While waiting for the first Raspberry Pi to arrive, I’m continuing to work with Arduino clones. I use the name repeatedly just as it’s familiar to those in the field, but essentially we’re simply talking about a minimal ATMEL-based processor board with reset and power components. Having discovered that the Chinese do prototype boards quite cheaply and quickly I figured I’d have a go at doing my own. The Eagle PCB package is free for anyone wanting to have a go up to a certain size board. I’ve used this package over the years but not for a decade so it’s nice to see they’re still in operation and obviously they are very popular with the hobby community.
Anyway, here’s the board so far. This is a “jack of all trades” board as I put stuff in that “might come in handy”.
As you can see, it has it’s own proper 5v regulator (fastened down with some heatsink area) and power connector, standard Arduino-type general connectors and the usual microchip, xtal and a crude 3.6v supply via a couple of diodes. The connectors include the normal programming connector, ICSP and one (lower left) specifically for the cheap Chinese RF modules. ~I’ve also put in a 24c65 socket there as the Atmel chip has only 1k of EEPROM for storing logs etc. and the socket I’ve added lets you add a 24c65 or 24c256 chip for up to 64KB of logging or other storage (can’t use for programs).
The next step is to find out the realities of actually getting prototypes made in China. I looked all over the UK and I might be missing something but there’s no-one here to even remotely compete on prototypes – these work out at around a fiver each for 10-off which means if I’ve made a mistake it’s not going to break the bank – but it’ll be weeks before they turn up – so more information at the time… I’ve jokingly called the board “UberBareBoard”… I’ll find out how super it is (or not) when they arrive.
On the subject of iPads - has anyone noticed the utter lack of anything new and exciting recently – same with iPhone – it’s as it people are running out of ideas. A good old fashioned (but not old) adventure would be nice, not one of those silly “guess the hidden objects” but a proper adventure…