Introduction: The CheepaDuino, Minimalist Arduino Platform on the Cheap!

If you're like me you have a special love for your Arduino.
I have 3- 2009's and have made literally dozens of cool projects with them.

Sadly, not a single one is in a final project! No Arduino projects because I don't want my precious locked up, never to used again.


I love my Arduinoes, they are cool and they cost too much to just leave in a blinky or motor spinning project. Even that hot water heater monitor and pump controller project.

I usually get an idea, load and debug a sketch, make it perfect, run it for a day or two then shelf the project because I don't want to donate one of my beloved Arduinos to a prtoject. "I might need it for another project that is more important next month.
Is this you?

If it is I have have relief for you. 

The CheepaDuino!!, is here to the rescue.

I have a complete Arduino platform including shipping for a bout 5 bucks each. 2 for $9.62. That includes shipping!

If this is you then let's do it, follow me.
FYI, first picture, 3 built up cheepaduinoes awaiting projects.
second picture a 3 zone climate monitor instructable to follow
third picture a Power ball lottery number picker, instructable to follow
fourth picture, a bootloader burner i use from Evil Mad scientist. each Atmega328pu takes 15 seconds to load bootloader.

Step 1: The Great Gathering, Parts Is Parts.

To make each CheepaDuino we of course will need some minimum parts.

I know you expected that but follow me here.

We need a controller and the support components to make this work.

Basically, a way to hold the parts, a micro controller CPU, a power regulator, a system clock, a blinky, a reset button and a way to connect our pins to the outside world. ie. our project.

I found a supplier that is inexpensive, good quality and fast.

ere is the list to make one CheepaDuino:
All quantity one except where noted.

CERAMIC RESONATOR 16.0MHZ 3-PINS  part number A-717   $0.23

or; A-230 16.000 MHz 16 MHz Crystal HC-49/S Low Profile $.10
and  2 ea A-523 22pF 50V Ceramic Disc Capacitor $.01 each, 10 minimum.

L78L05ACZ L78L05 78L05 +5 VOLTS 100mA Voltage Regulator IC  part number A-176   $0.09

Diode 1N4007 SKU A-155 $ 0.02

Tact Switch 6x6mm 9mm Through Hole SPST-NO Part number A- 5143 $0.48

40 Pin 2.54 mm Single Row Female Pin Header Part number A-196   $0.24

LED 3mm Red Water Clear Ultra Bright (2 pcs) part number A-705   $0.04

100uF 16V 105C Radial Electrolytic Capacitor 5x11mm part number A-4514   $0.02   $0.02

28 pin DIP IC Socket Adaptor Solder Type  part number A-1601   $0.11

DC Power Jack PC mount 2.1mm SKU A-4118  $0.16

DC Power Plug 2.1mm solder type SKU A-4573 $0.16

** Small StripBoard 94x53mm (Copper) part number A5031    $0.66 or,

go here for a buck fifty and get the best project board EVER.
I buy 6 at a time take a month to get but worth waiting 3 months. I may buy some and sell them here. leave a note and I'll see.


You will have to get more than one of some of the items to make the 5 dollar minimum. your choice.

If you order more sets it gets down under 5 bucks per DuvDuino

I priced the cost plus shipping for all parts except the Atmega328pu with bootloader at $6.80 for 5 CheepaDuinoes!

Remember you are forced to buy 10 each of the resistor, that enough for 10 boards and the proto board is huge 4 inches by 2 inches. but can easily be cut to make 2 or 3 blank boards.

Unfortunately they only sell a non bootloader CPU IC's. 

Go here or Ebay for it: 

$3.95 each.

Ebay example IC:
$3.33 free shipping 3 week wait.

All done and said in quantity you should be well under 6 bucks for each CheepaDuino. That's better than $24.95

Step 2: Assemble the CheepaDuino

just put the parts in the proto board where they go. use the schematic as a guide.
The CheepaDuino will be your best friend and you can just burn projects one after another and still have your precious.