Rocket Brand Studios FetaDuino


Introduction: Rocket Brand Studios FetaDuino

The Fetauino is an Arduino-based LCD controller. Actually, don't think of it as a LCD with an Arduino attached. Instead, think of it as a full-on Arduino board, with a LCD attached. Perfect for control panels or transmitters and with its on board 256k EEPROM, perfect for datalogging.

                                                            More info at:
                                                 Rocket Brand Studios

The FetaDuino is the brainchild of Mr. Patrick McCabe of Originally, it was designed for use in stationary control panels and handheld transmitters. It contained a “full size” atmega 328 and through-hole components. I personally have a couple of these original designs and they are simply fantastic. Building on that original design, Pat, with input from me, redesigned the whole board to use SMD parts which allowed the addition of voltage regulators, extras like on-board EEPROMS and of course, room for an X-bee. As it stands now, the FetaDuino is an incredible stand-alone unit capable of not only running the attached LCD but could be the main microcontroller for almost any project.

The FetaDuino Features:
  • Ability to control a 16x2 or 20x4 LCD
  • Atmega 328
  • External 256k EEPROM
  • X-bee headers
  • No need to unplug X-bee for programming
  • 5v Regulator
  • 3.3v Regulator
  • On-board battery monitoring
  • Bright blue back-mounted LED
  • Dedicated i2c lines with 3.3v and 5v available
  • Access to SPI lines
  • Access to interrupt lines
  • LCD backlight brightness control via PWM
  • Did I mention an X-BEE!?!
  • A PCB footprint no larger than that of a 16x2 LCD
  • Low profile design

  • A standard serial or i2c LCD
  • Control Panels
  • Transmitters
  • Receiver and LCD for robots
  • Data Logging

Step 1: Assembly Intro

This is a pretty straight forward kit to put together. Really, it is nothing more than a bunch of pins to be soldered in. Let's get right to it.

You will need:
  • Small soldering iron
  • Rosin core solder

Step 2: Assembly 1

The FetaDuino may be sold with either straight or bent pins, and those pins may or may not be broken-out into the lengths we need. Let's assume the pins need to be broken apart.

In this case we need:

(2) 10-pin female headers (X-bee headers)
(1) 5-pin bent male header
(1) 6-pin bent male header
(1) 16-pin straight male headers
(3) 11-pin straight male headers
(3) 4-pin straight male headers

If needed, break the strips of pins included in the kit into the lengths above. They will snap easily between the pins.

Step 3: Assembly 2

Let's start soldering stuff in. The only real thing to note here is to be sure you are soldering in the pins, and more importantly, the X-bee headers, straight and square to the board. I personally like to insert a strip of pins, solder just one pin in the center then I check to see if they are flat to the board and square. I can fudge it either way if needed, and then finish by soldering the rest of the pins.

In this step, we will solder:

The (2) X-bee headers (10-pin female headers)
The 5-pin bent header
The 6-pin bent header

Step 4: Assembly 3

In this step we will solder:

The (3) 11-pin male headers (general use I/O pins)
The (3) 4-pin male headers (i2c lines)

Step 5: Assembly 4

We move on to the LCD itself now.

In this step we will solder the 16-pin male header to the LCD itself. Note: Please look at the picture attached and notice the position of the pins. The long end of the pins should be sticking upward when the LCD is face down.

Step 6: Assembly 5

Adding the FetaDuino to the LCD...

Before you go any further, it would be wise to stop and check you work. Once the FetaDuino backpack has been soldered to the LCD, the solder joints on the underside of the FetaDuino will no longer be accessible. Check every solder joint for any "cold joints" and especially any "bridges".  You should not have solder connecting two adjacent pads anywhere. Check it and double check it.

When you are happy with your work, we can now attach the FetaDuino to the LCD. Place the FetaDuino over the pins you soldered to the LCD in the previous step. (see picture).

NOTE: YOU HAVE TO LEAVE SPACE BETWEEN THE LCDUINO AND THE LCD!! If you allow the FetaDuino to touch the back of the LCD, it is possible that the bent-metal tabs that hold the LCD to the LCD board, can bridge some of the connections on the FetaDuino. Raise the FetaDuino a bit off of the LCD before you solder.

Solder it in place.

Step 7:

You are now done.

At this point, it would be wise to check out the the links below to get yourself started.

Instruction manual. There you can find pinouts, wiring examples and more.
FetaDuino Page at Rocket Brand Studios (Example code and more)

Happy building!



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