SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

At SparkFun we use many Arduinos and we’re always looking for the simplest, most stable one. Each board is a bit different and no one board has everything we want, so we decided to make our own version that combines all our favorite features. The SparkFun RedBoard combines the simplicity of the UNO’s Optiboot bootloader (which is used in the Pro series), the stability of the FTDI (which we all missed after the Duemilanove was discontinued) and the R3 shield compatibility of the latest Arduino UNO R3.

The RedBoard can be programmed over a USB Mini-B cable using the Arduino IDE: Just plug in the board, select “Arduino UNO” from the board menu and you’re ready to upload code. RedBoard has all of the hardware peripherals you know and love: 14 Digital I/O pins with 6 PWM pins, 6 Analog Inputs, UART, SPI and external interrupts. We’ve also broken out the SDA, SCL and IOREF pins that showed up on the UNO R3, so the RedBoard will be compatible with future shields. This version adds an SMD ISP header for use with shields.

You can power the RedBoard over USB or through the barrel jack. The on-board power regulator can handle anything from 7 to 15VDC. Check out the related items below for a compatible wall-wart power supply.

Not sure which Arduino or Arduino-compatible board is right for you? Check out our Arduino Buying Guide!

Get Started With the SparkFun RedBoard Guide

  • ATmega328 microcontroller with Optiboot (UNO) Bootloader
  • USB Programming Facilitated by the Ubiquitous FTDI FT231X
  • Input voltage - 7-15V
  • 0-5V outputs with 3.3V compatible inputs
  • 14 Digital I/O Pins (6 PWM outputs)
  • 6 Analog Inputs
  • ISP Header
  • 32k Flash Memory
  • 16MHz Clock Speed
  • All SMD Construction
  • R3 Shield Compatible
  • Red PCB!

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino Product Help and Resources

Clap On Lamp

November 28, 2017

Modify a simple desk lamp to respond to a double clap (or other sharp noise) using parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0.

Endless Runner Game

November 28, 2017

We make a simple side-scrolling endless runner game using parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0.

SparkFun Inventor's Kit Experiment Guide - v4.0

November 15, 2017

The SparkFun Inventor's Kit (SIK) Experiment Guide contains all of the information needed to build all five projects, encompassing 16 circuits, in the latest version of the kit, v4.0a.

Reaction Timer

January 16, 2014

Demonstrate mental chronometry with this simple reaction timer!

Pi AVR Programmer HAT Hookup Guide

July 26, 2018

In this tutorial, we will use a Raspberry Pi 3 and the Pi AVR Programmer HAT to program an ATMega328P target. We are going to first program the Arduino bootloader over SPI, and then upload an Arduino sketch over a USB serial COM port.

RedBoard Santa Trap

December 25, 2014

A fun holiday project to try for anyone looking to catch Santa on Christmas!

RedBoard vs. Uno

August 6, 2013

In this tutorial we discuss the differences and similarities between the RedBoard and the Arduino Uno (SMD and PTH). The development platforms

RedBoard Hookup Guide

January 7, 2014

How to get your RedBoard up-and-blinking!

RedBoard Edge Hookup Guide

June 1, 2018

The RedBoard Edge is a RedBoard that's been rebuilt around the idea that projects are eventually put into an enclosure to help clean up their look.

Activity Guide for SparkFun Tinker Kit

March 29, 2018

This activity guide will take you through the basics of building 11 different circuits with the SparkFun Tinker Kit and how to program them using the Arduino IDE.

Light-Seeking Robot

November 28, 2017

We use parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0 to create a light-seeking robot that mimics the behavior of single-celled organisms.

SIK Keyboard Instrument

April 15, 2016

We can use the parts and concepts in the SparkFun Invetor's Kit to make a primitive keyboard instrument.

Choosing an Arduino for Your Project

December 11, 2017

Examining the diverse world of Arduino boards and understanding the differences between them before choosing one for a project.

Dimensional Drawing

You can find a dimensional drawing for the SparkFun RedBoard here.


Permission issues installing drivers

If you need to set up FTDI based boards in a lab environment where users don’t have permission to install drivers, an administrator can install the driver once, and then make the computer skip installing drivers for every new FTDI device by making a registry change. This solution can sometimes fix this specific problem.

See this page on the FTDI website for directions how.


Enclosure Compatibility Issues

The SparkFun RedBoard is slightly bigger than the Arduino Uno. Therefore, certain Arduino Uno enclosures will not work with the Redboard due to the narrow tolerances they have. Also, the LEDs are positioned in a different location on the board compared to the Arduino Uno so certain features of some enclosures will not work.

We have found that these Arduino Uno Enclsoures: clear and black ] are not compatible with the RedBoard. The tolerance was too small for the Redboard to fit. We have found that this Arduino Project Enclosure is compatible with the RedBoard.


Fluxx

Sangeetha Alagappan

Filling hospitals with heroes

Soil Moisture Sensing

Sarah Al-Mutlaq

Making a plant self watering system using SparkFun's Soil Moisture Sensor

Automatic Pill Dispenser

Erika Murray

In short, it is an automatic pill dispenser to aid those who are forgetful when taking their medication.

