How to Make an Arduino From Scratch




Introduction: How to Make an Arduino From Scratch

About: If you love electronics, robotics,programming and micro controllers - You better hit that subscribe button.

Frugal Engineering is the best way forward for science.

If you're interested in making some arduino's from scratch , you've come to the right place.

You can see a video tutorial of this instructable : here

It will supplement any loopholes or doubts you may have.

Lets start with an introduction on what we'll do in the next step.

Step 1: How Well Could It Be...if I Got an Arduino for Free..

INTRODUCTION : Question what to make,how to make,but make you must ...

After scrolling,searching,drooling over tons of Arduino tutorials..from making an led cube, to automating your home, giving life to a robot or making arduino powered drones... you, like me, must have felt that sudden urge as soon as you stumble upon an inspiring arduino tutorial,

"Gosh,Wish I had one of these" or better still "I want to make one of these, Right Now!" and as soon as that feeling hits your head, your eyes start scurrying the required parts list and you see that name :

ARDUINO : 25 Dollars and the cost of your project seems to skyrocket in many cases if other electronics are not as pricey( Yup, 25 dollars might be next to nothing for some, but yeah it is something!) and of course if the other parts are pricey,you need to burn a hole in your pocket anyway...Kachang!

And what's more heartbreaking(Believe me, its true!) is if you already own an Arduino, and its already the heart of your super Awesome robot(or Whatever) project.It's then when you start thinking - I don't want to dismantle my project apart.I don't want to invest my arduino in a project that i don't know will work or trying to make it work and that's when you decide ..well..yeah..I'll definitely make this new project ... but Later..not now...might as well bookmark it for now...WAIT! Stop ! No more will you have this for an excuse.We'll be minting an arduino right here,right now,so grab the parts in step 2 of this instructable,sit tight,grab your coffee and lets get to it .

Step 2: Get These Quick!

You require these starting materials:


AtMega 328 IC (you can use any variant like 328 PU or 328 P-PU )

Connecting wires,

Arduino(using an Duemilanove here),

1x 16 Mhz crystal,

3x 100 ohm resistors

1x 10K resistor

2x 22pF capacitors

3x LED's(A red ,yellow led and a green one)

1x 9v battery with connector snap,

1x usb cable,

1x 7805 Voltage Regulator

A computer or a laptop with arduino ide installed,

some free time and will to make things work

That's it..Lets begin tinkering...

Step 3: Beginning the Assembly

Grab your breadboard.It should look like the one in the picture perforated with lot of holes.

Put the AtMega chip (one that looks like a centipede) right down the middle of the board,

but keeping it closer to any one of the ends.

Step 4: Setting Up the Power Supply

Place the LM7805 voltage regular on the breadboard along with the ATMega 328 chip.

The pin placement of 7805 with the bulged side facing you is :Pin 1 - VCC, Pin 2 -Gnd, Pin 3 - Output.

Connect a black wire to pin 2 of the 7805 .Connect the other end of wire to the gnd rail on the breadboard.

Similarly connect a red wire to pin 3 of the 7805 whose other end will go to the vcc rail on the breadboard.

Connect a black wire to the ground rail which we'll connect with the ground of our Arduino(later).

To Connect the vcc and gnd rails along both the ends of the breadboard,connect 2 wires

as shown in the last few figures.

Step 5: Providing Power to the Chip

Take a good look at the At-mega to Arduino pin mapping given .

We're going to wire the circuit following it, so taking a look at it before prototyping will come in handy.

Particularly see the Vcc(+5V) and ground pin locations.

Connect red wires to pins 7 and 20 of the chip to 5V rail on breadboard.

Connect black wires to pins 8 and 22 of the chip to Gnd rail on breadboard.

Step 6: Making the Clockwork..

Add a 22pF capacitor between the Ground and pin 9 on the Atmega328 IC.

Add another 22pF capacitor between pin 10 of Atmega328 IC and ground.

Finally add a 16 Mhz crystal between pins 9 and 10 on the Atmega328.

Add a 10k ohm resistor between the 5V and reset(pin1) of the 328 IC.

Your setup should now look similar to figure 4,5 of this step.

Step 7: Adding in the Status LED's

Add a wire on any one side of breadboard.

Connect a 100 ohm resistor to one of the ends where you connected the wire.(See pics).

Add the longer lead(+ve) of yellow led to the other end of resistor.

Connect the shorter leg(-ve) of the led to ground.

Do the above steps for red and green led's.

Step 8: Connecting Everyting With the Arduino

You're almost there!

Connect the yellow led wire to pin 9 of the arduino.

This functions as "Heartbeat". It shows the programmer is running.

Connect the red led wire to pin 8 of the arduino.

This functions as "Error indicator". It lights up if anything goes wrong.

Connect the green led wire to pin 7 of the arduino.

This functions as "Programming in Progress". It shows the programmer(Ardiuno) is in communication with the slave(ATMega 328 on breadboard).

Connect 4 wires(3yellow and a green one) to pins on the Atmega IC on the breadboard

according to the pictorial schematic above..and connect them to pins 10,11,12,13on the arduino.

