SparkFun BlackBoard

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The BlackBoard from SparkFun is everything you need in an Arduino Uno with many extra perks. BlackBoard has all of the hardware peripherals you know and love: 14 Digital I/O pins with 6 PWM pins, 4 Analog Inputs, UART, and SPI with a handful of external interrupt pins. BlackBoard even has an SMD ISP header to connect SPI pins to shields.

We’ve applied every lesson we’ve learned about making a better Uno and created the BlackBoard. The USB to serial is now done with the ubiquitous CH340G requiring fewer driver installs and a rock solid microB connector with through hole anchoring. The power portion of the BlackBoard has been reworked: we upgraded the 3.3V regulator to provide up to 600mA, with full thermal and reverse circuit protection, and added extra decoupling capacitance to increase the sensitivity of the ADC readings. We’ve decreased the brightness of the power LED, pin 13 LED, and the TX/RX LEDs from blinding to just perfect. We’ve added 3.3V voltage translation and a Qwiic connector to the edge of the board to allow for quick and seamless connection to our ever-growing line of I2C based Qwiic products.

And for more advanced users we’ve added an I/O jumper. Cut the trace to 5V and solder a jumper to the 3.3V side and the board will run at 3.3V. This is extremely handy if you have a shield or 3.3V sensitive devices, such as an SPI interface, that needs protecting.

The SparkFun BlackBoard comes fully tested with the Optiboot bootloader and can be easily programmed with the ‘Arduino/Genuino Uno’ option from within Arduino. You can power the BlackBoard 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!

A4/A5 Pins: We recommend you don't use A4/A5 for analog to digital conversion. The Qwiic connector is wired to the I2C pins on the BlackBoard. This means A4 and A5 have external 2.2k pull up resistors and will affect readings if you use them as analog to digital conversion pins. A0 through A3 still work fine as ADC pins.
  • ATmega328P microcontroller with Optiboot (UNO) Bootloader
  • CH340G USB to Serial IC
  • Reinforced microB connector
  • Built-in Qwiic connection
  • 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
  • Flat bottom, all SMD construction
  • Schematic
  • Eagle Files
  • Drivers: The CH340G uses CDC drivers built in to most modern OS including Windows 7, 8, 10, Linux Mint, OSX Yosemite, El Capitan, and Sierra which means you shouldn’t need to install any extra software. However, there are a wide range of operating systems out there, so, if you run into driver problems, you can get drivers here.
    • Windows - Driver version 3.4 (2016-09-28)
    • Linux - Driver version 1.5 (2018-03-18)
    • Mac - Driver version 1.4 (2017-01-11) for 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, and 10.12
  • Arduino IDE Download
  • Please visit the BlackBoard repo for the latest design files

Customer Comments

  • “…CH340G requiring fewer driver installs…” Cool (Code link for those of you who care)

    “…a rock solid microB connector with through hole anchoring. ” Smart

    “… provide up to 600mA,…” meh

    “…with full thermal and reverse circuit protection…” This should be the default on all dev boards ever

    “a Qwiic connector to the edge of the board to allow for quick and seamless connection to our ever-growing line of I2C based Qwiic products.” cool i guess

    “And for more advanced users we’ve added an I/O jumper. Cut the trace to 5V and solder a jumper to the 3.3V side and the board will run at 3.3V. This is extremely handy if you have a shield or 3.3V sensitive devices, such as an SPI interface, that needs protecting.” Fan-freeing-tastic. Final a board I can use for experiments with a small jumper change.

  • Works great. Having the onboard Qwiic connector makes it really easy to get started without having to mess with jumper wires. Allowed me to very quickly prototype a datalogger and use it in a production setting without worrying a jumper wire was going to come loose. Thanks Sparkfun!

  • Nice price point. I’m saturated on the arduino side of the house, but it’s good to see you guys constantly innovating. Question: when you set the board to 3.3V, I’m curious if that has effect on the 328 since you’ll be running 16MHz at 3.3V. Any Xperimentation behind that added hackability feature? Also, why not just throw a DC-DC regulator with dual outputs on this bad boy and give the user some real power? Is the price point holding you back? Also, why not break out A6 and A7 if you’re going for versatility (you could use one with a v-divider to read the input voltage on the DC barrel jack or something clever)? If this rolls out of X, but some sexy silk art on the bottom, like a giant flame (unless that makes the boards more expensive). Adafruit products would suggest that you should step the style game up just a tad. I’ve got a lot of ideas. - Tyler

  • Thank you for the brightness adjustment! All my redboards, which are awesome, have black electrical tape. Also, the price is nice!

    • Thanks! LED technology has gotten pretty wild. We had to throttle the green LEDs with a 10k resistor limiting the current to microamps and it’s still bright. There will some day be a company that manufactures specifically NOT bright LEDs.

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

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Onboard Qwiic connector is a lifesaver.

Works great. Having the onboard Qwiic connector makes it really easy to get started without having to mess with jumper wires. Allowed me to very quickly prototype a datalogger and use it in a production setting without worrying a jumper wire was going to come loose. Thanks Sparkfun!