Picture of Palm Arduino Kit
UPDATE: Read about the first journey of Palm Arduino Kit, here!

I do travel many times a year, sometime I went with family, took relatives, friends, to places in US, for days, may be for weeks, even for a month, when I traveling aboard to visit my family once a year.

Previously, I left my Arduino project(s) untouched for the duration of the traveling. And most of the time, after i got back, I had to start the project over, because I was already forgot where it was left off. During the time of traveling when I got some idea for prototyping, I could not do anything since I did not have Arduino stuffs at hand. And I missed working on the project(s) very much while I was traveling.

This time I planned to do something about it! And this was I prepared them for. A Palm Arduino Kit.

The kit contains:
A DIY palm size Arduino compatible board
A mini breadboard (Commercially available)
A DIY 5V Portable Voltage Regulator (Step 6)
A MOD FTDI cable (See my FTDI adapter instructables details here.)
A MOD 2" Long Antistatic IC Container.
2.25" Wide x 3.75" Long x 1" Hinge Plastic Box (Commercially available)

Palm Arduino

Whenever I look at 28-pin DIP ATMega328 IC, I always wonder do I have to use it this way all the time, with the pins hang out beside it body. Could I just straighten it out and do something similar to Freeform Arduino? And don't have to use PCB just like the Freeform Arduino, but make it more portable than Freeform Arduino. The other criteria that I use to design this palm Arduino is that it would be small enough to be with some other components to be fit inside 2.25" Wide x 3.75" Long x 1" Hinge Plastic Box.
So the Palm Arduino is born! And I made it to be only 1.5" wide x 2.5" long x 0.5" thick. 

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Can you say how to connect with these


how to dump the programmes inside

rellik1000 made it!10 months ago

Love the concept,If you have to purchase most of it a pre built pro mini is really cheaper,just add the headers.I actually bent straight headers at 90 to reduce the height.Jewel box plastic,although it is brittle.Size comes in at 2x1.25x.25 inches.Thanks for the awesome idea.

Wow close up i should have cleaned up the solder job a bit.

mpeachey11 year ago
Is it possible to make the Palm arduino with a crystal instead of a resonator? if so how would you do it?
sath02 (author)  mpeachey11 year ago
Yes, you could use crystal (16Mhz) with two 22 pF capacitors.
Here is a link to schematic that shows the connection of the crystal and capacitors,
Look at pin 9 (XTAL1) and 10 (XTAL2) of the IC1 on the schematic.
Hope this help.
so the AREF is basically a programmable voltage output pin?
sath02 (author)  mathesen10972 years ago
Usually, AREF pin is used in conjunction with analog pin (A0 - A5) when we want to get the precision reading from an analog pin. By feeding the AREF pin with a reference voltage from an external power supply.
I'm really bad about explaining stuffs, but I can give you some links that I found very useful regarding AREF, here they are:
both provide good explanation and have sample sketches on the usage of AREF.

Hope this help!
Thanks a whole lot sath02!! You have helped me a whole lot!!!! P.S. I am fan of your palm arduino and am hoping to make a kit of my own!
sath02 (author)  mathesen10972 years ago
You are welcome!
Let me know if you need any help.
I am planning on making this on a perfboard and I was wondering if the AREF & AVCC are the power and I also got the same resonator you got from SparkFun and I was wondering if it is polarized. It would be great if I heard something from you
sath02 (author)  mathesen10972 years ago
AREF is analog reference pin you can look at the AREF details and description here: http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/AnalogReference?from=Reference.AREF
AVCC needed to connect to VCC (pin number 7 on ATmega328).
The 16Mhz resonator is not polarized, the middle pin on the resonator needed to connect to GND.
acerpeng2292 years ago
Can anybody send the pdf of this palm arduino instructables and the 5v regulator instructables?
acerpeng2292 years ago
Does this work like a real arduino? If so, I don`t have to buy an arduino. Is it true?
sath02 (author)  acerpeng2292 years ago
Hi acerpeng229,
Yes, it works exactly as Arduino. Because the micro controller has the Arduino's bootloader.
thanks and oh yeah, can i use this cable? http://www.google.com.my/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&rlz=1C1RNPM_enMY449MY449&biw=1024&bih=677&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=V3EeQ_1AUMbltM:&imgrefurl=http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2009/basics-serial-communication-with-avr-microcontrollers/&docid=-oxFfVzsLCbOOM&imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3393/3614832126_0378e5d27f.jpg&w=500&h=375&ei=QgmmULHhLoerrAed1oGoDw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=556&vpy=293&dur=413&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=71&ty=93&sig=112319141139359020736&page=2&tbnh=138&tbnw=184&start=16&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:18,s:0,i:122
sath02 (author)  acerpeng2292 years ago
Yes, that is FTDI cable!
thanks, i`m gonna save a lot of money with this.
sath02 (author)  acerpeng2292 years ago
amorarun2 years ago
I really liked your instructable. I haven't started using arduino's but intended to buy one (Arduino Leonardo). Hopefully after getting used to it, I will make one of your version. Thanks for the nice instructable and keep up the good work.
sath02 (author)  amorarun2 years ago
I like Arduino Leonardo too. With it built-in USB communication make it much more convenient to use than other Arduino.
joe wong3 years ago
Hi. Did I read it wrong?? Your diagram and your friend's on tx and rx are different. Does it still work? Thanks. Joe.
sath02 (author)  joe wong3 years ago
Hi Joe,
You have a good eyes!

