Introduction: Programming an Arduino Using Another Arduino to Display a Scrolling Text Without a Library

Sony Spresense or Arduino Uno are not that expensive and don't require a lot of power. However, if your project has limitation on power, space, or even budget, you may want to consider using Arduino Pro Mini. Unlike Arduino Pro Micro, Arduino Pro Mini does not have a USB port. You can program Arduino Pro Mini with USB to UART converter. You can also use another Arduino with USB port to program Arduino Pro Mini like we're about to do here.


Arduino Uno or Sony Spresense

Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V WEMOS D1 Mini Matrix LED Shield 6 Arduino male to female jumper wires Micro USB Cable Soldering iron and wires

Step 1: Solder LED Matrix to Target Arduino

We need 4 wires between WEMOS D1 Mini Matrix LED Shield and Arduino Pro Mini as follow:

WEMOS D1 Mini Matrix LED Shield - Color - Arduino Pro Mini 3V3 - Red - 3.3V D7 - Green - A4 D5 - Yellow - A5 GND - Black - GND Note that we are using Arduino Pro Mini 5 volt version so we had to step down the voltage using 5 diodes. Check your Arduino operating voltage before connecting to WEMOS D1 Mini Matrix LED Shield. No voltage stepping down is needed if using Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V version.

Step 2: Plugin the Male Side of Jumper Cables to the Programming Arduino

We need 6 Arduino male to female jumper wires plugged in the programming Arduino as follow:

Sony Spresense: Color 10: Red (RST) 11: Orange 12: Yellow 13: Green 5V: Red (Power) GND: Black

Step 3: Connecting to Target Arduino

We need 6 pins soldered on Arduino Pro Mini to connect the female side of the programming Arduino jumper wires as follow:

Arduino Pro Mini: Color RST: Red (RST) 11: Orange 12: Yellow 13: Green RAW: Red (Power) GND: Black

Step 4: Setting Up the Programmer

Open Arduino IDE then File > Examples > 11.ArduinoISP > ArduinoISP. With Sony Spresense board, it is necessary to uncomment the following line:

// #define USE_OLD_STYLE_WIRING Once that's done, press Ctrl+U to upload code into Sony Spresense or the programming Arduino you are using.

Step 5: Uploading the Code to Target Arduino

Download code from Github. Do not press Ctrl+U because that will result in overwriting the code you already uploaded into Spresense which is needed to use it as a programmer. Instead, press Ctrl+Shift+U to upload using the programmer.

At this point you'll only need two wires to power Arduino Pro Mini.

Arduino Contest 2020

Participated in the
Arduino Contest 2020