Picture of Arduino BASIC Shield
Hi all, this is my first instructable documenting the creation of my project, the Arduino UNO BASIC shield which turns the Arduino UNO into a computer running the BASIC programming language.

As microcontrollers are essentially low performance computers on a chip (they have a processor, RAM and ROM) they can be used to create small computer systems. The aim of this project was to use AVR microcontrollers to create a computer capable of running the BASIC programming lanuage.

During learning about the Arduino and creating various sketches, I came across the TinyBASIC project which turns the Arduino into a computer by running a BASIC interpreter. After testing the TinyBASIC sketch on my Arduino UNO, I found the available program memory to TinyBASIC to be fairly low at around 1KB which led me to purchasing an ATmega 1284P. After successfully getting TinyBASIC to run on the 1284P, I found the program memory available to be more than 13KB meaning more than a 13x increase in available memory compared to the Arduino UNO.

Being able to run TinyBASIC on the 1284P then led me to think about standalone computers based on the 1284P and TinyBASIC. I alerted the TinyBASIC sketch to include the TVout library and the PS/2 keyboard library but it would not work (due to the PS/2 library and TVout library not being compatible with each other) meaning I needed a second AVR running either the PS/2 library or the TVout library to allow the computer to function correctly.

I decided to use the Arduino UNO which is based on the ATmega 328 to run the TVout sketch while the 1284P would run the TinyBASIC sketch (with the PS/2 library included); it was done this way around to give TinyBASIC the maximum amount of SRAM possible as TVout requires a RAM buffer.

I knew from previous projects that TVout runs fine on the Arduino UNO and after testing TinyBASIC with the PS/2 library on the 1284P (which worked correctly) I decided to place all components on an Arduino UNO shield.
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Hi, i have looked on ebay for the atmega1284 and i cant find any, well at least they dont ship to australia so is there a different atmega or microcontrolled that i can use instead? Thanks

Search for ATMega 1284p.

or you could find a supplier

asherphil5 months ago

were do you get the pcb from?

saymowan6 months ago

Amazing!! Thks for sharing!

abqorian9 months ago

That's great. Make it portable, then it will be amazing

apapai11 months ago
it's awesome!
diy_bloke11 months ago


billbillt11 months ago

love it

Very cool project. In the next iteration though, add a capcitor any where form 0.1uF to 10uF between GND and VCC on the ATMega. Adding this decoupling capcitor ensures better power stability on the VCC rail. Good work over all!

GuyTech79711 months ago

Awesome project got to make this! :)

Very nice instructable and your board is straightforward and super simple. We'd love to see you port it to 123D Circuits! Thanks for posting it regardless of what software you used to layout the board :)

verdelj1 year ago
Great job, well done.
ray741 year ago
Very cool. Great job.
akinich1 year ago
This is amazing keep it up :-D