Also don't forget to attach the +5V and ground wires between the Arduino board and the breadboard.

Step 9: Programming Your Arduino

Let me tell what were going to do here.We're going to make your arduino basically burn the bootloader

onto the new Atmega 328 chip on the breadboard.

How? You may Ask.

Well, we'll be burning a program into our arduino to make it behave like a programmer!

1) Start the Arduino IDE.

2) Go to File > Examples > Arduino ISP.

3) Compile the sketch and burn it into your Arduino.

After you've burned the sketch,you'll see that the yellow LED will start to pulsate.

If it doesn't,check your connections again.Don't proceed further until you get this to work.

Now add a 100 ohm resistance between the 5V and the reset pin on the Arduino.

This is to disable the auto-rest which occurs on the Arduino.

Step 10: Setting Up the Burning...and Rise of an Arduino

In the Arduino IDE, select

Tools > Board > Arduino Duemilanove with AtMega328.

Programmer > Arduino as ISP.

Go to the tools menu and finally select the "Burn Bootloader" option.

Arduino IDE should now read : Burning bootloader, and if all went well the green led should come on.

The Tx and Rx pins on the Arduino should start flashing.

This process of burning the bootloader will take about a minute to complete.

Arduino IDE should now read : Done Burning bootloader

If it does,work done,Congrats,you now have a new Arduino chip.

If you had an Error, the RED led should come up.But don't fret.

Match your error type with the debugging guide in the coming steps.

Step 11: Troubleshooting Guide

See the pics of this step and Eliminate your problem.

Remember that you may have multiple errors and after you solve one error ,you may tumble into the next one.

But just follow the solution corresponding to the error and you'll be up and running in no time.

If you liked this tutorial or are having problems,post comments below.

Cheers and Happy building.

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Turned out perfect. Before I uploaded the Blink sketch I changed the timing on pin 13 to 200 milliseconds for both the high and low voltage for a fast blink. And (as rarely happens) it worked the first time I powered it up. I think the high quality of your 'Ible may have had something to do with that. Thanks very much praneet9!


11 days ago

alberto al, estoy usando el atme8 como chip y arduino una como quemador, soy novato


11 days ago

hola buen día, mi nombre comensar a quemar el bootloader me da:avrdude: Expected signature for ATmega328P is 1E 95 0F
Double check chip, or use -F to override this check.
Borrado del chip fallida: uploading error: exit status 1

Paul Mawhorter
Paul Mawhorter

Reply 2 years ago

You completely miss the point. This instructable is about, "let us see how cheap we can make it" not "what is the most easy and boring option".


6 years ago

I like this guy you no how you see the guy that makes all the instructable fun and not boring


7 years ago

So Will it act like a Arduino without the Arduino attached once its been programmed?


7 years ago

The Introduction and everything you described... is exactly me! Every single bit!

I'll definitely will be making some arduinos, thanks! :)


7 years ago

any specific arduino required to programme it?


7 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for a comprehensive 'ible! It worked for me without external supply and without any problems the very first time :)


8 years ago

It's illegal to call it arduino , please check , 'what should I call my boards?' Question .


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Yeah,You're Right. How about "Mintduino" or "Hackduino" or "DIYuino" !


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I think the 'duino' part of the name is the flexible naming, but you cannot use the full 'Arduino' name, as it is the property of the Arduino team.

Excerpt from the link Arman5592 gave above:

Which are the official Arduino boards?

The official Arduino boards are the ones listed on the hardware page.
These are boards whose manufacturers work with the Arduino team to
ensure a good user experience, compatibility with the Arduino software,
and a quality product. In return for their status as official boards,
the manufacturers pay a licensing fee to the Arduino team to support the
further development of the project.

In general, we restrict use of the name "Arduino" to the official
boards. If you find a product under a different name but described as
"Arduino compatible", it’s probably not an official board and doesn’t
fund continued work on the project.

Read about Clones, Derivatives and Counterfeits by Massimo Banzi (Blog)
Learn about how to spot a counterfeit (Website)


Reply 8 years ago

Meh. If a counterfeit works good enough, I'll use it and I'll still call it an.Arduino. Hell, I'll post my project to FB and call it arduino and not give two f***s.


Reply 8 years ago

Who cares. I'm not going to sell the one I make. I'll call it Arduino all I want and I'll even post it on Facebook.


Reply 8 years ago

I think they mean if you develop your own board for a product you are going to sell. But, of course it's still fun to come up with your own name!


8 years ago on Introduction

what about usp connection ? canot get any information about this i also found ppl using this IC and it is expensive more that arduino


8 years ago on Step 11

As I just programmed a chip again and got your 'Yikes' message, maybe just an addition to the solutions you gave:
I had a separate PSU, so that couldnt be the problem.
Though other sources attribute both 'device signature errors' to using a 328PU instead of a 328P-PU, I used the 328P-PU so that couldnt be the problem.
So I followed the advice that the 'Yikes' error message gives: check your connections. I did and behold: one wire was faulty.
So, tried again... this time for ease just tapping in the the Arduino's 5Volt and it worked right away. :-)
So.. if one gets the 'Yikes', might be wise to double check the connections as well