Instructables

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.
 
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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

Step 2: Let's get started!

Picture of Let's get started!
Solder in the resistors. Orientation does not matter, here.

Step 3: First capacitors

Picture of First capacitors
Next add in the ceramic capacitors. These can also be placed in any orientation.

Step 4: The LED

Picture of The LED
IMGP4880.JPG
Orientation matters! The longer lead is the positive side. The picture shows the correct orientation. There is also a + sign on the board to show where the longer lead goes.

Step 5: The switch and power regulator

Picture of The switch and power regulator
Add in the switch and the power regulator.

The switch is rectangular and will snap in place with little effort. If it doesn't seem to fit, turn it 90 degrees and try again.

The power regulator is mounted with its flat side towards the edge of the board. See later steps for other power options.

Step 6: The electrolytic capacitors

Picture of The electrolytic capacitors
IMGP4887.JPG
Mount the two electrolytic capacitors as shown. As with the LED, the longer lead is the positive side.

Step 7: The IC socket

Picture of The IC socket
In mounting the IC socket you may wish to space it off the board a bit. This makes the pin labels a bit easier to read. I used leads trimmed from previous components to lift the socket off the board slightly while I soldered. After, they slide out easily.

One end of the socket has a notch. Notice the image of the socket on the board also has a notch. Match the orientation and solder into place.
Troels11 months 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
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youevolve (author)  DELETED_craz meanman5 years ago
I would recommend starting out with the Dueicimello or Diecimila. They are basically the same board. Once you are comfortable with the pinouts and programming of that board and have prototyped a project or two, then pick up some of the less expensive clones to dedicate to your project. The reason these boards are cheaper is there is no circuitry to directly handle USB connections. A Diecimila is programmed by plugging in any standard USB cable you may have laying around to the USB port on the board. The RBBB uses a USB-to-TTL cable. The advantage here is you can use a single cable to program lots of boards. The boards are cheaper because you aren't buying the USB circuitry with each board. The disadvantages are the cable costs $20 unless you build your own and that cost carries over to your project if it requires a permanent USB connection. If you are just buying a single RBBB and the required cable, the cost roughly equals that of the official boards.
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i would say to get a better understanding about robotics go with the $50 robot tutorial from societyofrobots.com. it will help you understand how the microcontroller works and is cheaper than the arduino. or check out the roboduino www.curiousinventor.com/sor_ad
mike_d2145 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_d2145 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.
sandokan5 years ago
Very nice work !!
But anyone knows an equivalent of the ATMEL ATMega 168 ? Because i don't find it in my store "

Thx
Once again good job !
youevolve (author)  sandokan5 years ago
Here are a few vendors:
http://octopart.com/info/Atmel/ATMEGA168-20PU

Sparkfun also carries them:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=7957

Ladyada carries them as well and hers have the bootloader preloaded.
http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=17&products_id=56

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

MWUAHAHA!


Anyways, what does the Really Bare Bones Board do?
youevolve (author)  GorillazMiko5 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.
guyfrom7up5 years ago
looks a lot like a boarduino, lol
youevolve (author)  guyfrom7up5 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)  ladyada5 years ago
Good to know! Thanks ladyada, I'm a big fan of your work!
PKM5 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.
Bongmaster5 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)
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