Assembling the Intel® Edison board with the Arduino expansion board

In this guide, you’ll set up the Intel® Edison module with an Arduino* expansion board.


  • Intel® Edison module
  • Arduino expansion board
  • 2 Micro B to Type A USB cables
  • Any spacer bars or screws included in the packaging, including two screws to fasten the module to the expansion board and four sets of screws and plastic spacers.
  • A direct current (DC) power supply. Your power supply should be rated as follows:
    • 7-15V DC
    • At least 1500mA
    • The center/inner pin should be the positive pole of the power supply
    We suggest an EMSA120150 or similar supply, such as those available from

Note: An external power supply is the preferred way of powering the Intel® Edison board. However, you can power your board over USB if you do not have an external power supply. Powering your board in this fashion may result in unpredictable behavior from your board, especially when using Wi-Fi* or driving motors. For details, see the Powering your board over USB section.

Assembling your board

This section contains steps to attach your Intel® Edison module to your expansion board. A video of these steps is also available.

  1. Place the Intel® Edison module within the white outline on your expansion board, lining up the holes on the module with the screws on the expansion board.


  2. Press down on the module just below the words What will you make? until you feel a snap.

    Caution: Unless you make sure your board is seated properly, it may not work or turn on at all. When you turn the attached module and expansion board on their side, both pieces should fit evenly and sit in parallel with each other.


  3. Use the two hex nuts (included in the package) to secure the module to the expansion board.


  4. Insert a screw in one of the four corner holes on the expansion board. Twist and tighten one of the white plastic spacers onto the screw. The spacer should be on the bottom of the expansion board, acting as one of four legs to keep the board off the horizontal surface of your work table.


  5. Repeat for the other three corner spacers.


    Once fully assembled, these four spacers add stability to the expansion board and to help avoid accidental short circuits.

    Example of a fully assembled board

Connect the board to your system

This section contains steps to connect your Intel® Edison board to your computer. A video of these steps is also available.

  1. Plug in the power supply.

    Note: If you do not have a DC power supply, you can still power the board through a USB port. See the Powering your board over USB section for details.

    Example of powering your board with an external power supply

  2. A green LED should light up on the expansion board. If it doesn't, check your connection.

    Example of a green LED lighting up on the expansion board

  3. Find the microswitch in between the USB ports on the expansion board. Switch the microswitch down towards the micro-USB ports, if it isn't already.

    Example of the microswitch toggled down

  4. Plug in one of the micro-USB cables to the middle USB connector on the expansion board.

    Plugging a micro-USB cable into the middle USB connector

  5. Plug in the other end of the USB cable to your computer. Wait approximately one minute for the board to boot up.

    Plugging the other end of the USB cable into your computer

    How do you know when the board is ready?

    You will know that your board is fully initialized when your computer mounts a new drive (much like inserting a SD card into your computer). If you do not see a new drive, or the LED light (DS1 on the Arduino expansion board) is occasionally turning on and off, check the connection of your power supply.

    The Intel® Edison board needs approximately one minute to go through the entire Linux startup process. There is no onboard LED to indicate whether or not the Intel® Edison board is fully initialized. However, you can watch the full bootup sequence (whether for fun or for debugging purposes) by creating a serial communication session with your board. Steps to do so are included in Setting up a serial terminal later in this guide.

    If you do not see a new drive, it is likely that the board isn’t getting enough power from the USB port. Plug in your laptop’s AC adapter (if you are connecting the board to a laptop), try a different USB port on your computer, or try using a USB hub that has its own power supply.


  6. Plug in your second USB cable to the edge USB connector on the board.

    Plugging the second USB cable in to the edge USB connector

  7. Plug the other end of the USB cable in to your computer.

    Plugging the other end of the USB cable into your computer

    Your board is now set up and connected.

Last Updated: 
Saturday, April 25, 2015
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