Assembling the Really Bare Bones Board (RBBB) Arduino clone - UPDATED

Picture of Assembling the Really Bare Bones Board (RBBB) Arduino clone - UPDATED
UPDATE 8/16/2008: added images of different board configurations in last step.

The RBBB from Modern Device Company is a wonderful little Arduino clone. If you have a Arduino project requiring a small footprint or an inexpensive dedicated board, this is a great solution.

I discovered the RBBB while looking for a cheaper alternative to the official Arduino board I used in developing my Northern Lights Indicator. On sale, buying 5 kits, these came out to about $9 each. That is a huge savings over the $35 Arduino Diecimila.

Step 1: The Kit

Picture of The Kit
Here are all the parts of the RBBB kit. Included are:

2 10k resistors (Brown, Black, Orange)
2 .1ufd ceramic capacitors
2 47 ufd electrolytic capacitors
1 voltage regulator
1 3mm LED
1 Atmega168 preprogrammed with bootloader
1 16 MHZ ceramic resonator
male header pins
6 right-angle male-header pins
1 momentary switch
1 28 pin IC socket
Troels2 years ago
would this work with 5v usb power??
How is this board connected to the computer for adding code?
Not sure if it is important but the newer rbbb's the diode goes strip up and it seems to be reversed in direction as well. So anybody building one of these DOUBLE CHECK YOUR SCHEMATICS. This is a nice little board. I'll probably buy a whole bunch more. Can't believe that this little thing is the eqv of a 286 dx puter. Nice instructable
mike_d2147 years ago
Very nice. I've been looking at getting into microcontrollers for a long time and I think that arduino or the like is the path I want to start on. Are there some good resources out there as far as programming tutorials on chips like the Rbbb?
youevolve (author)  mike_d2147 years ago
There are LOTS of resources! The Arduino family are programmed essentially in C. I'm no programmer and am picking the language up pretty quickly. If you are really interested, pick up the book Making Things Talk. It is a great way to get into microprocessors. I found some of the parts suggested a bit pricey, but if you use a little imagination you can get through the lessons much cheaper.

The main site for Arduino has several guides to getting started.

Here is a great list of projects using the Arduino. Look to it for inspiration and code you can steal ;)

Since you are just getting started, I would suggest picking up an assembled Arduino Diecimila. This way you can learn and tinker without any frustrations with assembly or non-standard board design. Once you are comfortable with the Diecimila and want to dedicate a micro controller to a project, then pick up the RBBBs.
sandokan7 years ago
Very nice work !!
But anyone knows an equivalent of the ATMEL ATMega 168 ? Because i don't find it in my store "

Once again good job !
youevolve (author)  sandokan7 years ago
Here are a few vendors:

Sparkfun also carries them:

Ladyada carries them as well and hers have the bootloader preloaded.

Of course, the kit includes the ATMEGA168 chip preloaded with the Diecimila bootloader firmware.
Thanks a lot for the informations ;) I'll check that :)


Anyways, what does the Really Bare Bones Board do?
youevolve (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
DO? What does it DO? What can't it do! It's Arduino!

Seriously, the Arduino and its clones are easily programmable microcontrollers. Using analog and digital input and output pins you can connect sensors, motors, lights, etc. to the RBBB and program it to react in most any way you'd like. That can be as simple as blinking an LED at preset intervals or as complex as a brain for a robot. I used one to create a device that displays a prediction of Northern Lights activity. My latest project is an environmental sensor/logger/regulator for a honeybee hive.

With a active and friendly community around these devices and lots of well documented example projects it is hard to say EXACTLY what the RBBB does. What do you want it to do? (I want mine to pay off my mortgage. I have the hardware end of that project figured out, but the programming is going to be harder. LOL)

I recommend the The World Famous Index of Arduino & Freeduino Knowledge as a list of Arduino projects to browse. Also, the book Making Things Talk is a great tutorial for the Arduino and related devices. You may also do a search on Instructables and the MAKE: blog for the term Arduino for even more interesting projects.
guyfrom7up7 years ago
looks a lot like a boarduino, lol
youevolve (author)  guyfrom7up7 years ago
Nearly identical but about $5 (or more if on sale) cheaper . The RBBB only comes with 1 LED and does not have the ICSP header. The RBBB is slightly narrower and has the added options of shortening the board by removing the power connection and regulation circuitry. I considered the Boarduino, but found the RBBB to be a better value. The USB version of the Boarduino might be a better option for projects requiring a permanent USB connection, otherwise, I'd stick with the RBBB.
the boarduino was designed to have a 'shortening' method as well. if you look at the layout, the traces are placed so that the 5V supply can be cut off quite easily. however since cutting FR4 PCBs is not very good for ones health, its not suggested.
youevolve (author)  ladyada7 years ago
Good to know! Thanks ladyada, I'm a big fan of your work!
PKM7 years ago
Ooo... very good photos, and nice clear instructions as well. I only just saw this thing on hackaday, and I've been looking for an excuse to get into uC circuitry/programming stuff.
Bongmaster7 years ago
very well done :) great pics
Extremely nicely done Instructable. Pictures are great, the instructions are clear and everything. If I ever buy this, I'll be sure to use this Instructable. Great job, I hope to see more stuff from you. +4/5 stars. (added to favorites)