Saturday, 11 May 2013
Diy arduino clones
Got a bit of time today and managed to get a diy arduino clone up and running which I'd been meaning to do for a while. There is an excellent guide and set of instructions here at the ShrimpingIT page, those people are amazing and run loads of workshops helping people to build there own cheap diy arduino clones aka "shrimps" and they even sell kits to make them and projects to build onto them.
So an arduino has a big old atmega chip on it that contains the bootloader and is where you flash your code too and to make the atmega chip work all thats needed is a resistor, a 16mhz oscillator and 2 or 3 capacitors, however you have to have the ability to flash your sketch/code to it...on an arduino the ftdi chip and usb socket etc are all added on board as is a regulated power supply etc...but on a diy clone so long as you can flash your code to it you don't need all the usb/ftdi side of things to run in whatever your project is.
So (from the shrimpingIT site) what you need is a CP2102 usb - uart board which is a usb to serial converter and with this you can program your duinoclone. I needed to connect to a pin that wasn't connected on my cp2102 so I added these 2 rows of header pins to mine meaning that I could access the pin on the breadboard and that the whole cp2102 would fix into the pin slots on the board holding it steady.
I'm really pleased I managed to get this going...I reckon the components to make this cost about 3.50GBP and the cp2102 was a couple of quid of ebay...compared to official arduino uno's going for anywhere between 12 and 20 quid it's a great saving. However the other reason that this interests me is that if I make designs from prototypes done with an arduino I can design and build complete PCB boards rather than adding a shield to an arduino giving me more flexibility in layout and components etc.
Massive props to shrimpingIT once again.