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This is two, two, two Instructables in one! My entry for the USB Contest (still in progress – no guarantees I will even finish it) involves an Arduino, which I decided to package in an Altoids tin. I also needed a battery pack that would last longer than a standard 9 volt battery, so I decided to build one into another Altoids tin. Two tins, two projects, one Instructable. You can do either or both!

An Arduino fits nicely inside an Altoids tin. This project is simply cutting a hole for the USB port and drilling a hole for the 9 volt plug, then mounting the Arduino with double-sided foam core tape.

There are several options for powering an Arduino. Past Instructables on the subject include Power Arduino From a 9v battery, Self Sufficient Arduino Board, Power Arduino with a cellphone, Arduino battery pack Version 0.1V, How to Install the Arduino to the Lithium Backpack, and The Arduino AA Undershield. Mine offers the advantages of fitting inside an Altoids tin, so it nicely pairs with my Arduino in an Altoids, and using six AAA batteries, which I believe (without any solid data) will last longer than two AA batteries. Of his Arduino AA Undershield, Artificial Intelligence said, “You may ask why I'm not simply using 3 or 4 AA batteries to power the Arduino. The reason why, I'm not using batteries to drive my Arduino directly, is that they're not regulated.” I avoid this problem by using the 9 volt input on the Arduino.

Step 1: Gather the Parts and Tools


Here is a list of the parts needed:
• Glue
• Double-sided foam core sticky tape
• Wire
• Solder
• Heat-shrink tubing or electrical tape
• Scraps of wood 3 1/2” x 2 1/8” x 3/4” and 3” x 1 3/4” x 1/4”
       the above items are possibly free if you have something suitable around the house
• Arduino – available from several sources; mine was $30.00 from Adafruit
• Altoids tins (2) – free! Makershed has really nifty ones for $5.00
• “AAA” Batteries (6) – various sources, various prices
• “AAA” Battery Holder (2) – Radio Shack #270-412 $1.79 each
• 2.1mm DC Power Plug – Radio Shack #274-1569 $2.99/2 pack
• An on/off switch. I did not use one, but there’s plenty of room for one

You’ll also need a few tools:
• Ruler and pencil
• Saw and wood file
• Clamp
• Drill and bits
• Snips
• Small metal file
• Sandpaper
• Soldering iron
• Heat gun (optional)
• Multi-meter

<p>i made this, but with a few small modifications. first, it uses a nine volt battery, it uses all metal surfaces as a digital ground, the board is bolted to the tin and the battery pack, and there is a third tin on top for a bread board. VERY fun build. thanks for the inspiration :)</p>
I've heard that putting water in the altoids tin and letting it freeze over night is best when cutting or drilling holes, I've never tried it but others have done it without problems. Just a suggestion and Great instructable, I'm going to use it as part of my first instructable and I'll be sure to point people your way in the description.
i really want 2 kno what the point of the Arduino Duemilanove is
Drill holes in the altoids tin and run the wires to the Vin and ground. Having the jack stick out can damage it.
Good idea. I might try it if I do another. I was after a simple quick solution that gave two independent Altoids tins; build one or the other or both. Hmmmm. The wire could run through the lid of the battery tin and a matching hole in the bottom of he Arduino tin, and the two tins could be permanently joined. If the wire were long enough and the holes in the right place then you could easily open the battery tin to change batteries. Yeah, you're on to something here :-) Hindsight is 20/20.
hehe thanks... hindsight?
Having to snip the lid is very unfortunate. Would you have had to snip the lid if you mounted the board upside down? Or if you needed the topside exposed with the lid open, another alternative would be to mount another connector on the other side and route the wires internally to the 9v input plug.
It would mount lower in the tin without the Adafruit rubber feet. My worry was the USB port, and by the time I realized the 9v connector was the problem it was too late, I'd already drilled the hole. I could always take the feet off and use another Altoids tin, but the notch doesn't bother me that much.
hey can you tell me how long the battery lasts?
Sorry, but I just made it. I haven't had time to actually use it long enough to wear out the batteries :-)
very good packaging.

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