Using FreeRTOS Semaphores in Arduino IDE

Phillip Stevens

FreeRTOS, simple, easy, robust, and optimised for Arduino IDE. Using FreeRTOS Semaphores to share and protect physical resources.

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
See all skill levels


Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Customer Comments

  • Barrel jack obstructs use of shield (ardumoto); had to desolder barrel jack for good fit.

  • Does it come with a usb connector? Can’t tell from the description…

  • Great but : Please add a usb C port !!!!

  • I presume this is different… different product code… from device of same name in list at https://www.sparkfun.com/arduino_guide. Device there shown as retired. I didn’t see this there, so didn’t realise there were two, was confused. Took a while to notice the different product codes.

    • Noticed by me also. This incarnation DEV-13975 of the RedBoard does not appear to be included in the table of boards listed in Sparkfun’s Arduino Buying Guide linked sparkfun.com/arduino_guide at the end of this product description, even though the older RedBoard DEV-12757 is listed at the very top of that table as retired.

  • Since the input voltage is 7-15V does this mean it cannot be powered from the USB cable (5v) alone?

    • You can power the board from USB through the USB socket. The 7-15 volt limitation is only if you use the barrel jack that’s to the right of the USB socket.

  • I am looking for an “UNO” compatible solution that will operate at 3.3v. Is there a 3.3v “UNO” compatible solution?

    I am typically talking to LCD modules that have many bi-directional lines, so 3.3v to 5v conversion chips are numerous and messy.

    • That depends on what part of the Uno needs to be compatible. The Arduino Pro and Pro Mini use a different bootloader so they are not considered Uno compatible (and have slightly different hardware). But both boards use the ATMega328 and so should be compatible. There will always be a few differences including ATMega328s not being able to run at 16MHz at 3.3V (and still be in spec).

  • Any important differences we should know about, compared to https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12757 ? I didn’t spot any looking at the two versions of the schematic. Literally the only substantive difference I spotted was a change in the value of R2 (current limiter for power LED LED2) from 1k to 4.7k.

    • Is that the resistor to the green LED? if so I’m glad since it was really bright.

    • The only other thing I can think of was that we removed the 3.3V line from the FTDI chip. When people were powering the board over anything other than USB there was enough power running to the chip that it affected the RX and TX lines. Now if the board is not powered over USB the FTDI chip gets absolutely no power. All in all the changes were all similarly small.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

Based on 38 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Works okay, is a hassle to get working with MacOS

This seems to work fine as a cheap Arduino alternative. Getting the FTDI working with Mac was a pretty big hassle, though. Once that part was accomplished, everything works fine.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

No complaints

After years of on/off tinkering with Arduino I finally bought ten of these to standardize and replace my aging collection of taped-up/hacked-on Genuinos and brand X knockoffs. I love the USB Micro/Mini/whatever instead of the needlessly big USB-B metal shielding that would short out on the bottom of whatever shield was installed on classic Arduinos.

2 of 3 found this helpful:

Love this ❤️

It’s great and made in the USA. Got this for a good discount during the arduino day sale. It still was twice as much as a cheap eBay clone, but it’s four times as reliable. Sparkfun is a company I would highly recommend. Good customer service and friendly staff.

5 of 8 found this helpful:

Great but...

Wish it had a micro-b USB connector instead of mini-b.

1 of 2 found this helpful:

Works Great!

I used this to replace my Arduino Uno and it works perfectly!

I love it!

Very easy to use! Does exactly what SparkFun said it was going to do.

Love these boards!!

Great for the price, easy to use. Love the mini-USB connector, SMD components, etc. This is my go-to board for smaller projects.

Works like it should

No problems getting running with the Arduino IDE, works great.

Does the job great

Sparkfun’s arduino uno version is great, no reason not to choose it over alternatives.

Thanks

Works great, looks great

Easy to use, works perfectly, and saves you money!

This thing just works.

I bought this to replace a genuine UNO that I had to “donate” to a robotics project that my wife and I ran for her elementary school. This is not my first RedBoard either. I think they are just great.

Really great … I liked the board with the lights … all my projects are tested with it. really loved it more than the ordinary UNO board. thanks for this.

Great Arduino for a few bucks less.

Works great. Good price. We had to rummage around the house for the right USB cable, but eventually found a selection of them.

Cheap, easy and versatile

I didn’t know anything about Arduino or programming before I bought this, but in less than a week, thanks to all the freely available code out there, I was able to connect two analogs and one digital sensor - piezo, FlexiForce, and 9DOF - and am already generating real-time data for a school project. I still don’t understand some (most?) of the quirks of the Arduino language, but I am assimilating it almost unconsciously. As for the board, you really can’t beat it for size, price, and functionality. I also give a tip of the hat to SerialChart for providing free access to their serial data monitoring software. It’s simple and it does what I need for now without fighting with MatLab or other software. Happy to be a new member of the community.

