If your are like me which I am guessing you are, then ever since you got into doing stuff with arduino you have wanted to make your own arduino board. You may be surprised to find out that making the prototyping board is actually very easy, and can have several advantages over using the commercially sold board. For one thing, All the components together cost a little over 15 US dollars as opposed to the $30 that the Uno board sells for. second, you may not actually want a board, but may simply want the atmega chip as the heart of the project, like if you are making a synthesizer or even a robot. In that case, you can just attach the  hardware necessary to use the chip, and solder to the pins you need to use without needing the board. Another advantage is making shields. You have probably noticed that digital pins 7 and 8 are not the standard distance apart, which makes it difficult to make your own custom shields without paying the $15 dollars for a protoshield every time you make one. But if you make your own board on perfboard, the headers will be the standard distance apart and you can make your own shields with ease. Also, you may need to permanently add the board to your project, and for that you may not want to use the more expensive arduino boards. This board however is half the price, and easy to add to custom projects.

The only down side is that some parts of the arduino are kind of hard to build on perfboard. Most notably the Serial to usb adapter chip, which allows the microcontroller to interface with the computer through usb. You could use a good old RS232 jack, but they are not on a lot of newer computers. So to program your homemade board you will either need a break out board which does have the chip (get one here:, or an arduino Uno or clone board to program the chip ( I used the former.)

Either way it is a fun and informative project.
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Step 1: Materials

All of these materials can be purchased as a bundle here (except for the power jack and female headers:

 otherwise here is the parts list:
-two 10 uf electrolytic capacitors
-two 10 uf tantalum capacitors
-7805 voltage regulator (5v)
-LM1117T-3.3 voltage regulator(3.3v)
-green LED
-red LED
-two 150 ohm resistors
-10k resistor
-one 0.1 uf capacitor (ceramic disk)
-two 22 pf capacitors (ceramic disk)
-16 MHz crystal oscillator
-momentary push button switch
-jumper wires
-female headers (I used three rows of eight)
-row of 6 male headers
-female wall wart power jack
-ATmega328 with bootloader
-28 pin DIP IC socket

Step 2: Install the socket

The first step is after finding a good sized perfboard is to find a good place for the chip, and place the IC socket where you want it paying attention to the notch witch will be matched with the notch on the chip. also find where you want your power jack. You should place it on the edge of the board probably in the corner. I widened the holes on the board with a 1/16 inch drill bit, but still had to fold the leads on the jack using needle nosed pliers to get it to fit through. On the jack, the pin on the back connecting to the post on the inside is positive, and the one on the bottom connected to the metal on the inside is ground (the pin on the side is not needed. You could solder it for extra support, but I just broke it off). Remember this when connecting the regulators.

Step 3: Adding the 5v regulator

Now it is time to add the five volt regulator. This is technically the only regulator you need to power the chip, but if you want a 3.3v pin (some breakout boards or sensors require 3.3v so the pin is nice to have), you will need to add the 3.3v regulator. These regulators require two decoupling capacitors each. Holding the 7805 printed side facing you, and the pins pointing down, the one furthest left is the input, the center is ground and the furthest right is the output. connect one 10 uf electrolytic capacitor to between the output and ground and the input and ground, being sure to connect the smaller leg to ground. connect the positive from the power jack to the furthest input pin, and ground from the power jack to the center pin.

Step 4: Adding the 3.3v regulator

Picture of adding the 3.3v regulator
It is very important to remember that 3.3v regulator does not have the same pinout as the 7805. With the printed side towards you and the pins down the one furthest to the left is ground, the center is the output, and the furthest right is the input. Again you will need two decoupling capacitors. connect one of the 10 uf tantalum caps between output and ground and the other between input and ground paying attention to polarity. the positive lead should be labeled on the front of the cap, the other is negative, and be sure negative leads on these caps get connected to the furthest left pin on the regulator.

Step 5: Indicator LED

Next you are going to connect the green LED to the output of the 7805 regulator to indicate when power is connected to the board. Connect the anode of the LED (longer leg) to the 150 ohm resistor, and then connect the resistor to the output pin of the 7805. connect the cathode (shorter leg, also indicated by being next to the flat side of the LED) to the center pin of the 7805. Once you do this it would be a good idea to plug it in to make sure you made all of the right connections. Once you are sure everything is right, you can move on.

Step 6: Connecting power and ground pins

Picture of Connecting power and ground pins
Now, you will begin making connections on the chip. connect pins 7, 20 and 21 to five volts and pins 8 and 22 to ground.

