Introduction: How to Breadboard Arduino Compatible.

It's no secret that around oomlout HQ we're huge fans of the open source Arduino micro-controller. The pre-made Duemilanove board is an amazing prototyping platform, but sometimes its fun to make something for yourself. What follows is a guide on how to take a breadboard and pile of components and turn it into your very own Arduino compatible machine.

All the steps below are summarized in a fun printable guide down-loadable below (BBAC-Assembly-Guide.pdf).

The breadboard layout sheet is downloadable from step 2.

Lets get going...

(shameless plug)
We also sell a kit with all the parts (a breadboard, printed layout sheet, and printed guide) so you can get making right away.
(in the UK Breadboard Arduino Compatible Kit (BBAC))

(open source)
We like to be as open as we can be at oomlout, in keeping with this attitude all the design files (sketchup models, corel draw layouts, pdfs etc.) can be found at (if you feel something is missing or would like a file in a different format drop as a message ( and we'll try and help you out.)

Step 1: The Parts

An Arduino compatible is super easy to make requiring just over a dozen different components

Required Parts:

Step 2: The Layout Sheet and Putting Together

To make component placement easy we've drawn up a breadboard layout sheet.

Simply print it out, lay it over your breadboard, and start placing components, or follow the step by step Lego style instructions below.

Step 3: Programming

This is a slightly complicated step. Because we do not have any USB-serial circutry on our breadboard additional hardware is required.

But do not fret you have a choice of two options, either using a spare Arduino Duemilanove board, or an FTDI USB-Serial cable.

option 1 - Using an Arduino Duemilanove Board

For this option we will use the USB circuitry (and reset capacitor) present on every Duemilanove board.

Step 1 - Remove the ATMega168 Chip
  • Delicately pop the large chip out of its socket.

Step 2 - Connect the appropriate wires
Using jumper wires, (there are notes on the layout sheet)
  • connect digital pin 0 to digital pin 0
  • connect digital pin 1 to digital pin 1
  • connect the reset pin to the reset pin
  • connect 5V to the red rail (5V)
  • connect gnd to the blue rail (gnd)

Step 3 - Program your BBAC
  • You're done open up the Arduino IDE and program your BBAC the same way you did your Duemilanove board

option 2 - Using an FTDI USB-Serial Cable
  • This option will use an FTDI USB-Serial cable (In the UK (farnell). In the US they can be found here(adafruit))

Step 1 - Plug the cable in
  • Plug the 6 pin female header on the end of the FTDI cable onto the 6 pin header on your BBAC (match the colors of the wires to those of the markings on the sheet)

Step 2 - Program
  • Next open the Arduino IDE, and program your BBAC normally. Well almost normally, you'll need to press the reset button before uploading each sketch.

Step 4: What's Next?

Congrats if all has gone well you have yourself a fully functioning Arduino compatible on a breadboard. (if it hasn't worked don't fret send an e-mail to and we'll try our very best to help you get it working).