The Ardweeny is the solution. These small kits are 100% compatible with the Arduino programming environment, are very small, (and unlike the regular Arduino) they can fit on a breadboard. Oh, and they're quite inexpensive too!
In the regular configuration, you build the backpack, and have it sit on top of the IC, soldering the leads to the legs of the Atmel microcontroller. Although convenient, it exposes the legs to unwanted bending.
This Instructable by Solarbotics Intern Rudy Bernard shows how you can build your Ardweeny with stiffer extra-long socket-headers that protect the fragile microcontroller legs and the topside programming pins.
Step 1: Parts You'll Need
- Ardweeny kit (Solarbotics part # : KARDW)
- 2x 6-Pin Header (HVWTech part #: FPin6L-413)
- 2x 8-Pin Header (HVWTech part #: FPin8L-413)
- Soldering equipment (soldering iron / solder / cleaning sponge) (HVW tech soldering tools)
- A pair of Needle-nose pliers (HVWTech part #: 43060 or 43061)
- A pair of Flush Cutters (HVWTech part #: 43040)
- Safety Glasses - VERY important when clipping and snipping! (Solarbotics part #: 5330)
Step 2: Soldering of the Capacitors
Snug them down, solder them in, and trim off the excess leads poking out from the bottom of the PCB.
Step 3: Soldering of the Resistors
Let's start with the resistor R1 - 10k (brown / black / orange / gold). Bend it over with a pair of needle-nose pliers like the picture below and put it in the R1 rectangle. Solder it in place, and snip off the excess lead underneath
Do the same thing with the R2 - 470 ohm (yellow / purple / brown / gold).
Step 4: Soldering of the Resonator and LED
However the LED have a polarity so you will have to take care which way it is installed.Take a close look at it and find the flat side of the LED. The flat side is the cathode, which also has the shorter leg of the two (the other, longer lead is the anode). The flat-side goes to the square pad on pcb. You can also see a flat side on the silk screen.
Step 5: Soldering of the Push Button and the Programming Header
The header is use to program the Ardweeny. You can help yourself by using masking tape to hold it in place. Try to solder one leg first and look on the top if the header is sitting straight up and down, and in all the 6 holes. If not, you only have to heat one header and move the header at the right place.
Step 6: Cleaning of the Pcb Bottom
Nothing should be poking out any more than 1mm (3/32"), as we want to snug the backpack PCB as close to the IC as we can!
Step 7: Customization 1: Soldering the Socket Headers
An easy way to solder the socket headers is to put them all first, flip it over, and solder them. Again (like with the programming header), start by soldering only one pin per header to make sure they are all sitting nice and flat to the PCB, and in a straight line.
When you are sure they look nice and neat, solder the rest of the pins to the PCB.
Step 8: Prepare the Chip to Receive the Backpack
Using your pliers, bend each pair of legs in flat against the IC. This will make it fit the spacing between the new legs much easier.
Step 9: Cutting the Legs Off the Atmel
This step lets us keep the side-to-side spacing of the Ardweeny at 300mil which will may it fully compatible with a breadboard or any 300mil DIP socket.
Step 10: Soldering of the Atmel to the PackPack PCB
You must first put the chip on the right side. Don't solder it in backwards! It's a real chore trying to fix a chip soldered in the wrong-way around!
Look closely at the Atmel chip - it has a little notch or recess on one of the narrow ends. The Ardweeny pcb has a similar line drawn on the end of the PCB (the opposite side to the push button). Check out the picture below to confirm you have it right!
Once you are positive you have things lined up correctly, squeeze the Atmel chip between the leads under the Backpack PCB, so the top of the IC mates with the the bottom of the PCB.
If you are having some trouble lining things up, use a breadboard to hold the PCB upside-down and steady with the programming pins.
Again, use the "single-pin" soldering technique: After soldering the first leg of the chip, make sure the chip is correctly in place on both sides. All looks good? Excellent - finish soldering, using as little solder as you can. Too much solder can blob down the pins, and make it hard to use with a breadboard!