Step 9: LED on pin 13

Connect the red LED's anode to pin 19 on the chip (pin 19 is digital pin13 on the arduino, refer to pin diagram on next step) and the cathode to ground through a 150 ohm resistor 

Step 10: Connecting the female headers

For starters you should probably label each pin on your female headers to avoid confusion later. then solder the headers to the board and connect them to the respective pin on the chip, according to the pin diagram above.

This process is very tedious, so just have some patience and you should be fine. Also planning out how you are going to connect everything before hand will go a long way. You will probably have a lot of wires intersecting. after a while I was forced to start connecting pins on the bottom of the board to prevent this.

Step 11: ICSP headers

On the opposite end of the board from the power jack, solder the row of 6 male headers. connect the first pin on these to pin one on the chip through a 0.1 uf capacitor, the second to pin 3, the third to pin 2, the fourth to five volts, the fifth does not get connected, and connect the sixth to ground. 

You can use these pins to program the chip using the breakout board mentioned earlier.

Step 12: Programming with the arduino uno

Picture of Programming with the arduino uno
To program the chip with the uno board, I simply pried the chip on the arduino board off, and replaced it with the new chip. I then uploaded whatever sketch I wanted to use the same way you would any other. Once program I pried it out again and placed it in the new arduino board. 

Anything you can do with the arduino (except serial read, and other things that require constant interface with the computer) can be done on the Homemade arduino in this way.

Step 13: Finished

Now you are finished, and can use your new homemade arduino prototyping board for any project you want. As always if you have any questions comments, of problems leave a comment and I will do my best to help you. Also please rate this instructable.

Have fun!
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hakeeqjavid20 days ago

but how to program the atmega ic .... ?? just help me.....

Higgs Boson (author)  hakeeqjavid17 days ago

The 6 pin header is for hooking up to an FTDI breakout board which allows you to program it with the arduino IDE.

and is it atmega328pu or atmega328p-pu ???


can i use 10uf electrolytic capacitor instead of tantalum capacitors?

I don't see why not.

pardeepvik1 month ago
please can you provide a video for how to program the arduino board...
Cubytus made it!1 month ago

I actually made two of them. The first one was the square one. It is rather ugly and messy. No polarity protection, dissimilar regulators, mostly salvaged parts. The programming LED is the big yellow one, and I used a resistor too small (150 ohms), meaning using pin 13 would be problematic because of the high current draw. I made errors installing the headers, so there are extra, unconnected pins on both sides. Both units sought to fit the most complete Arduino clone compatible with FTDI interface. Unlike the one presented here, I chose to add the 1Kohm resistors on the FTDI interface. Obvious defect: the headers are the small machined round type, which can't fit square male pins. Both use free wires to feed them, a rather personal choice as I have an old stabilized power supply fitted with screw connectors. Think about replacing that if you intend to use it with a wall wart. Both feature the standard 10-pin AVR programming interface present on the USBASP, as I didn't want to make an adapter.

The second one took it further, on a 15x25 perfboard, and designed to use in projects where space may not be large. As you can see, I had to fit some bulky components under the Atmega socket, itself made from female headers to allow for more space, and still doesn't use first-choice components but what I could find locally. It has dual regulators, polarity protection diode (1N4004, an OK replacement for the MBR0520 - telling from memory - in this application), and the 3.3V is a SMD unit that happened to be large enough for regular pitch, fed from the 5V from the 78L05 to save on space. I know it only gives 100mA, and if you attempt to make your own, try using the 78M05, which gives 500mA in the same footprint. I just have a lot of 78L05 in the parts bin. To keep a low profile, I used small LEDs: green for power (connected to the 3.3V regulator), white for pin 13. Unlike other common colors, it still gives a very powerful light with a 1Kohm resistor yet calculated current is only 3 or so mA.

Headers are unlabeled but thanks to the paler material this should be easier, and they do respect proper separation between them. The solder side is filled to the brims, and I don't think you could go any smaller using single-side board and through-hole components. With Atmega inserted, notch to the right, pinout is identical to original Arduino. I discovered a bit later that the design I used, as well as the one presented here, is closer to the 2009 version of Arduino.

Approximate cost for one unit: $7.50 You can make them even cheaper buying from Chinese or Thai vendors. They typically sell 100-packs of 2% precision resistors for $1 or $2. Salvaging used electronic boards from TVs or stereos usually is usually messy, but can yield appreciable amounts of small, through-hole resistors, capacitors, etc. Just don't forget to check them against their specs. I trashed carbon-based resistors as well as capacitors because they were out of their 10 or 5% tolerances.

proto board: 25¢
Atmega 328 (no P, had to modify Arduino's IDE config file): ~2$
Headers: 15¢ for 40, probably 60¢ worth of them here.
LEDs: 30¢ each.
crystal: 50¢
capacitors: 15¢ each, so 1.35$ (not cheap!)
resistors: same, so 90¢
Regulators: 80¢ each.
Thin wire: I used phone wires, but wire-wrap style should be better. Cost unknown.

