I’ve been asked by several people to post some basic information about what I’m doing.
Once you start working with the Arduino, you find immediately that you need a breadboard to punch out some simple circuitry. Then you find that having the breadboard and Arduino side by side is a little inconvenient.
I’ve made a few small platforms that have the Arduino, breadboard, and extra space as a single unit. These have been very convenient as the entire assembly can be moved around as desired without upsetting any of the wiring. They are not elegant, but functional.
I go down to a hardware store that sells flooring, such as Lowe’s. I buy two of the larger Pergo flooring samples, then glue them together (1 and 2 in the image below) with carpenter’s glue. I then attach the Adruino (A) and the breadboard (B) as pictured, leaving a little extra room (C) for attaching other hardware as needed.
I’ve been wary about permanently attaching the expensive Arduino to a piece of cheap wood, so I drilled eight holes through which I ran tiny zip ties. This holds the Arduino securely, does not harm the Arduino, and if the need arises in the future, it can be detached easily.
Update 20 July 2012:
Why use wood? Isn’t that kind of, well, hick? Well… it may be. It certainly has a backwoods flavour to it. However, wood has the virtue of being easily hackable. Most especially items can be secured to the board with screws, zip ties, gaffer’s tape, etc. Some examples:
On one board I drilled holes to secure a multi-wise sensor cable with a zip tie (one hole on each side of the cable). No matter where I carried the board to do sensor calibration, there was no risk of the wires being ripped off the breadboard.
Here is a bracket for a 9V battery used to power an Arduino.
Gaffer’s tape is expensive, but it doesn’t produce the messy residue that duct tape is prone to leave behind. (This breadboard is rather crudely attached with screws.)
I hope that this gives a few ideas that might prove useful.