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Nanite85 – is it the smallest tiny arduino?

It seems that battle for smallest Arduino position isn’t over. When it seems that there is no mo place to shrink, here comes another one to take the place. This time Nanite85. As name tells this one is based on Attiny85 microcontroller with USB bootloader. Due to space constraints microcontroller is powered directly from USB without voltage converter. Nanite85 is breadboard compatible and comes with all 8 pins brought out. There is a LED which shares same pin as reset button. It can be used once reset is disabled. The board dimensions is 10.1mm width, 17.8mm length. If you would like to build one all design files and example code is available on GitHub. Continue reading

MinDUINO – small Arduino clone

We are used standard Arduino board shape which for some people may be quite annoying. And if you can’t stand it then trace your own board. Simply speaking Arduino is AVR chip with bootloader. Projectavr has been developing his own board version of Arduino called minDuino. It is simplified Arduino board with no USB connection part – only header for FTDI adapter. Also there is no Arduino like header alignment for shields, but all pins are brought out on dual line pin header. Board comes with linear 7805 voltage regulator, ISP header and couple LEDs where one is power LED and another user programmable. If you like this shape, you can build one for yourself as eagle CAD files are available for download. Continue reading

Quarter size stackable Arduino

tiny stackable Arduino

Tiny circuits have introduces really small Arduino board. It’s even smaller than a quarter coin. On a circle shaped PCB there is Atmega328P microcontroller in MLF package. On the edge you can find reset switch, status Led and battery connector. Due to size constraints USB connectivity and ISP is implemented in external tiny shield. These shields can be stacked one on another using special miniature connector. Modular structure allows to achieve small sized applications that may fit in to small robots, rocket models or in any tight space. There are already several shields available – USB & ISP, 16 LED and bunch pr prototyping shields. They also come in 20mm square shape. Be sure to check out TinyLily as well. Continue reading

Adruino doesn’t have to be big or expensive

We are used to see Arduino as standardized board that has special layout of pin sockets. We don’t say they are very expensive, but in some cases we don’t want features of board. For instance maybe we want Arduino to serve only as analog input only for Raspberry Pi. Arduino is great for its libraries and is good choice for fast implementation. So Wolf Paulus minimized Arduino to AVR microcontroller itself. He says that throw away everything except Aarduino which is AVR Atmega168 (or Atmega328). It has internal clock which can be run at 8MHz. Attach power to pin 7 and 8 and you have it. Obviously you don’t need a booloader for such Arduino, so it has to be added as different hardware in Arduino IDE in order not to try send firmware. Instead chip needs to be programmed using ISP programmer. Anyway nothing especially new here – just another way of using Arduino. Continue reading

How small Arduino board can be?

When a development board can be called Arduino? Obviously main reason is an Arduino compatible microcontroller and a bootloader that can be accessed from Arduino IDE. If you aren’t planning of using standard shields that need special layout, you can build Arduino board what ever shape and size you want. Following Femtoduino project uses an Atmega328p microcontroller in QFN32 package, and 0402 size passive components. Due to small components and minimal circuitry, this arduino can fit on your fingertip literally (20.7×15.2mm). It uses 0.05″ connectors that can be braked out into regular 0.1”. Use this layout where circuit size really matters. BTW project is designed using Kicad. Continue reading