The TX and RX things got me confused all the time! Sorry about that!
Anyhow, the diagram had been revised and corrected.

DoctorWoo3 years ago
I managed to get all the need parts for this, however. I managed to make a mistake with one of the parts, and I now have a two pin resonator verus a three pin.
I was curious, is the ground pin needed? Or is there some what to get ground-age from a two pin resonator?
sath02 (author)  DoctorWoo3 years ago
Oops :( Sorry to hear that.
I'm afraid the resonator is unusable. Yes, the ground pin is needed!
If there was some part of the ground pin still there, you might want to try to solder to a wire to extend it.
It's actually just a two pin. sorry to make it sound like it was a three pin, but I broke it!
I thought that was the case, but I figured I'd ask. thanks!
sath02 (author)  DoctorWoo3 years ago
Oh! I misunderstood your question! My bad!
In this case you bought a crystal not the resonator.
Check if your crystal is 16MHz?

The resonator that I used already has built in capacitors.

So you will need two, either 18pF or 22pF ceramic capacitors.
Then connect one pin of a capacitor to one of the crystal pin, and connect the pin from the crystal to pin 9 or X1 on the micro controller.
And connect the other pin of the capacitor to ground.

With the second capacitor, connect to another pin of the crystal, an connect this pin from the crystal to pin 10 or X2 on the micro controller.
Connect the other pin of the capacitor to ground.

This should solve the problem!
Ah! Ok. Yeah, I'm a bit new to the resonator/crystal scene. This is the first application I've seen them in.

Unfortunately, I don't have capacitors of that level in my stash, and I would have to order them (kind of live in a electronic part lacking part of the state) and I may just get the needed resonators.
However, that trick with the capacitors and crystals should be handy in the future!

I've actually started "groud breaking" on this, and I ran into one more snag (hopefully my last!). I have a MicroFTX (http://jim.sh/ftx/) and I don't know where the DTR lead of your FTDI port would go on that plug.

Thanks again for all the great help!!
sath02 (author)  DoctorWoo3 years ago
Have you try to upload the sketch, i.e. blink led to Arduino board? And if it work?

I look at MicroFTX and saw that this FTDI converter used IC, FT230X instead of FT232R.
This chip only have 16 pins. There are only RTS# and CTS#. And it doesnot have DTR pin!
In your case, you could connect RTS from this breakout board (MicroFTX) to RESET pin on ATmega328. And connect CTS to ground.

I've yet to wire it all up yet. Been a bit tied for time the past few days.

But I do want to double check the pins, just to make sure I got it all right. So going from the breakout to the Ardunio:
RTS > Pin one
sath02 (author)  DoctorWoo3 years ago
TX from MicroFTX goes to pin number 2 (or D0) on Arduino
RX from MicroFTX goes to pin number 3 (or D1) on Arduino
This is very important.

mikesoniat3 years ago
Nice Instructable! I travel quite a bit for business and this is a great idea to allow me to work on projects in my "spare time" during travels. Thanks!
sath02 (author)  mikesoniat3 years ago
meanpc3 years ago
Ingeniously awesome instructable! What is the best source you have found for the 328 w/ bootloader?
sath02 (author)  meanpc3 years ago

I usually bought a pre-loaded boot loader from Adafruit.com
The boot loader is Adafruit's own version of boot loader.
You can look at the details at the link stated earlier.
On the web page also mention how to upgrade the boot loader.
But sometime I used the standard boot loader available from Arduino IDE as well.
DoctorWoo3 years ago
I'm looking to make this, ad I have one question...and it's probably a rather silly one at that, but: would it be possible to build the FTDI dongle into the system itself? I managed to pick up a rather small one, and I was on ht path of portability, and had the idea of building one into the system, but was unsure if that would cause any problems.
Thanks in advance!
sath02 (author)  DoctorWoo3 years ago
This is how the FTDI is used in the kit. (picture below)

There are a lot of existing Arduino Compatible board that's integrated the FTDI chip onto the board, for example, Adafruit's Boarduino. (http://www.adafruit.com/products/91).

Go for it! And shows us what you did.
If I could be anymore help please let me know.
Once I got it all set, I certainly will share!
However, the one thing I'm still a bit scared of is the power source. I'm thinking of hooking up the FTDI port behind the male header. That is to say, I'll have the wires from the FTDI port wired up on the inside side of the male header for the port. With that port wired up like that, will hooking up the power source damage it?
you should start selling these, they're great!!!!
i want one
sath02 (author)  The nerdling3 years ago
If I won one of those Laser Cutters in Hurricane Laser Contest I will. LOL

Or If I have a lot of money to hire peoples to bend the pins out, I will. ;)
Let's see. May be I'll come up with something.
Need to do a lot of feasible studies.

joserbn3 years ago
class! i think you also gave a good idea for materials for a hands-on arduino start up workshop!
sath02 (author)  joserbn3 years ago
Class? Workshop?
Where, When?
Can I attend?

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