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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 a reversible USB C connector with through hole anchoring and the ubiquitous CH340C requiring fewer driver installs. 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. We've added solder pads to the bottom of the board for D+/D- so you can embed your BlackBoard into a project and run an external USB connection. We've increased the height of the reset button. This doesn't sound like much, but everyone who's touched it loves the improvement. And finally, we've increased the PTC from 500mA to 2A
so that you can capture the full power of USB C. Shoot! An eagle-eyed customer pointed out we have a 1.2A MOSFET on USBVDD. We'll get this fixed on the next build.
For more advanced users we've added an I/O voltage switch also known as the Red Squirrel switch (because they are the one who petitioned for the mod). Now you can select the GPIO voltage between 3.3V or 5V with just your finger. This is extremely handy if you have a shield or 3.3V sensitive devices, such as an SPI interface, that needs protecting. Worried about accidentally flipping the switch? A piece of tape will lock it in place.
On this latest version we added clearly labeled PTH holes along side the standard female headers. This makes it very easy to solder wires in place to make your project 'backpack safe' once you get it working. We even went with the fancy gold ENIG finish on the PCB because, well, we know you're fancy.
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. The barrel jack and USB connection can support up to 2A. 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!
Based on 5 ratings:
4 of 4 found this helpful:
This board is pretty great, for a few reasons. 1: It has a USB C port, and although the power MOSFET is not rated correctly, I don’t usually try and draw even 1.2A for my projects. 2: It has a qwiic connector. 3: The 3.3/5v logic switch is great. I connected the board in 3.3v mode straight to the Serial LCD module and no problem. One bad thing is that the CH340G drivers are difficult to install (if not I’m doing something wrong) on the Raspberry Pi. Windows has no problem, though.
2 of 2 found this helpful:
The title says it all ;)
I find myself picking up another one with each order. USB-C is the new norm for development boards, and I love the led colors they chose (green power, blue pin 13, and yellow/red tx and rx lines). Also, black is a pretty cool color for boards in my opinion.
2 of 2 found this helpful:
A neat little board that should always stay by your side. With USB type C, Qwicc connector, tantalum caps, bright TX and RX LEDs, optional logic Voltage of 3.3V or 5V and a solid design, you simply can't go wrong. This is ideal for small projects to keep the costs low. For more than a couple of sensors, rather opt for the Metro or the Thing Plus that also works great!
All the capabilities of the Arduino UNO, plus so much more. I've been using the board to drive three MAX7221 circuits, one driving a quad-digit 7-segment to display numerical values and the other two each driving an 8x8 LED matrix to display text. The setup with the Arduino IDE was simply the easiest integration of a development board with the development environment. Thanks SparkFun!