Did exactly what I needed

The RedBoard did what I needed. This was my first Sparkfun project and when I had some questions, your technical support was available via email and answered my questions within about 24 hours with good answers. It has been easy to work with. The tutorials are very helpful. I’m not an engineer and I’ve been able to do what I wanted so far. I’m now getting in a more sophisticated project and hopefully it will work as well.

Works fine.

just like Arduino

Works as expected

Overwrote the boot loader and use an AVR-ISP-MK2 to upload HEX files. Works as expected. Board quality seems high.

An Awesome Board

The only reason why I didn’t give 5 stars is because of shipping. Which I had to wait 2 and half weeks to receive the board, but it was worth the wait. I love how all of the components are surface mounted on this board.

Love this board

I use these for all my Arduino projects.

2nd Redboard for me!

My first purchase was the Inventor’s Kit which includes the RedBoard. I decided to follow some YouTube online lessons to introduce myself to basic electronics. This kit was recommended. I am very happy with SparkFun online support of their products which allows me to quickly install software on my Mac for development. Unfortunately, I did not do well in coding one sketch I created with regard to using the AREF pin. I had been forewarned about Magic Blue Smoke territory before I took the plunge. Magic Blue Smoke won & I learned something! Ordered 2nd RedBoard and progressing along well. Very happy with this product!

Getting this to work with Mac is a pain in the bum

Whilst arduino and other arduino replicas work out of the box with Mac - this does not - I understand it is possible - but much more fiddly than I was expecting.

Handy.

The isolation of the USB port from the processor was the primary factor in my choice. Several similar products commit interface components to the board design that limit the flexibility of the product(i.e. compass, accelerometer and/or gyro). The simplicity of the board allows the installed program to be easily monitored and/or adapted to desired changes in interface hardware. The surface mount components allow for a lower profile for adapter boards and low risk to accidental short circuits. For interest in Arduino-like design/development this is the best choice for flexibility. I have used several micro controller products over the years and feel this is a good design choice.

Nice Uno Alternative

Great alternative to the Uno: works the same — and I like the USB mini-B plug more then the full size.

Sparkfun Redboard

I use in both chemistry and physics, the students love using them and they seem to take abuse very well. Thumbs up!

bought them for spares

I have always been a fan of Spark Fun and Arduino. Use them on several prototype projects. These boards are well built and provide great functionality. Arduino is a great development platform.

Works great

First Arduino board and no complaints at all. Integrates easily with the Arduino IDE and was able to start working right away. Plus the Sparkfun tutorials, documentation and codebase is really useful.

Reasonable board, simple to use and connect.

It seems to work well and the only complaint I have is that it seems to take longer to program this unit compared to some other devices such as the Nano and Mini for some reason.

It is however a great size and perfect for most things when used in conjunction with a Quiic Shield.

So much easier than a PIC

Just using this for a quick project. Much easier to set up and had a blinky program running within 30 seconds. Built in FTDI chip is really nice. Just wish it had maybe an extra VDD pin or two for powering more circuits.

This is my Go-To board for Arduino based projects

I have had a couple of these boards running continuously for over two years. One red board is in an outdoor weather station and it’s been running well through winter freezes and summer heat. Another does continuous readings from a geiger counter to monitor background radiation levels. (Looking nervously toward the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power plant.)

I’ve used red boards in several other projects and I have had no complaints. I can also vouch for the fact they run fine at background radiation levels up to 0.25 uSv/hour, about double the normal rate, for a couple of days. (Again looking nervously toward the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power plant.)

Works like agenuine Arduino, no difference

The Sparkfun Red board is beautiful and works totally compatible with the Arduino. I like to use the board for my advanced experiments, and when you have many Arduinos, you know that the beautiful red one is the one that you are working with at the moment.

USB connector

Why not a micro usb?

Works well

Nice quality, works well. I’ve had other “compatible” boards that weren’t – this one seems great.

Great arduino boards!

This boards are very reliable, have a great price and great support :D

Fun and powerful device

I was able to quickly set this device with the help of my son. He used one in school which got me interested. Ive been programming for work for the past 10 yesrs so its pretty easy to do basic things or find the code on the internet. I’ve been able to make a display and a countdown timer. With my son’s help we’ve figured out how to use a reed switch and light up different LEDs. End state is a tchometer and speedometer combo for my 1976 RD400. Having fun along the way is a plus.

Excellent product

Performs as expected, and meets all the requirements.

Excellent for teaching Arduino Programming

I am teaching another round of Intro to Programming using the Arduino classes at the K5COW Cowtown Amateur Radio Club in Fort Worth, TX. The RedBoard makes an ideal platform to begin learning to program. The students in the class quickly progress from blinking the LED, to sounding a piezo beeper, to sending their name and/or radio callsign in Morse Code, to displaying buttons on an attached TFT color touchscreen display, to sampling the outside world & displaying real-time status on the TFT color touchscreen display. Thank you for making this product available for purchase. For anyone looking for a quality Arduino UNO equivalent, I would highly recommend the SparkFun RedBoard as an excellent choice !! MJCulross (KD5RXT)