and that way I can turn the Shield on with that physical switch (of course turning it off properly as you mentioned).