So, you have just made an awesome gadget using an Arduino. You love it. OH! wait, you just got another idea for a different great project! But then.. you have to take your old one apart.. Is there a way to have more than one Arduino project without having more than one Arduino?
Yes, by putting you project on a bread board, you can accomplish this task, as well as saving some coin and earning the bragging rights of building it yourself. The video above explains about how to do that. An Atmel ATmega328 IC will serve you greatly. All that is needed is the ATmega IC and a few external components, a crystal, a few ceramic caps, and an FTDI Friend or FTDI Cable interface.
The purpose of doing this is so you can develop more than one project at a time without having to buy additional Arduino’s, and the second is to test a circuit for production. Remember, and Arduino has a lot of handy circuitry on it that you might not want on your project. For example, you might not need power switching, ICSP header, or FTDI/8U2 circuitry. Transferring your project to a breadboard will allow you to see how your project will run with the ‘bare essentials’.
The circuit is surprisingly simple, so if you haven’t tried it, build a stand alone project. Adafruit even has great Arduino stickers so you can quickly and easily identify the pins. Below is a pin reference image. Happy building, it’s a lot of fun! Continue reading →
This is just a quick post about a board I made to program a whole bunch of ATmega 328’s for some kits I’m making. I am ordering the 328’s in bulk, so they are brand new and do not have an Arduino bootloader on them. One of the ways you can get an Arduino bootloader on a factory fresh 328 is use an Arduino Uno and a USBTiny. Sure, I could pop about 100 of these into an Uno, but that would be a lot of work as well as wear and tear on the 28 DIP socket on my Uno.
The answer? A ZIF socket! These are fantastic! Anyone who has installed/upgraded a CPU in a computer knows what these are. ZIF stands for Zero Insertion Force. That means you drop the chip in the socket very easy, then pull a lever down to secure the contacts and prevent the chip from bouncing out of there. Making swapping out a bunch of chips to program them a lot easier, faster, and less prone to damage to the pins or chips!