30 Minute Projects: Über-modified Arduino Board (arduino Keychain)




Introduction: 30 Minute Projects: Über-modified Arduino Board (arduino Keychain)

About: Quick and Easy hacks, made for curious people

Here's another quick project you can do in 30 minutes!

I found it such a hassle tokeep unplugging and plugging the printer cable (aka: the cable used on arduinos) and since the printer was always used, programming wasn't easy. so i came up with a solution: What if i change the usb port into something i have?

So i did! i had a male to male usb plug lying around and an extra female port so i decided to switch the standard arduino usb type-b port into a usb type-a port!

Moments later i realized, hmm i never really used the dc port and i always plugged wires directly into the terminals of the board so hey! i changed it as well.... into a screw type terminal block, now there's less wires connected to the pins, then there's less mess!

Then i saw another problem. ah, all these exposed contacts and sharp pins found around the board...just simply shorting these could cost you another 20 dollars, what a waste! i found a project enclosure lying around and to my surprise it fit the board perfectly! as if they were meant to be so i cut off the necessary holes needed for the arduino, ex:reset,pins, etc. as an added bonus, the enclosure came with a place where i can hook it up on various places, and soon realized, hey it's a KEYCHAIN!

These changes i present to you are changes that fit to serve my needs, so its up to you guys to change whatever parts that would fit your needs.

Then again, it would be really cool if you keep supporting my projects by voting it in these contests! Oh, and don't forget to leave a comment for your thoughts and suggestions, i'd love to hear more from you.

So, Let's get started!

Step 1: Ingredients:

To start off, we'll need these materials:

  • a female usb port
  • an arduino (i used a clone)
  • Project enclosure
  • a screw terminal block
  • 4 thin wires (preferably with color)

And for the tools go grab your:

  • Soldering iron
  • hot glue gun
  • precision pliers
  • superglue
  • and assortment of files

It would be nicer if you had a desoldering pump, i didnt't have one at the moment so i had a REALLY hard time without it.

Step 2: Modifying the Usb Port

Okay! first off, go desolder the old usb-b port from the board

Then superglue the 4 terminals of the female usb port, we'll need this because the terminals tend to slide out! these terminals are just held down by the crease on the plastic seen on (see pic 2)

great, now that's done pull out the pins just like on the third picture and lay them down flat

Then solder the wires to the corresponding pins:

  • Red is to vcc
  • Green is to D-
  • White is to D+
  • Blue is to Gnd

When you're good with that, see my reference to the pinouts of usb-b? follow it and solder to the board, you can use the fifth picture as your reference.

lastly, solder the 2 supports of the female port

Step 3: Meet the New Power Terminal

yeah, just like in the title! desolder your old dc port and then...

Follow the terminals as seen on the fourth picture, since there are 2 grounds, i'll let you decide which ground you'll connect your screw block terminal to. I chose the ground found beside (by beside, im reffering to the one on the picture) and thats where i placed my screw terminal,

then solder it! see the third picture on how i positioned my screw terminal.

Step 4: The Casing

I just used an old flat tipped soldering iron and a file to do this

first i placed the board on top of the enclosure and measured out the parts that i chose to cut off,

i then marked it afterwards and filed the plastic down until i got the shapes i wanted.

then finally i added hot glue to the base and stuck my arduino there.

wow, now its not only you who loves your new board but your board now loves you as well!

After you're done with your project, put him near your ear. Listen closely as you will hear a faint "thank you" coming from the board. Okay if you actually do hear this i suggest that you never touch that board again, that would be creepy as hell!

Anyway,have fun with your new oh-so-portable arduino board!

show it off to your nerd friends and bask in their jealousy HAHAHAHA.


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    7 years ago on Introduction

    I kinda missed what your mod had to do with a printer


    Reply 7 years ago

    He didn't want to spend $4 dollars on an extra cable, specifically for his Arduino. This is a very dangerous hack that goes against USB standards. It could damage the board and or the computer if your not careful! At least use a cable port combination recommend in the USB standard. This is a host to host setup which could send way to much power, or draw way to much and damage an arduino, a motherboard, or maybe two motherboards (if you accidentally plug two computers together).

    I would rather buy the extra cable, then risk damaging a $25 arduino, or $500 computer.


    Reply 7 years ago

    oh! hahaha sorry, Its because printer cables usually use USB type-b connectors which is also used on arduino

    I would like to point out that using a USB A port on a USB device instead of on a USB host violates the USB specification, and necessitates the use of a USB A-A cable, which also violates the specification. Furthermore, it is dangerous to have such a cable around, because someone who doesn't know better might connect two hosts (e.g. two computers) with it, which could damage them. Also, it could cause confusion if someone attempts to connect another USB device to this Arduino (after mistaking it for a USB host). You should be safe, though, as long as you're the only person using it.

    (USB A ports and USB A-A cables were originally (mis)used on slim external hard drives, because the full-size USB B port was too thick. That prompted the development of the USB mini-B and micro-B ports and corresponding cables, so that thin devices could have a proper USB device port. However, USB A ports and A-A cables seem to still be common on laptop coolers, for unknown reasons.)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! =D

    That should easy the life of so many people! ^^


    7 years ago on Step 2

    what is the point of the superglue?


    Reply 7 years ago

    oops missed that, thanks for pointing it out! you'll need super glue because the terminals tend to slide out since its only temporarily held down by the plastic when the terminals were bent.