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I just bought a Raspberry Pi 2B and am now looking at accessories for prototyping some electronics projects. From what I've found, it appears there are three different styles of cobblers that make it easy to attach a Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins to a breadboard:

The standard one, which is nothing more than a straight-through GPIO header you plug into a breadboard, has an obvious practical drawback, in that it puts the GPIO cable potentially in the way when trying to work with the breadboard:

standard cobbler

source: adafruit.com

The one that currently seems most popular is the T-cobbler, which moves the GPIO cable out of the way:

T cobbler

source: raspberrypi.org

There's also a third, U-shaped, cobbler which doesn't seem as popular but provides the same benefit of moving the cable out of the way:

U cobbler

source: ebay.com

It seems like one could drop an IC or perhaps some custom module in between the two arms of the U-cobbler, but I know nothing at this point so I'm not sure if there is any scenario in which that would be useful, or even advisable--would an IC have an appropriate pinout for connecting to the RPi in this way?

Are there any practical reasons to use a U-cobbler over a T-cobbler or vise-versa, other than price and availability of each part?

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    There's a particular T-cobbler that is made by Canakit (amazon.com/gp/product/B011D06Y4G/…) which actually puts the 3V3, 5V, and ground pins along the outer columns. I'm particularly fond of this one. Otherwise, I think it's a matter of personal preference. – Pete Hooper Jan 19 '16 at 15:28
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    I have the Canakit breakout -- there is a disadvantage if you don't want the power and ground rails done that way. IMO getting the cable out of the way is definitely worthwhile, unless you need the "I" form factor for some reason. – goldilocks Jan 19 '16 at 15:40
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    It is convenient and I haven't actually been bothered by that issue, just thought I'd point it out. – goldilocks Jan 19 '16 at 16:08
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    I've seen that one with the separate 3V3 GND and 5V pins not fit certain breadboards ... I have a 700 tie one which doesn't fit - pins don't align. This is with a Cyntech T-cobbler. – Phil B. Jan 19 '16 at 16:09
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    I suppose one advantage may be you have four accessible breadboard points per GPIO rather than the 2 or possibly 3 with a T cobbler. – joan Jan 19 '16 at 16:19
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There are practical benefits in using different forms. This is based on the discussion in the comments section:

  • T-cobbler:
    • Pros: Gets the cable out of the way
    • Cons: You can't plug an IC on the center divide of the breadboard.

  • CanaKit's T-cobbler:
    • Pros: Same with T-cobbler, also uses the power rails on the breadboard.
    • Cons: Same with T-cobbler.

  • U-cobbler:
    • Pros: Gets cable out of the way, let's you use the center divide of the breadboard, provides more connection points per GPIO pin.
    • Cons: None that I can think of.

My setup:

  • Invisicobbler (Directly use male-female dupont wires)
    • Pros: Ultimate flexibility, no flat cable to worry about
    • Cons: Ultimate risk (One wrong move/connection/slip-up can fry the Pi). Also, Aesthetics.

Here's a wireless and portable 315/433MHz radio sniffer utilizing an Invisicobbler: http://imgur.com/a/iUcFB. I tied the Pi to the breadboard using an enamel-coated wire for additional portability.

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