Cheap doesn't mean quick. Assembling a board from scratch and planning the routing in your head is a tedious process taking many hours, especially if, like me, you regularly unplug the soldering iron to relieve the tip.

paddy99751 month ago

Is this own created board interface with android OS?

OR Can we able to use all these features which are provided by Arduino board?

Hi, I found this project very interesting and useful, but I had a crazy idea before, is it possible to build a complete arduino from scrap electric pieces ( resistors capacitors transistors etc... ) I know it will require much higher power but is it possible? How big will the board be?

You can't build the Atmega in the arduino boards from junk.

The others parts can be found in scrap, but the atmega can be almost impossible.

Hi, if i already have an ATmega328 with bootloader on it i dont need to get an arduino pcb, right?

It depends.

You will need a device to upload the codes, I generaly use a USB-Serial converter, you will need it because the Atmega don't talk directly to the PC.

You can use the serial from a arduino board to upload the codes too.

My converter is based on the CP2102 chip, but the ft232 is popular between the Arduino folks.

dcoptimum2 months ago

For a really easy Arduino design check out ours:

Simple Arduino.PNG
enxp3 months ago


I didn't test this homemade solution yet but i guess it has the same HW settings and

characteristics like the original arduino board. If so, then tell me, would it be possible to use your board for purposes like this:

?. Thank you in advance !

robobot31123 months ago

could i mix a deumilanove's chip in that way with the uno's. i mean like chip exchange.

Higgs Boson (author)  robobot31123 months ago

I don't see why not.

it would not get damaged would it?

dharm73 months ago
where is the usb plug port in the homemade circuit board , how to imply digital i/o pins ? how to connect the rx and tx ? can we program parallely to the board kindly reply to this question
Higgs Boson (author)  dharm73 months ago

For a USB connection you can plug an FTDI breakout board to the programming header and program it normally from the arduino IDE.

bwills44 months ago

Potentially stupid question from a newbie...what do I need to connect the breakout board to the arduino, and then to my pc?

Higgs Boson (author)  bwills43 months ago

The breakout board and a USB cable.

ualbuquerque3 months ago

I use a crystal oscillator 27 MHS?

Higgs Boson (author)  ualbuquerque3 months ago

I think 16MHz is the maximum clock speed. Unless you wanted to overclock it...

lucianorueda4 months ago

Hi! great project! thanks!
Do you know anything about RC brusless motors?
How would you modify the circuit so you could use the arduino as an ESC (electronic speed controler) of a brushless motor?

I get lost when I try to handle the volts and amps hight velues that you have to handle with RC motors... (middle/big ones like 90A 24V)
I would like to build that arduino board!

Any thoughts?

Anyway, thaks!!! I will start with this and see next anyways!

Higgs Boson (author)  lucianorueda4 months ago

Hope this helps:

hey!, thanks for the link!, but unfortunately the conslution of it is not good for me!... it looks that my motor is too big, so I should use an ESC, I was trying to make and esc with the arduino, but it looks that I cant... at least with the motor that I am trying to use...

djsamm884 months ago

Send me the schematic to the circuit at my email PLEASE...

biraj10024 months ago
Send me the diagrams of arduino board at my email--
tnagchandi7 months ago
I really love the idea of making an arduino of our own.... thanx for such a nice explaination.
Can you please tell me that whether it can be used for bluetooth connectivity as for my project i need it.
Higgs Boson (author)  tnagchandi5 months ago

I believe I have seen people use arduino with bluetooth, so it is likely.

oghenevwogaga5 months ago
hi I am pretty amazed at this project, and will like to build my own, could you please send me the schematic to the circuit. ( thank you.
chan20056 months ago

you built this on my birthday

ra947 months ago

hi . does anyone here have pcb of this arduino ?

if have please send to me tnx .

ra94 ra947 months ago

or schematic

Abirboy7 months ago

super i like it

mauro89288 months ago

Hi! I'm pretty amazed with this project and wanna try to do my own homemade Arduino board, so I'll really appreciate if you could please send me the schematic circuit to my email Thanks a lot!

syedj941 year ago
For those who are going with the breakout board or the Serial to USB converter chip, here is a cheap option:
Its only a dollar with free shipping... reliable seller. But Its from China so It will take longer to ship
abrogard syedj949 months ago

I just went to eBay and these are listed at $51 ??

MoonDocker syedj9411 months ago
Thanks for the tip on the Serial to USB converter chip. I ordered 6 of them.
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