Hey what the cost of this blue board thingy, "Arduino" i think its called?? Well the cost is about $30 per board. Woah $30 for just this simple circuit. Whats so special in it? Well nothing actually. Its just a simple open source development platform with awesome I/O and programming potentials. Open source eh? Doesn't that mean we can make our own possibly much cheaper? Well i think so....
These were my thoughts when i got into the world of ARDUINO. After having bought many original and chinese arduinos i have finally decided that its time for me to make my own arduino. Now i wouldn't recommend people starting arduino to make this but people who have worked with arduino even a little should try this.
My main reason for making this was that original arduinos are expensive and it seems like a waste to dedicate it for a robot or a project. So i came up with this Beeduino as i call it to be used in projects without pain and to be as cheap as possible.
The basic Beeduino Board doesnt contain programming or serial communication part in order to keep unit price low. Separate programmer (USBASP) and Serial Communication (PL2303) can be attached using the on-board header for easy programming and communication.
The layout is exact replica of the arduino uno board so that shields are compatible. There is an on-board voltage regulator as well. The construction is purely through hole for simplicity.
UPDATE LOG # 1
I improved the PCB by increasing track width, adding a switch and adding a header for serial communication.
All related files available here:
There are quite a few materials needed so i am going to divide the into categories.
There are numerous ways one can etch a PCB. Etching is basically to remove the exposed copper of the clad in order to make a circuit board.
For all the above safety first so wear gloves and after the etching is done rinse it in tap water.
Next is to drill the PCB. It is best to drill using a small drill press but since i didn't have one i used my hand drill. Also my drill bit was a bit wide which caused me troubles so make sure you use the correct diameter. At this point the toner is still not removed.
When all the holed are drilled, double check to make sure you didn't miss any. Then used the sandpaper to sand away the toner and uneven surface near the drilled holes.
And your PCB is now ready.
Now we move on to build the circuit which involves soldering all the components in their right place. The first image shows the placement of the components.
Now you have to perform some checks to ensure that you did all soldering correctly.
If all is well you can proceed.
Congratulations. The hardware part is all done. If you are with me up till now then lets move on the software part.
Boot loader on a micro controller is basically its operating system. It tells it how to communicate and respond. The arduino boot loader allows it to be programmed via USBASP. First download the latest Arduino IDE here and install it.
For burning the boot loader you need an Arduino Uno. Follow the following instructions carefully
If there is a problem do the following checks.
I hope you are able to burn the boot loader successfully.
You can also burn the boot loader using the USBASP. The USBASP comes with a 10 pin connector which is useless to us so we will use female to female jumpers to make connections from the USBASP to the Beeduino ICSP header.
What to do if an error occurs? An error can occur and you can fix it by the following steps
I hope you are able to burn the bootloader.
Programming the Beeduino requires a USBASP. Again the same pin problem occurs so we will make the same connections are before using the jumpers. Now you must be thinking making these connections every time is so cumbersome and you are correct but this is just for the moment. Soon i will tell you how to make a fixed 6 pin header which we will just plug and program.
Once the connections are made plug the USBASP into your PC and open the arduino program. To upload it press shift and then the click the upload button while making sure the programmer is set to USBASP. It will upload the program. Pressing shift makes use of the programmer to upload the program.
This is the part your supposed to take a long breath as you have successfully made your very own Beeduino.
For serial communication between the Beeduino and a PC we need the PL2303 USB to Serial Adapter.
Download and instal its driver from here.
Connect the Beeduino to the PL2303 module.
The connections are simple. They include the power connections. Connect the RX and TX of PL2303 to theTX and RX of the Beeduino respectively.
Plug in the PL2303, the PC should recognize it. Open the Arduino IDE and then the serial monitor to view the serial data.
Following the pin arrangements of the two solder the six wires from the 10 wire ribbon.
The wires are numbered from 1 to 10 on the ribbon,1 being the pink shade.
Place a piece of tape on the top side of the 6 pin header in order to know its orientation.
Now this is purely optional but it really helps in prototyping. I added labels for the pins on the side of the headers.
This was a very successful project and i am very happy with the ease of use and programming of the Beeduino as well as the cost. Although it took some effort to make the first one but i am planning to make them in greater number which would make it even faster to build them.
Future prospects include improving the PCB design and manufacture process.
Thank you for viewing and please comment you thoughts.