Build Your Own Arduino Compatible Board


Although we sell the Arduino Pro Mini, we definitely understand our customers' inner yearning to make things themselves. This is a perfect example of one of those moments - this Instructable guides you through the process of creating your own 1"x1" Arduino Compatible board with 22 I/O pins!

This cool project uses a few of our favorite things - PCB creation using eagle (we recommend BatchPCB.com - our sister site) and hot-plate reflow. When you're finished, you'll have a one-inch by one-inch square PCB outfitted with an Arduino compatible ATMega328. It has 22 input and output pins, which is more than enough for most standard embedded electronics projects! Check it out and create your own!


Comments 16 comments

  • This really makes my day. Thanks a lot Spark Fun!
    P.S. Spark Fun readers, even if you don’t back my project you owe it to yourself to take a look at Kickstarter. The amount of Making going on there is just stunning.
    P.P.S. I learned my reflow-fu from Spark Fun tutorials. Keep up the excellent work.
    P.P.P.S All of the footprints are right out of the Sparkfun Eagle lbr. Some are slightly modified.

  • Heck, just roll your own with a few more pins to make it easier to connect things.
    example

  • i emailed the maker via instructables private message. since the kickstarter page which asks for funds says “Creative Commons non-commercial licensed hardware” - it’s using the word arduino, it’s a “compatible” and it’s built on/around the wonderful open-source hardware community and platform i’m going to encourage the maker to put this cool project under the same type of license as the arduino “commercial use allowed / share-alike / attribution”.

    • i chatted with the maker, he’s going to put the board out under the same license as the arduino, here is his update from today:
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/988159748/extracore-arduino-compatible/posts
      good stuff!

  • Or you can participate in a group by of this via kickstarter. Assembled or unassembled.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/988159748/extracore-arduino-compatible

  • What I don’t understand is the creator of the Instructables tutorial for this has a Kickstarter setup.
    I’m confused that, since it’s open sourced, why would you need a kickstarter when you basically provide everything to the public? I know people can be lazy and just buy it, but it still means that they have to learn, and why not learn everything from the beginning instead of skipping the first few steps?

    • Simply designing the thing and making a prototype isn’t enough, it needs to be put into the public eye. The Instructable helps do that, and the Kickstarter provides a safe ‘first manufacturing run’, as they’re all pre sold.
      As to why would you buy it instead of make it? What if you don’t WANT to order a PCB and learn all those skills? What if you don’t WANT to burn the bootloader? There are many reasons. You maybe be FAR more interested in your audio circuit or whatever, and not really care about making the CPU side.
      It has nothing to do with being lazy, it has to do with prioritizing your time.
      And no, I didn’t buy any from his Kickstarter page. I would use the Arduino Pro Mini instead.

      • I am going to have to agree with TeslaFan engineering firms normally will purchase products rather than create them because most of them are on very stringent time requirements. mind you, those skills you could learn by building those circuit boards yourself are very usful but then again thats what college is for.

        • I’ve worked at a couple engineering firms, and you are correct it is a time thing, but the issue is more than that. You have to look at it from another PoV.
          As a project manager/lead, money/time investment takes into account, and it’s not the prototype that is the issue, it’s the final product.
          Breakout boards are a nice way to show a concept of how it works, but does any engineering firm really use those breakout boards to do what they proved?
          So really in the end, it all comes down to the project and the people in charge of the projects. Different people have different requirements and specifications.
          It reminds me of a professor I had, he always said, “It depends…” And he was referring to how to go about working on a project.

      • Interesting point, but learning how everything is done is just more skills to put into the toolbox. In the long run, it means the person becomes a better hobbyist/engineer. Plus, if a small startup company is looking to use this might have more of an interest in doing all this themselves than let someone else do it for them.
        I do agree that it is a bit more time consuming, depending person-to-person, but it might be more worthwhile to understand how everything done, this way you can support/maintain everything yourself.
        Call me old fashioned, but I would rather do everything myself. Just strengthens my knowledge and skill set I can take with me.

    • Prototype boards cost $14 for 2 from from BatchPCB. The electronics will run you another $14 from Digikey. You can end up with 2 boards if you don’t lose a resonator in the carpet. Otherwise you can go in with me on Kickstarter and get a kit for as little as $10 each for ten or $14.50 for ten complete boards.
      My other reason to do Kickstarter is that it’s great exposure and if the project funds I can prove there is demand when I go to Sparkfun later and try to get them to start making them.
      If you want to make your own, knock yourself out man.

  • I buy my parts at SF usually, but not the pcb’s. In terms of BatchPCB, what do you at SF consider the added value of BatchPCB over Seeed’s pcb service?

  • I know exactly what you’re talking about when you say, “customers' inner yearning to make things themselves.” Even though I love the idea and products of Arduino, I wanted to build my own little development board from scratch. Figuring I’d start simply, the uC I’m using is the AVR ATtiny84. Here’s mah blog outlining the process! EDIT: and here’s part 2

  • Thats what I like about sparkfun. They dont go on about how they sell something with more features for less than it would cost you to make your own. They say “go for it!”


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